As I write about this subject, I also need to be transparent and say that I don’t always practice meeting with a client. There are those times when it may only be a phone call to discuss the details because of busy schedules or it’s a small project and a face-to-face meeting might not be needed.
However, if you can make this a consistent practice in your workflow I guarantee you that your sessions will be more engaging and rewarding for both you and your client. For me, I am very consistent in this practice with senior portrait sessions and I credit these meetings with the overall success of the session and our time together.
So, why is a consultation meeting with a client so important?
Have you ever showed up for a session and met for the first time? Maybe even talk about expectations on location. Not how we would prefer to have it happen but it does at times.
When you meet face-to-face you get the chance to learn each other’s personality and ‘break the ice’ before the camera comes out. You can quickly learn communication habits and begin to cultivate the continuity needed with your client to ensure a successful session.
Continuity fosters relationship. Even if we only have a short period of time with a client, the more we can be face-to-face builds even a short-term relationship. We are all relational and the more comfortable we are with one another the more chance we can communicate our expectations resulting in again, a successful session.
Sometimes we can talk to one another over and over about what we expect from one another and still have the chance to fall short. However, as a professional we are to continue to provide the best service to our client(s) and one of the best ways to achieve that is by meeting with our customer. Whether it be a small or large project we not only owe it to ourselves but to our client to deliver our best.
We can learn all the technical aspects of our trade and after time it all becomes muscle memory. Something we can do without thinking however our clients change and so do the expectations. We need to embrace change and learn to manage it successfully by talking to our client and getting to know who they are and what they expect.
I would love to know what other ways you build customer relationships and confidence so please comment below.