by Phil Jones Published
Discuss with your clients what clothing would be most suitable for the portrait session. Explain how plain shirts look better than tee shirts. It's a good idea if all the group co-ordinate what they are wearing. You might even suggest that they bring a change of clothes for some more informal shots. Denim is always easy on the eye and photographs well.
When arranging the viewing session, try to discourage the clients from bringing their "little darlings" with them as they can be distracting, their short attention span may mean they soon become bored and make demands to be taken home - before an order has been secured. You could also light-heartedly, remind them to bring their glasses - if necessary and their wallet - which is essential.
Run through your presentation before your client arrives; definitely do not show it to them if you are unhappy with it in any way. Never make excuses to your client such as 'I will correct the colour etc when you have chosen' only show finished edited and/or manipulated images.
After the first run through of the slides, tell your client how pleased you are with the images.
Work your way through the images one by one with your client, suggest which pictures would look great as a wall enlargement. Encourage your client to discuss where the wall portrait may be hung i.e. over the fireplace or over a three-seater settee etc.
Never underestimate the length of time it takes to fulfil the order; if you deliver it early, the client will be impressed with your efficiency but deliver late and the client may never come back!
It is essential that you are able to provide your clients with every means of payment that you would expect if you went elsewhere to make a purchase. Therefore acceptance of credit and debit cards is essential as this may create an impulse purchase.
Some studios even offer their clients credit facilities, though if you go down this avenue then you will have to obtain a Credit Licence. You may also need one if you have any connection with transactions where customers are given time to pay.
If you make transactions for which a licence is required without holding one, you are committing a criminal offence. In addition, you will not be able to enforce an agreement with a customer who defaults. However, a customer will still be able to enforce an unlicensed agreement against you. So best to be safe and apply for a licence if you intend to sell on credit.
Show your clients only finished framed pictures as examples and never sell anything bigger that a 12 x 10 unframed.
All these little tips help to make a smoother experience for both photographer and client and will hopefully result in the client returning again and again for you to record those "not to be missed" occasions in their lives.
Always remember luck has nothing to do with success.
Success comes from hard work, persistence and knowledge of the customer, product and competition. So plan, think ahead, and work very hard and success will come to you.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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