In wedding photography, the initial meeting is like the beginning of the dating process. You’re just getting to know each other, and you want to build a strong relationship of trust with the client before the wedding day. Your goal as their wedding photographer at this point is to get to know them so you understand their needs and wants so you can meet and exceed them and create amazing images and have clients that will rave about you.
As with any relationship, communication is key, and good communication helps pave the way to happy clients. In order to achieve this, here are three wedding photography tips on what you should not do during an initial client meeting.
1. Do Not Talk About Yourself…Yet
You’ve all been on that date where the other person kept the discussion going all evening but all they did was talk about themselves. Not only is this frustrating for one party involved, but it is annoying. When you first meet your clients, you are likely to feel nervous and want to jump right in and tell them everything about yourself and your photography in an effort to show that you are an expert and to get them to like and trust you. Refrain from doing so, at least for the first 15 minutes of the meeting.
To be able to communicate effectively with your clients, you must know your audience, so in this first 15 minutes, get to know them. Ask them questions about their hobbies, interests, their lives as a couple, how they met, etc. Interject here and there to build upon common interests, but the key to the first portion of the meeting is to really pay attention and get to know them so you can tailor your message to them later on.
2. Avoid the ‘Information Dump’
This is one of the biggest issues we see from our associate shooters during their initial meeting – the dumping of information without gauging the interest of the client. During the meeting, you may be tempted tell your clients all of their options gleaned from your years of experience in the wedding photography industry, but much of it may not be relevant to them.
Be sure to watch their expressions, determine their focus and note what they are most interested in by asking the right questions. Then tailor the message to them. Spend the majority of the meeting discussing what they find important.
For example, if your client is thinking about an engagement shoot, focus on the engagement session and not about the wedding-day timeline. Remember, you’ll have multiple touch points with opportunities to discuss everything else during your relationship, at the right time.
3. Stop INTERRUPTING
No one likes to be interrupted when they are speaking. It can be rude and frustrating when someone jumps in while you are in the middle of explaining something. The same holds true with your clients.
We have one mouth and two ears for a reason, or so the saying goes, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” Let the clients do the talking while you listen.
Wedding Photography Tip: What You Should Do During An Initial Meeting
During an initial meeting, make sure you focus on relevant education. Seek to understand their needs and wants, and then zero in on that to share your knowledge and information. You can get a good gauge by asking the right questions, then listening to what they are trying to communicate.
If they seem overwhelmed with the planning portion of the wedding, ask them if they’ve considered hiring a wedding planner. If they are receptive, give them your experience and expertise to help them make a more informed decision.
What are some things you do or don’t do during an initial client meeting to build trust in your clients? Comment below. If you want to learn more about communication with clients and the initial meeting, check out Wedding Workshop One, available with the SLR Lounge Premium Subscription here.