Friday, April 11, 2008

Customer Service

Sometimes working at a studio can be exhausting. Not because of the work that I do. It's the customers that can be tiresome.

I was closing the other night and I photographed an adorable 7 month old. The session went well and I got a lot of really cute pictures. When the mom came back to view the pictures, she loved them. She was picked for a weekly drawing we have that gives new customers a free session and a free 8x10, but she wanted a few more shots so she asked about publishing them to the internet. Unfortunately, in our studio we have a policy that you have to purchase a minimum package in order to get your pictures published to the web. This upset her and she let me know it.

I apoligized and said that's the company's policy. I felt bad so I printed out a paper copy of all the images she saw during the slideshow. We're not supposed to do this, but I'm a sucker.

Therein lies the problem. I am the worst salesperson in the world. I feel bad for people. I have no backbone. And I think people can sense that. I'm a pushover. So how do I deal with this?

Starting my own business means dealing with customers all the time. I am selling myself essentially. How do I build up my confidence so that people don't walk all over me? What's the best way to deal with customers who want everything for free?

Any ideas?


Christina said...

I sure don't have any answers, as I know I will be the exact same way!! I am not a salesperson at heart...I just want to make people happy.

Stacy said...

I am the same way, but you need to stand up for what you are worth. I have been mulling over the business side, too, and have been thinking about that. As with everything that requires creativity, it also requires a lot of time. You need to sit down and figure out how much time it takes to do a session and then process all the photos, put them on the web, etc. Then you need to figure in the wear and tear on your equipment, business insurance, taxes, cost of packaging, etc. You don't want to lose money, so make sure you charge enough when the time comes. Also make sure you CLEARLY show the client what their pricing packages include.