Whether it is pure excitement or nervous energy, we often get in our own way when we have an opportunity to talk to a potential client. Since photo organizing is such a new industry, we are all in “education” mode and part of our job is to educate about what a photo organizer actually does.
But during the initial consultation*, it’s a time to connect and engage and listen and learn about them. Let them tell you about their photo problems. Let them tell you about their dreams for their photos and memories.
*Rita and I both offer a free, short phone consultation to determine whether we can help and if we are a good match with the potential client.
The challenge is to step back and remember your primary goal should be to meet the needs of the client. The easiest way to do this is to listen more than you talk.
Three Tips to Be a Better Listener
- Ask good questions.
- Pay attention to the details (take good notes).
- Repeat back to them what they told you
When you lean in and listen, you can learn really valuable information that you can use to build a relationship where you’ll continue to connect and engage.
The other day I was talking to a potential client. I asked her what would be her ideal outcome for her photos. She replied with three things. I wrote these things down and later in our conversation I repeated back to her what she had said her number one goal was. Guess what? She decided that her number one goal was actually not number one and changed the order of her photo goals.
By listening closely, taking notes, and then repeating back I was able to help the potential client clearly define her goals. She was not even aware that she had shifted her priorities. By listening closely and asking the right questions, your chances of converting leads to clients greatly increases.
Keep your listening skills sharp not only with potential clients but with your current clients as well. It is important to balance the need to educate with a genuine interest in listening so that we can customize their experience and services to match their specific needs.
Share your own experiences about ways you’ve improved your listening skills or what you do to remind yourself to listen more than you talk in the comments below!