I admit it, I am a geek.. I like Star Trek, Star Wars and Firefly (if you missed firefly, you missed a true gem). I will even admit to being something of a tech head when it comes to computers and camera gear.. I love that a good knowledge of the technicalities of both photography and post production can truly create aspirational imagery for my wedding and commercial clients.
But, geekery on its own produces stale boring photos.. Technically perfect but missing soul, missing that spark of life that draws the viewer in.
The trick is to balance the geek with the artist, to blend the three ingredients of technical skill, people skills and artistic vision into a package that creates a win-win scenario for both the customer and this humble photographer.
Getting back to my admission of geekdom, James T Kirk of Star Trek fame is notorious for saying
I don’t believe in no win scenariosJames T Kirk
He believed that there was always a way to win regardless of the situation, to the extent that when presented with a no win scenario, he broke the rules.. And won
Similarly, I don’t believe in the win-lose scenario.. That where a client (or photographer) is taken advantage of, or feels cheated.
- I don’t believe in making a sale if it is not right for my customer
- I don’t believe in the hard sell
- I don’t believe in charging extortionate prices
- I don’t believe in mediocre photography
- I do believe in listening to my clients needs and wants
- I do believe in creating photography, at a fair price, that wows the client
- I do believe a happy customer is a repeat customer
- I do believe that building good relationships with my customers benefits everyone..
I am determined that every job I do, whether it be my commercial work or my wedding photography, builds a good and healthy relationship between the client and the photographer. Forming a partnership, where the photographer becomes part of your team, part of your sales force, helping your business to succeed
Like Jim Kirk, I am willing to break ‘the rules’ to make sure that everyone wins. What rules are they? Normal rules of engagement.. How most photography businesses do business. I want to exceed those standards both with my photography and service
With that in mind, I am starting to offer a money back guarantee with my commercial photography.
If you, the customer, are not delighted with my photography, return my work and I will refund you in full.
Now what could be lower risk than that?
So far this has been all about what the customer gets, but for it to be win-win, I need to win too.. So what do I get?
I get great customers that understand what I can offer them for the long term
I get a working relationship built on trust and mutual respect
I get to create meaningful work that isn’t possible with a photography one night stand approach
So, in summary, the best business relationships are built on the idea that everyone wins, everyone benefits. Personally, that sounds like a much happier place to do business from.
What do you think makes a good business relationship?
I’d love to hear what you think in the comment section below..