If you are like me, you recognize the truth in the above statement. My sister is a professional wedding photographer in Boston and I can spend hours telling you how good she is and why she should be the one to consider if you are getting married but I have the hardest time talking about my work with the same enthusiasm. BUT ... you can do it!
STRATEGIC PREPARATION: Many of my contracted clients have become so because I was walking down the street and something about their storefront caught my eye. I pulled out my trusty camera and started taking shots highlighting many of it's high points. When I received my prints of that particular shop, I went to the owner, explained who I am and handed over the photos to them as a gift keeping the conversation light. Afterall, they didn't ask me to photograph thier business.
STRATEGIC PREPARATION OF THE MIND: Before I approach that business owner with the photographs I had taken, I lay them all out and study each one, focusing on what point of view I was looking to capture. My point of view may bring a very pleasant change in the overall atomosphere that speaks to their prospective clients. This arms me with all that I need to compliment that store owner on his/her creativity in presenting their shop. When you are truly focusing on the strengths of another your enthusiasm builds in your conversation and it begins to flow naturally.
STRATEGIC PRESENTATION: As the two of us are looking over the photographs, and the expression of amazement begins to show, I pull out my business cards (a handful at a time) and begin to explain exactly what it is that I do. And that's when the REAL questions begin! "Can these be printed as postcards? What about calendars? Can I make these into gift tags that say thank you? What do you carry in your line of office supplies?" And the list goes on but my all time favorite question is: "Wow, do you do family portraits?" "Of course I do, I can do anything you want, just let me know what it is you're looking for!" Boom, the appointment for a more detailed business shoot is set with a future family portrait session set as well!
Does this scenario work every time? Absolutely not and I would be a fool to think it would. When it doesn't work I realize that it is not because they did not like my work (hooray) but that the timing may be off. This is still a positive because I leave with the promise of calling them back or better yet, stopping by again at another time, and leaving them with a "few" of my business cards!!
MORAL OF THE STORY: Focus on the other person, their business, how they present their business to the public and draw out all the strong points. Make this the greater part of your conversation with them and you will find that presenting them with your product will become a little easier. Your work should represent you as a person so let your work speak for you. I believe in my work, do you?
Thank you and God bless,