Under Promise, Over Deliver | The Business of Wedding Photography & Setting Client Expectations
As wedding photographers, we definitely wear more hats than one! I’m not sure the world realizes we only spend about 20% of our time actually using our cameras. When you’re in the business of Wedding Photography and more than likely learning as you go, there are some traps you might fall into because you think they’ll likely help your business grow or make your sales process easier…
A “Two week turnaround” sounds great, doesn’t it?! To the bride, it does! But at what cost? When you guarantee your client a quick turnaround, you’re guaranteeing yourself a lot of stress (assuming you’re doing all of the work yourself). The following two weeks after a wedding will be spent with many late nights missing out on your precious family as you’re tirelessly culling and editing somewhere around 700-900 photos. Now, let’s say the gallery gets delivered right on time or maybe, on day 12, or 10, or 9… does this impress the Bride? No, it sure doesn’t! Why? Well, it’s because they were given exactly what was promised to them… a short turn around time. How can that expectation be exceeded? What happens if in that short span of time you get sick (think COVID-19), get in a car accident, your house burns down, a family member passes, your hard drive crashes… or any of the many things that could come up? If the contract states 14 days, there is no leeway or wiggle room in the legality of what is owed to the client. The business of Wedding Photography is all about setting (appropriate) client expectations. We want our clients to rave about us! If the gallery is delivered right on time, she’s not going to talk about the amazing customer service she received and if it is delivered a day (or more) late, she’ll talk about it, but it won’t be something you want to hear nor will it be something that you want to represent your client experience! Think about it, what happens when your Amazon order arrives on day 3 (or later) instead of day 2?! Who doesn’t get frustrated when they’ve spoiled our expectations?
We have a saying in sales and it’s a simple one: “Under promise, Over deliver”! Industry-standard for turnaround time is somewhere along 6 weeks. If we promise our client her gallery in 6 weeks and then turn around 4 weeks sooner, THEN she will rave about us!!! And if we happen to be a week later than our goal (notice I said “our goal” not “our client expectation/promise”), we’re still 3 weeks sooner than she expected!!!
Gallery delivery isn’t the only important aspect that is relevant here. If you send gifts to your clients along the way, there is no need to tell them that you will be doing so… surprise them! Blow their minds! It’s one thing if a past bride has raved about you and your referral already knows about your little surprises, but no need to affirm it to them. Again, if we give them everything we told them we would give them, then they might be satisfied but they will not be overly impressed. The goal is to blow away your clients’ expectations and you do that by under-promising and over-delivering! This doesn’t mean we play down our services; we still have to sell ourselves! But we sell ourselves on our why, our beliefs, our charisma, our joy, and our genuine interest in THEM. Then once they are our clients, we continue to sell ourselves by serving them with our whole hearts and blowing their expectations out of the water! You can bet when you blow them away they will become walking-talking billboards for you!!! It’s a win-win!!!
What are some ways YOU over-deliver? How do YOU spoil and serve your clients? Things you’d like to improve on? I’d love to hear your business values and bounce ideas off of each other! Feel free to comment below and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for daily inspiration! Thanks for reading!