Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How to Outsmart Your Clients

You know the seminar - the one at every convention, put on by the guy with the shiny suit and hair plugs and dental caps that are too big and too white so he can smile too big.
And he goes on and on about how you can impress your customers by calling them clients, how you can dress up your price list by implying you're selling art? Have you seen the hot shot who tells you to wear white gloves while handling the prints in front of the customer, er, client? It implies great value.
The suggestions go on and on if you go to enough conventions.
Here's what I learned:
Treat customers like fools, and all you'll have left will be fools for customers.
The smart people don't like that kind of stuff, and will leave.
Fools have very little money because someone parted it from them before they got to your studio.
Smart people have money. They got it by being smart. But you drove them away by trying to be tricky. Not smart. It doesn't work on smart people. Only on fools.
I have an idea.
Be straight up with everyone. Smart people like that. Appreciate smart people. Show them a little respect. Ask them questions, respectfully. They will give you an intelligent answer if they know you're sincere. Stop going to seminars put on by guys who are afraid they won't be liked if they don't have enough hair. Stop going to seminars put on by women who are insecure about the size of their boobs. Don't go there. Don't take any notes.
And next time you meet a fool, smile at them. It will help them through what will likely be a miserable day for them. If they ask if you have any coupons, or discounts on Tuesday, give 'em a smile. But don't try to book a session with 'em - that would make you a fool.

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