Ross Eason Explains His One on One Approach
With so many photographers quoting for a job, how do you stand out? First, reminds Ross Eason, you need to have a style or technique that your clients can’t do themselves. That needs to be part of your USP.
The second difference has to be you - your personality and your interest in helping the client with their project. Often what they are doing is far more than just having a photograph taken.
Ross gave an example of presenting a quote to a holiday resort, explaining that it is best to get in front of someone for a face to face meeting. “I ask them what day and what time we can meet. I assure them there is no obligation, explaining that I need to understand the job before I can give them a good value proposition. I’ve never had a no and I’ve travelled as far as Sydney at my own expense to have a meeting.”
When there, Ross asks his prospective client to tell him about their customer base. “In the case of a resort, I want to know who will be staying there, or perhaps more importantly, who would they like to be staying there, who makes the decisions about staying there and, once there, what do they like to do.
“Next I quiz them about their opposition and what collateral (marketing materials) do they have. I explain I want to put myself in the shoes of their customers, to understand the decision making process their customers go through, and then find a way to photograph their resort so their customers come simply because it looks better and stands out from the crowd.”
This process not only helps Ross create better photographs, it demonstrates a genuine interest in his client’s project and demonstrates expertise and professionalism.
Ross also talks about the ‘flip-back’ comparison, referring to the process of flipping through a magazine or a website, but then returning or turning back one or two pages because a photograph really caught your attention. “I explain that this is what I want to do for them. I want their clients to turn back to their page and when they hear that, they see that I am trying to bring value to the relationship.
“Obviously I lose some clients because I am more expensive, but I live with the reality that you can’t win every job - or if you are, then there is something wrong with your costings!”
Ross Eason M.Photog., HLM is a commercial photographer in South East Queensland. He is an AIPP National Vice President and has been in business for over 30 years. www.easoncreative.com.au