How to not be a jerk!

Sometimes what to write about is delivered straight to your front door. In this case a salesman. Watch how antiquated and inflexible procedures can ruin a sale. What will your take away be from this story for your business? Are your procedures killing your leads?


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  1. Mark M says

    It’s a little tough to tell what’s going on by your description. But it reminds me a bit of interactions I (and probably many photographers) have with potential clients.

    It goes like this:
    1. Phone rings, it’s a potential customer.
    2. They say they want to revamp their website and need new photos.
    3. They ask: how much will it cost?

    Whoa, back up. I have no idea what the scope of work is without taking a long look at what you’re trying to do. Well, they haven’t thought about it and just want an estimate. I can’t help them unless they are willing to think about what they’re trying to accomplish first.

    From your description, it’s not clear what the ‘dog and pony show’ really is. To me, it sounds like they wanted to do a pretty thorough inspection before they quoted the work and you just wanted a number based on the salesperson’s initial impression. It’s not entirely clear who was being unreasonable here. It’s a risky business practice to quote work without all the available information and sometimes getting that information takes more than fifteen minutes.

  2. Beate says

    Great points Mark. They sent someone to my home who rang at the door. We looked at the project together. We went over what I wanted. I showed him and he took lots of notes. It was my expectation that I would receive a quote based on that. However they use this as a ‘prospect validation’ and still wanted to send people out to discuss the work with me. I said: “It is an outside wall, not much to it.” My point here is that we need to listen to our customers and design processes that make sense. If our customer is clear about how they want that process to work we must work within their parameters and not insist that they abide to our rules.