I've often wonder what makes a client choose which photographer to go with.
It drives me crazy when I meet with a potential client for a wedding booking and they seem interested, only to have them end up not booking. I never get a reason why. I have the urge to send a survey asking what made them decide to go elsewhere. But, then at the same time, I'm scared to find out why. I'm afraid that they might say something that will hurt my feelings, or I even let my imagination go crazy to think that they may have not hired me because they didn't like my hairstyle. I know that's ridiculous.
I think most of us photographers are very sensitive creative individuals. We take things personally when we shouldn't and it's enough to ruin our day (or week) when a potential client goes with someone else.
One thing we have to tell ourselves is that it's probably not because of our work.
Now, repeat that out loud to yourself.
It's not because of my work!
Most people cannot decipher a good photo from a bad one. Most don't even know what they want. It's your job to educate them. It does not matter how beautiful your images are on your website. With all that competition out there these days, it's even more confusing for people to choose where to go for photos. Thus, many simply look for the cheapest.
So, how do you convince someone to pick you over a cheaper photographer?
Sell the experience
I know you've probably heard this before, but it's true. Letting them know that going with you will create an experience that ends in a memory that is documented on quality products, it lets them decide with their heart. Giving them a reason to think you are worth it (because you are) let's them not think about the price.
Part of selling is to also show why your product is better and worth the extra expense. Explain that, while there are cheaper photographers, you value their memories to have them printed on quality paper/products that will last longer over the years. How important are those memories to risk losing them to poor quality documentation?!
Create a "friendship"
When we shoot a wedding, we feel like we've made new friends and I get hugs and tears when I hand the bride over her products afterwards. I created a memory for them during their experience that we were a part of. She feels like (This also creates word-of-mouth recommendation-a whole other post!)
So, when you are consulting with someone about your services, don't just show your work. Talk about it and how you help create a lasting memory for your past clients-not just a photo on paper.