Thursday, July 09, 2009

Business ay Thursday: Appointment Nirvana

Good morning everybody,

We are pretty much back to normal (whatever normal is) around here today. Blogs are going up on time, I'm getting caught up on all my editing for Kelby Media, and I'm ready for my sunset portrait session this evening.

Let get right to today's edition of Business Day Thursday...

Appointment Nirvana

Last week I was thrilled to share with you some new technologies in setting up real-time meetings/appointments with clients who are out of town.  Anyway, since last week I have had many ideas pop into my mind about how we can extend the functionality of this new technology in communicating and collaborating with our clients. Let me share with you what I've been thinking about in the last week.

My Top 8 Suggestions For Using Remote Communications With Your Clients

Old Phone - iStock_000004095189XSmall1. Meeting Prospective clients in "real time" - Now instead of just talking with them over the phone we can now make this initial customer experience a "sizzle". Call them back using our remote communications software for example "GoToMeeting". We can now walk them through our images, all our album designs, and a few of our product suggestions. We have “broken the mold” and placed ourselves on the cutting edge - far ahead of our competitors, for the initial phone conversation in communicating our photography, products and services to these perspective clients.

2. Clothing conferences with portrait and high school senior clients - I mentioned in our earlier Portrait Day Wednesday series post about the importance of a clothing conference with the client [link]. Once again, we can handle this simply with our remote communications software. The client now has first-hand experience on what it takes to get a great looking family portrait. Without making that trip to the studio.

3. Quick proofing meeting with commercial clients - Got to get some quick proof images to your commercial clients so they can meet a deadline? Phone calls and e-mailing don't hold a candle to the kind of real-time meeting we can put together with our remote communications software. Once again we can meet with our client in real time, get the decisions made, and get the images fired off to them in little to no time.

Monitor w-Dollar iStock_000002924519XSmall4. Image presentation to bride and groom, bride's parents, and groom's parents, grandmother, aunts and uncles, etc anywhere in the world. One of the biggest objections I hear from clients about our projection appointments is the fact that the parents are from out of town. That no longer has to be a problem with the new way we are doing business at Ziser Photography. Now, with our clients sitting in our studio, we can have their moms' and dads' be part of the presentation regardless of what city they reside. With a good microphone attached to the computer, everyone living anywhere can be part of the conversation. What "sizzle" that adds to the client experience.

5. Album review - Have a client that wants to review your album design before it finally goes off for final binding to the bookbinder? This is now super easy to do with the remote communications technologies at her fingertips. Let's take this another step. Many photographers are just shooting and then burning their images onto disks. Wouldn't it behoove these photographers to quickly design an album for their clients so that they can easily see how beautiful the finished album lays out?  Not a bad way to get the client's mind off of a disk of images and onto a wonderful collection of beautiful images she can easily share with family and friends. I think the doors of opportunity swing open wide in this application.

6. Go Green - John Calvin, one of our DPT readers even mentioned that now you can "go green" with your clients. He had mentioned the remote communications software that his company uses actually shows the client's gas savings on the "dashboard" of the remote    communications software. Pretty cool!

7. Create products like B&W’s, albums, and frames part of your remote presentation. Take your products visually, via your remote communications application, to your client since your client can't come to you. It's so easy to put your products and services before your clients’ eyes.  Just add the JPEGS of your best sellers to your presentation.  Even though your clients are not sitting in your studio , it’s still easy to preview several of your other products like frames, albums, treasure boxes or any other image products you feature in your studio.

Happy young man using laptop on beach8. Vacation appointments - And lastly and probably the best reason of all. Now you can be on vacation in Honolulu and still meeting with your hometown client. Heck, maybe now you can be on vacation more often than ever before and still get a little work done from the beach;~)

Hey gang, you probably have some good ideas I’ve not even thought of. Why not share them with our other DPT readers by adding them to the comments section below.  I have to tell you, I've never been this fired up about anything before. Good communications improves sales and customer service and now we have about the best and most efficient way of accomplishing just that.

On that note gang, I'm out of here. Plan to stop by again tomorrow for Soap Box Friday. It promises to be another scintillating post. See you then, -- David.


  1. What about for meetings? they are less expensive and might be easier for the client to use any one have experience?

  2. There are bound to be some hang ups with your choice of remote communications software.
    Such as having part of the group at your office and another part over the internet; then disaster strikes and GoToMeeting's server is down.

    With that said I think that if you might want to have a contingency plan in effect and ready to go (installation and kinks worked out with a free version of a similar software).

    While I have no immediate plans to use this technology i think its intriguing and would be very impressive to any clients.
    But how embarrassing would it be to set up said meeting and then everything falls apart at the last minute.

    Just my two cents.

    Great post and great ideas...

  3. I was thinking it might be a good idea to just offer it as an additional service. Maybe try it with reorders first? Offer a discount to try it out. Most customers understand when you make it clear that you are trying a new service and would like to let them in a great new ordering process.

  4. could you pleas let us know what kind of software you use for those remote presentation? I already have in mind a features that it must have. Please enlighten us