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Meeting Expectations You Didn’t Know Existed- Part 2

Part 2: Getting the First Exposure

How do you react to clients who have expectations that you are not aware of or expectations that you feel are unreasonable? Where do clients get these expectations?

In my last blog post, I addressed that these expectations come from 4 different sources:

– The market norm
– The first exposure to the type of product or service you offer
– Confusion caused by your business’ complicated structures
– Poor communication between you and the client

In the last post, we took a look at Contending with The Market Norm. Today we will look at the second source: First Exposure.

First Exposure:

When a consumer has limited knowledge about a product, the first information they receive about that product often becomes their expectation for their purchase.

Example: A mother books you for her family portrait session. She doesn’t ask for many details as she values her friend’s recommendation of you and loves your work. Last year she booked a photographer for the first time. She is working with you this year since she was less than thrilled about the photos she received from the other photographer, “even though the price was really good.” What you do not know is last year’s photographer provided unlimited time, outfit changes, and went all over town to different location. You offer a two hour session with two outfit changes in only one area of town. The client is surprised since you haven’t met her expectations and she’s disappointed in your business.

The obvious fix is to be the first business someone meets with. Then, you get to set the expectations! However, it’s typical that a potential client has already been exposed to photography services similar to yours. Education is the important factor here. Be sure to throughly communicate the key aspects of your business: why you do it, how you do it, and what you do.

Since it’s critical to be the first business a client meets with, how can you obtain this important position? In his book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek explains in detail that if you “start with why” you do what you do, you will stand out from others and create loyalty amongst your clients. Since most businesses tend to sell themselves on what they do and how they do it, if you educate your potential clients about WHY you do what you do, you have a better chance of being the “first exposure” since you are giving new information to the potential client. Thus, you’ll set the expectations.

Some thoughts for you to share with me:

  • What hurdles have you faced when another photographer was the client’s “First Exposure” and set the expectation?
  • How have you resolved contending with the concept of “First Exposure”?
  • Can you communicate to your potential clients WHY you do what you do?


About the Author

Peter Carlson’s outgoing, laid back, quirky personality is the main reason both brides and photographers love working with him. Through photography, he and his wife Whitney focus on the unique personalities of every couple as well as the joy and happy emotions that are felt on each wedding day. Photographers find their classes fun, inspirational, and easy to implement. Peter & Whitney run their own studio, Dove Wedding Photography, as well as The Collection and The Nashville Photography Class.

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!