Sometimes it can be difficult to predict the outcome of a business collaboration with someone. Clients come in many shapes and with many personalities and it’s often wise to avoid making assumptions. Many photographers and small business owners know this in theory but also find it hard not to assume anything about their customers before actually doing work for them.
Here are the five assumptions you should never make about any client.
They know what they need or what works for them
It is one of the most common mistakes. Clients rarely know exactly what they want, unless they are an advertising agency, in which case everything should be pretty clear. But the rest of the cases are clients how have an idea, often a vague one, that you to put into photographs.
You know exactly what the client needs
Unless you can read minds, in which case it is highly unlikely that are still a photographer, you cannot know for sure what somebody wants, even if they explain the idea in detail. You see it your way, they see it different. The general idea has to be the same, but that’s doesn’t mean that what you have in mind suits their needs exactly..
The client will be pleased with whatever you do
This is an assumption often made by photographers who deliver poor quality results and that have had less than ideal clients in the past. Assuming that your customer is uneducated in photography and that therefore you can get away with a lot of mistakes or less work done is first of all wrong, from a moral point of view. It’s also bad for business because even if you do get away with it one or two times, you’re still going to come across that one serious client who won’t accept your poor attitude. Be a pro, but a decent guy/girl in the first place and do a good job no matter who the client is or what they want.
The client understands whatever you explain
Some might even say they understand if you ask them, out of common sense. But to be on the safe side, it’s actually better to assume they won’t fully comprehend everything you have to say in the first place and prepare accordingly. You are the pro, so to you everything you say makes perfect sense. That’s not the same for your client who might have trouble when imagining the frame. Explain as if you would for a six year old. Not with the same gestures and faces of course.
They are satisfied
Don’t ever assume anything when it comes to this. If you don’t get any feedback, ask for it. If the client really is satisfied, he will say so. But if you don’t hear anything, you can never know for sure if you did a good job or not.