Key Client Conversations

Guest: Jeff Dachowski

Co-Owner | Dachowski Photography
Bedford, New Hampshire

DATE: February 24, 2022

Nobody can do what you do, in quite the way you do it.

Take that in. Because it’s the truth. 

If more portrait photographers could internalize this truth there would be less fear and less weird behavior when dealing with clients.

Weird behavior like, shooting off a mile-long contract or multi-page price list to a client over email—with no context or perspective. 

What you really need to do is simply have a CONVERSATION!

In today’s episode, Jeff Dachowski, incoming president of PPA* and co-owner of Dachowski Photography, and I discuss some of the most common client complaints/mishaps, and how you can avoid almost all of them by:

  • Building relationships in the initial client phone call.
  • Not being afraid to bring up money early and often.
  • Being transparent and authentic throughout the entire sales process.  

I make Jeff roleplay a sticky client conversation with me (I get to be the client!🤗), and we discuss some encouraging statistics from the Gallup poll commissioned by PPA* that show how truly bright the future of the portrait photography industry is.

I know you’ll leave feeling wholly motivated and inspired to make some changes to the conversations you’re having with your own clients. 

*Professional Photographers of America 

Here’s a glance at this episode…

  • [01:45] An introduction to today’s guest, Jeff Dachowski, and what you can expect from today’s episode.  
  • [04:17] What Jeff sees as the ultimate goal of continuous improvement as a photographer. 
  • [06:02] Why Jeff’s studio doesn’t send contracts to clients.
  • [10:03] The information sheet that each client of Jeff’s receives during their initial consultation session. 
  • [13:46] What Jeff sends to clients instead of sending them a price list, and his reasoning behind this.  
  • [17:36] Why conversations are the key to getting the clients that you want. 
  • [19:25] The problematic approach that many photographers use when clients push back against their prices.  
  • [23:45] How Jeff builds relationships with his clients from the first conversation. 
  • [25:22] What to do if potential clients don’t have a clear “why” when they first approach you.
  • [29:39] The importance of being authentic during your client consultation sessions.
  • [32:01] Examples of how to make your clients feel comfortable and heard.  
  • [35:16] My approach to dealing with uninterested dads during a shoot.  
  • [36:31] Why you need to overcome your fear talking about money. 
  • [41:47] How Jeff addresses the topic of money for the first time with his clients. 
  • [44:26] Jeff and I roleplay a consultation discussion (with me as the client and him as the photographer). 
  • [53:39] Why it is irrelevant what other people think about your prices. 
  • [57:34] A major difference between luxury portrait photography and many other industries. 
  • [1:00:37] How to work out what you should be charging your clients.   
  • [1:02:01] Encouraging findings from recent research conducted on the photography industry by the Professional Photographers of America. 
  • [1:05:45] Proof that it is possible to create your dream life through portrait photography, no matter what anybody else tells you! 
  • [1:07:54] Some words of motivation for you to take away. 

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Do The ReWork
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Allison Tyler Jones
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Jeff Dachowski
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