In 2010, I was attending a photography workshop in New Jersey, and one of the guest speakers said something that applies to almost any other discipline, and that has stayed with me for all these years. By the time of the workshop, this particular speaker was an accomplished professional. He was telling the audience, that it haven’t been that way always, and here is what he said: “I made sure that every person that I worked with felt that, if I may not have been the best photographer, I sure was the nicest one”.
This little phrase about his attitude packs a lot. First, there is the basic fact that right there, when engaging with a client, there is not much that can be done to improve on your “technique” or your “skills”. Sure, there will always be some learning, and the engagement will add to your experience, but as for the client, it will be highly unlikely that they’ll notice it, after all, they are hiring you for what you are, not what you’ll become. But, we sure can influence a lot the way the current interaction goes, by being “nice”. That doesn’t mean that we do whatever the client wants, it is more about guiding them through the process and lift up the mood.
Second and more importantly, it comes down to the most basic thing in business. People do business with people, and they will always choose, hands-down, the one person that they feel the best doing business with. The one that they can trust, the one that’s fun.
Be that person, you’ll have time to become the best.