1. Business

How Flexibility Can Hurt Your Business

Intro by Skip Cohen

There’s so much great content in Nicole Begley’s archives, and today’s post is a perfect example. So often photographers want to be as flexible as they can be, especially in bringing in new clients. There’s nothing wrong in being accommodating, but to Nicole’s point, there’s something to be said about highlighting the demand for your work, even when it’s slightly inflated.

This falls under the same umbrella as photographers who like to show clients how well they understand PhotoShop, Luminar, and Lightroom. A client only sees that it took minutes to fix a problem in an image and never realize the years of practice it took to understand the process. In the end, they lose all appreciation for that aspect of a photographer’s skill set.

I love this post from Nicole because it touches on one aspect of the psychology of business, and while you don’t always have to play hard to get, be careful to make sure you’re not too available.

By Nicole Begley

This past spring we were in the market for an orthodontist for my daughter.  There is one orthodontist that was HIGHLY recommended and it seemed that every single student at my daughter’s elementary school goes there.  I called for an appointment and received one 6 weeks out.  EVERY. SINGLE. STUDENT.

This place is in demand I thought and they were highly recommended so that made sense. 

I then called the other orthodontist, which I learned about from an article in a community magazine in which she was discussing the common overuse of expanders in today’s orthodontic treatments.  This piqued my interest as expanders weren’t something that we had many moons ago when I had my braces, and quite frankly, hearing how my friends had to turn the crank to expand the expander in their child’s mouth every day sounded downright dreadful.  So, I thought…let’s talk to this place too.

I called and they were super nice on the phone, but then this happened….

Them:  “Would you like me to schedule you for a consult?”

Me:  “Yes, please.  That would be great.  When do you have availability?”

Them:  “Well, when is it convenient for you?  We have openings on Thursday and Friday this week.”

Mind you it was Tuesday.  Red flags started screaming at me.  Why do they have so much availability?  How is there an opening THIS WEEK when with the other practice I have to wait 6 weeks?  No one must go here!  I don’t have any recommendations for this practice.   

Maybe I shouldn’t even go in for the consult.

That’s right.  I almost scratched it all together, but I did schedule a consult for the following week.  However, even driving to the appointment I was thinking that we probably aren’t going to use them.

I was still too freaked out by their open calendar! 

Long story short….we did use them.  Only because they redeemed their open schedule by amazing customer service, a much more gentle treatment plan, and the doctor herself calling us back to discuss questions that we had about the differences in recommended treatment from both practices.

The moral of the story for you? 

Even if your schedule is WIDE open….do NOT let your client know. They will wonder why your schedule is so open.

I offer prospective clients 2-3 dates….at least 3 weeks in the future…or more if it’s busy season.  The ONLY time I ever squeeze in a last-minute appointment is when someone calls with a sick pet.  I know it can be tempting to try to squeeze some last-minute sessions in when your calendar is bare, but it can have unintended consequences.