Is your dad’s brand still up? Is he still working?
Harry Uy’s dad is still very much active in the photography business. This is because his father’s brand is his name. As long as people know that he still provides these services, he will always get clients. His only problem was his rates.
Were there any clients of his that transitioned to you? How did you handle that?
Those that successfully transitioned to become Harry’s clients were mainly the children of his father’s clients. His father’s actual clients can’t transition to Harry mainly because Reality Box is fairly more expensive.
Expectations can also have a huge influence. Bear in mind that Photography is a tricky service and product. Part of it is the coverage of the event, and the main product is in the form of photographs. Some clients of Harry’s father don’t appreciate the process—oftentimes focusing more on the value of the raw material instead of the practice.
How do you fire your clients?
A good thing about the service industry is that they work based on a calendar. Clients will have to book them for a specific date. Harry’s way of firing a client is to pose as being booked for specific dates. Whatever date that particular client chose, Harry will say that they’re unavailable.
This stems from his past experiences of working with these clients. When he sees that that client doesn’t understand the worth of their services, they will not hesitate to fire them.
Another approach that Harry uses is termed as “presyong ayaw”. Basically, it means they give a quote that is too expensive for that client. This way, the rejection will not come from Harry but from the client themselves.
Were the clients that came from your father a big part of your journey in a growing reality box?
The clients that transitioned from Harry’s father didn’t have a big influence in the growth of Reality Box. Most of them have already been accustomed to lowballing prices and over expecting service.
For Harry, word of mouth was still the most effective marketing and referral tool. His first few clients were his friends which then referred them to other people.
Like what Jack Ma said, most of your clients are strangers who just trusted you. In Harry’s case, the strangers were his friends who trusted him enough to risk paying for their services even without seeing a portfolio.
In fact, to get their own portfolio, Harry had to hitch on his father’s wedding shoots and prenup shoots for free. They used that opportunity to collect as much as they could and make their own portfolio.
Harry will never forget the first couple who paid them for their services because initially, they didn’t have any kind of portfolio.