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What do YOU want to do better?

October 29, 2007

Working at PhotoPlus Expo last week, I had the pleasure of working with Ashley, one of the PR folks who I don’t often get to spend time with.  Ashley has quite a strong work ethic, and was in the booth working it for most of the show.  She, unlike me, never had to take a “moment” at the end of the aisle and get off her aching feet.  I’d like to add in my defense that she’s younger than me, but you probably guessed that.

Anyhow, Ashley told me her “sales pitch” to customers coming in the booth looking at our books was “What do you want to do better?”  Not only did she serve to engage the customer in a dialog (most of these attendees were die hard NYers, who don’t dialog unless forced to) but she immediately connected them with a promise for our books.  Most of them said they wanted to take better pictures – often of their kids, or of scenery on an upcoming trip. 

It got me thinking.  Shouldn’t that be a promise fulfilled of any of our books?  That you want to do something better, and we show you a way to do that?  It’s simplicity defined, but I cannot count how many times I’ve evaluated a book project or picked up a new title and haven’t immediately been able to articulate how the book was going to help someone do something better.  If I can’t figure it out, the customer probably won’t be able to either.  It’s got to be at the root of every sales pitch, every proposal.  It’s the reason that we do what we do, and it’s going to be a mantra of mine for some time to come. 

I for one want to do a lot of things better.  I want to take better pictures of my kids.   When Little IT turned one, my co-worker/good friend’s husband came to our house to take portraits of her.  I was a little wary, since his primary profession at the time was tabloid paparazzi.  In spite of that, or maybe because of that, his pictures were fun, moving, whimsical and utterly endearing.  One shot of her in front of a blue/pink muslin background hangs as a 30 x 40 print in my bedroom.  I want to be able to do a print of similar quality of IT Boy.  I have access to the equipment, now I need the knowledge.  I’ve got the new Photoworkshop books on my bedside, so it’s time to get cracking. 

So I ask you – what is it that you want to do better, and how are you going to do it?

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