Listen and ask questions to better understand your client's needs. I don't normally meet my clients in person before a portrait session but I always make time to have a phone conversation when we can discuss all the details regarding a portrait session and I can answer any questions they may have.
2. Set expectations
If expectations are set from the get go there is no room for disappointment later. I talk about the length of the session. Most my clients are working professionals and I need to make sure that they can dedicate the time that is necessary to produce quality work. I ask them about what are they planning to wear, I make suggestions if needed and I ask them to bring options. I make sure that clients take a look at my portfolio before they hire me so I know that they like the way I photograph people. Not all clients are my clients and I learnt that on a hard way.
3. What is your client want to convey through his/her image?
Most of my head shot clients come to me to be photographed for two reasons. They either want a fresh image for work or they looking to have a more casual shot for their friends and families. To me as a photographer the answers to those questions will determine mood, wardrobe,posing, lighting and expression.
4. Have your client participate in image selection
It took me a while to realize that the images I like of my clients may not be the same as the ones they like of themselves. I am looking for portfolio images to advertise my services while they are choosing images based on very personal reasons. Therefore I make sure that my clients can choose the image what they think the best represent themselves.
5. Under promise, over deliver
Always discuss turn around time. I tell my clients that I normally need two weeks but I rarely need that much time. Most of the time I have their images retouched in the gallery within 3 days after the shoot. This way they are pleseantly surprised and in case I still have a 2 week period to deliver without disappointing my clients.