After you’ve spent an hour with a potential client showing them your work and talking straight from the heart, watching them walk out the door knowing they will never book can be very difficult.
Being good at photography isn’t enough. You also have to be great at selling.
1. Be confident.
The more comfortable you are with your products and services, the easier it is to sell. Set your packages up for your own goals and needs. Understand exactly why things are placed together, why timing is important, and why you’ve selected the materials you have. Then stick to your guns. Don’t allow changes and switches unless you know exactly how they impact your profit margin. Always have them go to your ala carte pricing – which should be more expensive than your packages – if they want to make changes.
2. Don’t react.
The most common way to react to a customers questions and comments at the end of your sales presentation is to give in to their doubts, and start making counteroffers. Yet this is the worst thing you can do. Let them talk it through, especially if there are two or more in your studio. Repeat your sales points, and stick up for your pricing. Don’t make adjustments – adjustments before they book with you mean you’ll be willing to change things throughout the process.
3.Make a change.
It’s okay to make another offer if you can see they just aren’t getting the first one you make. Let me give you an example.
At one point, we had a potential customer come in who we knew really wanted to use our services. But they new they couldn’t afford us, and nothing was going to change that. Seeing their reservations, we made a few new offers. We set up a gift registry program for them to allow friends and family to contribute towards their final wedding album. And we offered a payment plan to help them create the wedding album of their dreams, yet gave them more time to make payments towards it even after the big day.
4. Know their no’s.
Every client comes in with a list of no’s. “It’s too expensive.” “I have to check with ____.” “I have to think about it.” These are out’s, or ways that they can leave your studio without having to make a decision, and still feel good about it. Over time, you learn their no’s, and should watch for ways to disarm them before they even come in.
For example, one way to disarm the out of “I have to check with ____.” is to always make sure all the decision makers are in on the initial meeting. If Mom will be writing the check for the wedding photographs, make sure she’s in the meeting.
5. Make it easy to say yes.
Make the entire process easy. The less they have to think about, the more willing your customers will be to say yes. And don’t give too many options.
If you’ve ever been around a two year old, you know the worst thing you can do is give them unlimited selection. “Would you like to wear this sweater or that one?” is the best approach to take. It’s the same way with your clients. “Would you prefer package A or package B?”
Helping them make tiny selections throughout your sales process allows them to reach a final yes at the end much easier.