As a new business owner, your mind is filled with every last detail of your business. And with so much to learn, you probably don’t spend a lot of time mastering each piece. In many aspects, that comes along the way.
So you jump right in and do things as they happen. When a prospect comes in, you have an honest conversation. You tell them your opinions, your attitudes, and how you really feel. You ask questions and provide the answers you think you would like to hear? What’s wrong with that?
Yet in sales, if you ask the wrong questions, you may not only turn a prospect away, you may alienate future customers as well. Here’s why.
Smart questions build up the relationship you are forming with a prospect. Dumb questions fill a customer with doubt and self-questioning.
Smart questions make a prospect think about the answer and how you fit into it. Dumb questions leave everything open, guaranteeing they will turn to someone else for solid answers.
Here are the dumbest questions you can use to bring in photography clients and why they are dumb.
What do you want to spend? This is allowing them to focus on their own pre-set pricing structure without understanding what you have to offer.
How can I change this package? If you’ve thought about your packages and spent time putting them together, they should benefit the majority of your clients that would move forward with the package. By offering to change a package, you’re admitting its not well thought out and put together.
What are the other photographers you are looking at charging? Never, ever price shop through your clients and prospects. If you want to know what someone else charges, call them or shop their websites. Don’t use your customers.
Can I provide you with a quote? A quote says you are unsure of your pricing. A pricing structure says you are prepared for everything. You should be able to chat with a customer, understand their needs, and point them immediately to the right “package” for them.
What would it take for you to sign a contract today? This is a used car salesperson tactic. Getting people to sign today says you are desperate. If you let them choose on their own time frame – with no guarantees the date will be available tomorrow – it allows them to make a decision knowing your policies are strong and in place.
Would you be willing to try us at a reduced fee? For large contracts, you may decide its easier to get your foot in the door today, build the relationship, and charge more later. Yet the minute you cut prices, your client will demand those low prices from that point forward. Or they will find someone else willing to cut prices too.
Do you see a pattern in these questions? You should. Every one of them puts doubt in your sales presentation. It shows that you are unsure of what you provide, how your answers hold through within the photographic community, and whether you are truly sure of how your business is being run.
If you take one message from this post its this. Create a sales strategy and stick with it.
Don’t let your clients change your position – ever. If you begin to doubt a price or a service, change it without a client in the room. Then use your new strategy for the next client that walks in.
The biggest reason people fail at sales is because of doubt. If you stay strong and believe in what you do and how you sell it, you will succeed.