In Person Sales Tips for Photographers
In person sales can be a true nerve-inducing, sweat-producing, full on panic situation. I get it. But what if you set yourself up for success ahead of time so that all your fears can just melt away? Let’s give it a try…
Educate your client before, during , after the in person sales session.
This is by all means the number one best piece of advice I can give you. This will, hands down, give you the best opportunity at making the most money you can make in any in person sales situation. Your pricing should be made very clear from the very first time a potential client contacts you. This doesn’t mean you need to send a 3-page itemized list of everything you sell and every price for everything you sell, but it does mean you have to give them a starting point.
In my guide, I include the most important information about pricing: my 3 main top tier products and their starting prices. The reason behind this is so they can now figure out if the starting prices are scary for them, and if they are, then they immediately know I’m not a good fit for them. Also included is the fact that while I do offer lower-priced companion products, they are only accessible with the purchase of one of my top tier products. They need to know I offer a variety of products, but again, they have a full understanding of what the bare minimum costs will be. One of the worst things you can do is have your client showing up and planning on buying a $200 product, only to be told they will have to first buy a much higher-priced product first. I also go over my digital image pricing, since this is just about the most frequently asked question I get. If you educate your client from the very beginning, then they know what to expect. Clients receive my full list of products, pricing, upgrades and all the tidbit information after their session and before their Reveal. That way, there are no surprises. They come with the full understanding of what I offer and what it all costs.
Offer suggestions in your guide.
Most women have never done this so it helps them when you tell them what most women seem to buy from you. And listen, don’t be afraid to embellish this a bit. Part of in person sales is selling, so encouraging women to buy what you want them to buy is part of the process. In my studio, almost every woman buys an album and printing/publishing rights to their digital photos. But I always tell my clients that my number one combo that most women buy is an album, the rights to their photos and a gift for themselves (if this is a gift for a significant other). If the session is just for them and there is no intended recipient of the photos/products, I tell them that my number one combo is still those 3 items but I sell the 3rd item as something they can toss in their purse that they can whip out anytime to make friends jelly. Yes—this works!
Let the in person sales guide sell for you.
If you think you’ll get nervous, have it all down on paper, including your “best sellers” and “best combos”. Also, have on your own paper some sweet little deals you’re willing to give if they’re sitting on the fence. Then you don’t even have to be a quick thinker! If you already know that you’re willing to offer them a gift product, or a 5% discount if they spend so much then you don’t have to think fast and come up with something. I’ve done that before and really cheated myself. In any case, you can never be too prepared.
Know your comfort pricing, and then add to it.
Listen, you won’t be able to sell what you don’t believe in, but you also have to make money. Remember: your products aren’t just products. Your products are going to outlive your clients. They will hopefully be passed down in the family and will be a part of her legacy. She will not only have them for life, but every time she looks at them, she also gets to be transported back to that very day. Don’t underestimate the value of all of this. And let me ask you a question: do you think Picasso sold his paintings for the price of the canvas, paint and brushes?? There is so much value in what you do. Charge for it. At a minimum, you should be adding up the cost of the product, tax and shipping, then multiplying that by 3. That’s the minimum. Realistically, it should be times 5, but I know this makes some photographers nervous. I actually multiply mine by 7 or 8 and I know I’m worth it. Yes, oh my yes, this took me so long to get here. But remember this: nothing is permanent. You can change your mind a dozen times in a month. Try increasing your pricing and give it 3 months. Yes, 3 months. Anything less and it’s just your nerves playing with you. If you’re not selling the way you think you should, back it down a bit. There are no rules and only you know what you’re comfortable with. Just remember: this is a business and you need to make money or you will burn out and give up.
Get them drunk.
No, I’m just kidding…sort of. Definitely set up your space, wherever it is, to be aesthetically pleasing and easy to maneuver while looking at your products. I don’t know if you know this, but most women like to shop. No, it’s not a news flash. So make it an experience for them. There’s a reason Anthropologie invested millions of dollars into researching the best aesthetics that encourage an experience that promotes buying. It works and I can tell you this: if the in person sales process isn’t planned, well-laid out, easy to understand and pleasant, you will almost always get a NO. People will not part with money if they are confused. Make their Reveal a part of their experience by lighting a candle, have slow music on, maybe some chocolates and champagne or wine. We love being pampered and made to feel special. Use this to your advantage.
The last and final (kind of bonus) tip I’ll give you to think about is this: if you were having this experience, what would you want it to be? What would impress you, make you feel special and leave you feeling so damn good? Whatever that is, do it for your clients. I promise you won’t regret it.