“Photography Sales Secrets: Why SELL is not a Dirty Word”
There is grey area in between being an artist and being a creative entrepreneur. Nestled in the middle of that grey area is a shared aversion toward “selling”. So often, photographers think that selling is synonymous with manipulating. But a solid understanding of the science of sales can help you increase your profits, your bookings, and your photography sales!
In a perfect world, your dream clients would find you, book sessions, and would always buy enough for you to be profitable. Right? If they see your beautiful images, won’t they just buy them without us doing anything?
As it turns out, no. An understanding of how to sell can be a huge benefit. Selling skills can be learned and honed, just like photography. Here are some secrets on how to sell confidently – without feeling pushy.
What People Really Buy
In the book, “How to Win Customers and Keep them for Life,” Michael LeBoeuf shares that people only buy two things: solutions to problems and good feelings.
Is it really that simple? Take a common example: you don’t need to buy a quarter-inch drill bit if you don’t need a quarter-inch hole. If you boil down peoples’ motivations for buying, it is so simple! The main thing your customers want is to feel wonderful and know that you can solve their problems.
Finding the right wedding photographer is a big decision. You might not immediately consider it a problem, but to a bride it is! A mother could be searching for a photographer to capture the birth of her miracle baby. Maybe a family is having a reunion in the Colorado Rockies because Great-Grandma is too ill to fly and needs a photographer in the area. There are so many problems you can solve. Check out “5 Blog Topics from a Bride” where we talk about five problems you can easily solve for your brides.
You have the ability early on to establish your authority through your content, even before you meet your customers. Here are some ideas to consider:
- What good feelings and solutions do you provide to your customers?
- How do you make your customers feel great?
- How can you let your customers know you can solve their problems?
Your blog and your website are easy places to help your customers see how you can solve their problems. There’s no better way to illustrate your expertise, showcase your skills, and demonstrate how you are a solution than by sharing your amazing images!
And those good feelings? Well, when you capture your customers’ priceless memories in stunning images they can cherish for years to come, your customers will feel that every time they see the image.
As photographers and small business owners, your job is to capture amazing images. So the question becomes, why does a customer decide to choose you as their photographer? Having an understanding of WHY people ultimately buy can help you increase your photography sales.
We talked about how people buy good feelings and solutions to problems, but WHY they buy is linked to one key word:
As bestselling author, Bob Burg has famously said,
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.”
So, how do you get customers to trust you? Here are a few ways to build rapport with your clients and start building trust.
- Be genuine, prompt, and courteous.
- Curate content your target customers will love.
- Make it easy for customers to find you.
At a Meeting:
- Ask Open-Ended Questions.
- Listen. Really, listen.
- Take notes.
Always strive to keep your conversations natural and easy. Chat about things that come up which relate to business, but make sure you can relate back to business. Again – we want to build TRUST so that the customer realizes you are the PERFECT photographer for her special event.
By taking the time to find out your customer’s needs, wants, and desires, you are illustrating that you care. By understanding how to please your customer, you’ll be pleased by the bookings and sales that result!
Shift your Mindset
We’ve all heard it in the stores. You’ve probably said it at some point while shopping. You are approached by a salesperson and without even realizing it, we dismiss them with an “I’m just looking.” Why does this happen? The phenomenon is called, ‘customer resistance’. This resistance has been built up with previous shopping experiences. We intrinsically wield the “I’m just looking” to get space from the yucky salesperson.
But have you ever noticed that when we are really excited about something we’ve acquired, we take credit for the purchase?
“Check out this new camera I bought!”
“Look at the new software I downloaded!”
However; the inverse is true when we regret a bad purchasing decision. We tend to distance ourselves from those bad purchases by turning it around. I didn’t buy it…. They sold me.
“They SOLD ME this extended warranty that I can’t use.”
“That salesman SOLD ME this lemon of a car.”
“They SOLD ME this computer and it crashed within two weeks.”
People love to buy, but they hate to be sold. Instead of worrying about selling, focus on helping your customers to buy.
Whether you are a wedding photographer, family photographer, newborn photographer, or boudoir photographer, shift your mindset. If you aren’t comfortable selling, help guide your customers to the right package and the right price.
When discussing albums, prints, and options, think of it as educating and guiding your customers. If you already have built a solid rapport and a foundation of trust, your customer will appreciate your knowledge and trust your expertise.
Be the Expert
The key to a good demonstration is being the expert they expect. There’s nothing more frustrating than shopping only to find that you finally found what you’re looking for, but can’t get any information about it. It is so important that you are familiar with your product and pricing. You need to be able to provide your customer with prompt and accurate information. Be confident in your pricing strategy as well as the products and services you offer.
If you need help with your pricing strategy, check out The Keys to Pricing for Wedding Photographers from ShootDotEdit.
Keep in Mind
Remember – every customer is unique, just like every photograph is unique. When you make a positive impression on your customer, you may very well make a customer for life. By making your customers feel like they are important, solving their problems and earning their trust, your photography sales will increase: not just from bookings, but also from referrals.
If you need help crafting content that solves problems, let us solve that problem for you! We are passionate about writing relevant content. Contact us today!