By Ann K. Monteith, CPP, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, API Laying the…
by Nicole Begley
Selling photographic art starts long before you sit down with your client at the sales session. There are numerous steps throughout the process that help to cultivate the final sale and result in your studio’s ability to sell the products you hope to sell and to reach the sales averages that keep your business profitable.
- Signature Item – What do you want to sell? What is your signature product? If you don’t know the answer to that then it’s time to spend a little bit of time really reflecting on your business. Please do not just sell digital images because it’s easy. If you are selling them as part of a well-thought-out business plan and charging for them appropriately, then that is great. Pay attention to how you feel when you sell your digital files vs. a great album or piece of wall art. Are you happy to be selling your files for that price, or is there a little piece of you deep down inside that wishes they bought more or is concerned about how the client is going to print your work. That should give you some insight as to what your signature item should be.
- Website – Routinely selling your signature item starts well before that sales session; it starts with your website. All of the information that is sent out to the public should be consistent with attracting clients who want what you are selling. Do you love to sell wall art? Why not make an additional gallery featuring wall art designs? Instead of just blogging the images from your session, why not create another blog post with the final installed wall art? Are you more of an album lover? Create a page on your website detailing all of the incredible features that your signature album has, along with detailing how this purchase will positively affect your client. Talk about how albums and wall art become more treasured over time.
- Inquiry – Your potential client liked what they saw on your website so they inquire about a session. Return their inquiry with a phone call whenever possible. Ask about whom they would like to have photographed. Ask how they plan on displaying their images. Often, they haven’t thought about it. This is a perfect time to explain the details of your signature product. When you email your session information, highlight your signature product. A great way to do this is to create a digital pdf magazine that is rich in imagery and goes a bit more into detail of what to expect when booking a session than what is on your website. Don’t forget to include gorgeous images of your signature product!
- Pre-Session Consultation – This is really where the sale is made. If I’ve done my job well, I know exactly what the client is going to purchase when we go into the sales session. Ask for details about the space if designing wall art. Tailor your clothing and location discussions around the products that they will be purchasing. It’s ok to ASK how they want
to display their images and expect a fairly concrete answer at this point. They have your pricing, they are familiar with your business. Let them know that it’s important to have an idea of what the final products will be, as you will shoot the session differently for an album vs. one large piece of wall art. If they want wall art, do you need a single vertical image or multiple horizontal images? This is important information, and it helps to reinforce the sale and give the client time to visualize the final product.
- Session – Don’t be shy about casually mentioning how great these images will look in the album, etc. Let your client know they are doing a great job and their final product will be gorgeous.
- Sales Session – This should be the easy part! Start the sales session out by finalizing the details of the signature product that hopefully you have been talking about for the past several weeks. Once that is decided, it’s easy to add on the other purchases and have a quick, easy and profitable sales session.
- After the Sale – Don’t miss the opportunity to reassure the client that they made a great decision. Immediately after the sales session, take a few minutes and write a hand-written thank you note to your client, letting them know how gorgeous their new wall art will be in their home. Let them know that it will bring a smile to their face.
While it seems that it is getting more and more difficult to compete in the photography business, it’s actually much easier to stand apart from the crowd when you have a signature product. Continue to market your services and highlight your unique offerings, and you will find qualified clients excited to purchase more of exactly what you want to sell!
Interested in learning more about pricing, selling and everything else you need to know about pet photography? Registration is open now for Nicole’s Hair of the Dog Retreat is open now. Find out more information go to http://hairofthedogblog.com/pet-photography-workshop/.