by Mary Fisk-Taylor, M. Photog., Cr., CPP, ABI, API This…
Intro by Skip Cohen
It’s the second part of Bryan Caporicci’s two-part post on pricing, but this one takes the opposite approach with six steps to make sure you’re NOT competing on the pricing of your products and services.
No matter how you strategize about the challenge of pricing, it’s an education process with the majority of the responsibility on you. Your work has to be exceptional, but you have to go beyond just your skill set. You have to create an experience for your client. This is about relationship building, not just marketing.
Most important of all, remember your main goal – exceed customer expectations and make yourself habit-forming.
Let’s get real specific here.
There is a 6 step process you must follow to successfully not compete on price in your photography business. This process happens twice for every client you book – once without your direct involvement, which I call the pre-inquiry process, and once with your direct involvement, which I call the inquiry process.
The first time through the process (the pre-inquiry process) is when the prospect is researching, looking at options, asking around, Googling you, visiting your website, reading testimonials, checking out your work, following you on social media, and so on. The second time through the process (the inquiry process) is once they inquire and then you are more directly involved in the process.
Whether you like it or not and whether you know it or not, this process is happening twice. When you aren’t intentionally optimizing this process, you’re leaving your bookings up to fate and based on conditions outside of your control. Be purposeful and design a business that is guaranteed to not only have a steady flow of inquiries, but also a steady stream of bookings, all of which are based on not competing on price.
The 6 steps are as follows:
Here are 31 ways to not compete on price, as it relates to these 6 steps.
Step #1 – Experience
- Have a killer website
- Respond quickly
- Create value up front
- Follow-up on inquiries
- Have a great studio and meeting space
- Give great service
Step #2 – Relationships
- Meet with them – don’t just give everything over the phone
- Develop a relationship and create a connection
- Make it about more than just the photography
- Connect on social media
Step #3 – Differentiate
- Make sure your photography is different and unique – why you?
- Be the best photographer you can possibly be
- Understand why you do what you do, and communicate that clearly
- Be memorable and have something remarkably different to offer
Step #4 – Proof
- Show Testimonials
- Encourage referrals
- Build credibility
- Utilize social proof through social media
- Get on referral lists
- Blog often – success breeds success
- Seek positive PR opportunities – be seen as the expert
- Win awards and be proud to show them off
- Show behind-the-scenes photos and/or videos of you working
Step #5 – Expectations
- Exceed expectations at every point
- Set boundaries and policies
- Educate your prospects and potential clients
Step #6 – Language
- Tell stories
- Have options
- Don’t discount – EVER
- Be confident
- Be professional