1. Business

Selling is an ART, not a SCIENCE

Intro by Skip Cohen

People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.
Seth Godin

I’m on Bev Walden’s mailing list, and her regular “Tuesday Tidbits” emails never let me down. There are so many misconceptions out there with small business owners, thinking they know how to sell. They’ve done all their reading, followed key writers and educators and are always looking for the right angle – the science behind successful selling.

Well, the truth is, there is no science – it’s all about sharing what’s in your heart. To Seth Godin’s point in his quote, you’ve got to make them want what you’re selling. And for many of you now, in the pandemic, you’re panic-stricken and worried about the drop, in business. As a result, many of you are selling too hard, over-selling and confusing your target audience.

Bev does a great job of sharing three concepts in sales, but just remember one thing – you can’t create images that tug at people’s heartstrings if your own heart isn’t in it!

By Beverly Walden

As much as we love photography and work on improving our skills, so also must you be great salespeople and work on improving your skills!

Until you love and have a passion for sales, you may be coming in under your potential and you risk losing your business.

If there is no sale, there is no business! It is not sleazy and it is definitely not for the faint at heart, but it can become a passion just like photography is a passion.

Below are THREE of our top WRONG versus RIGHT thinking about sales today!

#1: WRONG: If I am a great photographer, my work will sell itself so I will simply post the images online and let my clients order over the internet.

#1: RIGHT: Of course, great photography makes it easier to sell, but what we have seen over the years is that it still takes a great salesperson to reach the potential from each sale.

You are leaving money on the table if you are not doing in-person sales. Clients want to be directed as to what to purchase. Be the pro your clients expect you to be. Suggest what you think are the best images and what size they will look the best. You are the expert. Clients value your opinion and will listen to you. Your presence is vital to every sale.

Thinking ahead: I take notes during every sale as to what might be a great reason to contact them for the next sale such as:

*Are they expecting a new baby? Perfect for a maternity or newborn portrait.
*New house? Perfect to come for a visit to help them figure out where to hang portraits they may already have or scope out places for new portraits.
*Friends, they mention that may want a Walden portrait? Get as much information as possible and their permission to contact that friend.
*Any of their children at a Milestone age (per Your Life In Portraits)? Let’s go ahead and schedule an appointment.

Sales numbers and future opportunities are severely limited if you are not doing in-person sales!

#2: WRONG: Your clients will remember to call and book their next session at exactly the right time without your influence.

#2: RIGHT: Your clients will get busy with their lives and will need to be reminded and possibly educated as to the right time for their next portrait.

Yes, part of sales is looking to the future and thinking about the next appointment. At the end of the sale, don’t forget to suggest future sessions and get them on the books if you can. Walk them through your galleries and point out what might be a great “next portrait!”

That is why we separate our galleries into Relationship Black and White portraits, Color Studies and Beau Visage Mixed Media paintings.

#3: WRONG: I need to share every size, every image taken (no narrowing down), every surface texture available, every __________ so my client is completely informed of EVERY SINGLE THING WE OFFER!

#3: RIGHT: Complication, too many details and too much explaining eradicates emotion and emotion is what sells…every time! We always ask this question during a sales training class,

“How much time is spent in the sale explaining versus experiencing?”

If you have too many products, packages, finishes, images, etc, you will be spending your time explaining and what the client really wants is to FEEL the images…FEEL the emotion. They want an EXPERIENCE, not a seminar!
If you want a great example of how emotion affects sales, think about Subaru commercials. Remember, it is just a car! How can a car be emotional?