Intro by Skip Cohen
Bev Walden’s email blast, “Tuesday Tidbits,” never disappoints. So, make it a point to get her on your radar, and then start taking full advantage of the wisdom she shares with each piece. It’s not rocket science, just good solid common-sense business skills that are tried and true ingredients to Walden Photographers’ success.
This article about selling is simply outstanding. It’s the perfect reminder of every business owner’s need to develop a skill set that sells and builds the relationship with the client.
Coming out of the pandemic, photographers have so many opportunities to take a leadership position in their community. There’s a renewed sense of family in this country, and with that comes a chance for you to help your clients capture moments that are so much more than just family portraits but heirloom memories to be shared with future generations.
What good is creating the most beautiful images of your career if you’re not prepared to build a solid business around your skills?
By Beverly Walden
One person that I studied sales and marketing with puts it this way,
“Selling is giving a person enough information to make an educated decision.”
I love that definition because it takes away the “hard sell” concept that so many people do not like in this day and age.
Selling is also about making friends. If you do that, everything else will take care of itself. Creating a relationship is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a great sale today and future great sales as well.
Sales can be a melancholy job. On one hand, many people (especially non-sales people) feel that it’s sleazy and lowbrow. On the other hand, it is the most important function of a business.
Until there’s a sale, there is no business!
You can take photographs all day long, and they could be the best and most beautiful things in the world, but until you sell them, there is NO money and NO money means you are quickly out of business! Let’s look now at a few points to consider for optimum sales:
1. You can sell only if you believe in yourself AND your “product.”
If you are not sold on your product or yourself as an artist, it will be an uphill battle to sell to someone else. Your lack of conviction will scream through. Do YOU have photography in your home? Do you understand why larger wall portraits are important? What do you believe in?
All of these things are very important!
Note: When Tim is doing private coaching, one of the biggest concerns he hears about over and over is a lack of confidence, both in the product and the photographer.
2. Be clear and direct:
When presenting your sale, do not use terminology that the public doesn’t understand. Explain your ideas and thoughts as quickly, clearly and simply as possible. This is important because one of the biggest problems in sales is client confusion.
Confusion does not lead to a YES! We figured this out years ago when we developed our Sales Suggestions and that has not changed- we have to be clear and direct. If you are confusing, your client will back off and not buy anything.
And remember, you are the expert and your clients are counting on you to direct them!
3. Know your client:
Make sure you know their challenges and their needs. One size hardly ever fits all, and you look much stronger if you care about your client enough to really understand their personalities, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and interests!
4. It’s all about the presentation:
Your sales presentation is SO IMPORTANT! You want it to feel relaxed and never hurried. We just re-purposed and decorated a portion of our studio for the sales presentation. With a separate entrance and cozy furniture, it feels so GOOD to be in this area and our clients have responded very positively to it.
We take time to help our clients feel relaxed (with refreshments of course) and we chat for just a few minutes as they get settled in. The presentation rests solely on our Suggestions…they really do rely on what we think and the same will be true for you too as you gain confidence.
5. Be passionate and exciting:
Most presentations are BORING! So make it exciting. Excitement is contagious – just like a yawn. And passion is contagious as well.
6. Stories are a great asset to your presentation!
We use stories to answer objections or if the client is stuck in a decision. One example of a story we often use is about Tim’s mother.
She had a very tiny house that was filled to the brim with furniture. She LOVED to decorate and was very proud of her home. One day, she told us she bought a 3rd couch and we were astounded as we asked her, “Where are you going to put it!” Her answer has helped us in many sales when clients wonder where they are going to put a large wall portrait. She simply said, “If you love something enough, you will always find a place for it!”
WHOA! That is a perfect story to answer this objection. Find stories you can tell!
7. You can always be better:
Sales is an art, not a science. Know that the journey is never really over! This is a marathon, not a sprint.