How to make the sale – without being a sales person

So the sale…this is where photographers often get scared!

This moment is when you know if you are making money or not; this should be exciting, the fun bit! But most photographers think this is the scary bit – what if they say they hate my images, destroy all my self confidence and don’t spend a thing?? 

The difference is, if you have put in the necessary prep-work beforehand, this is NOT a sales pitch; you have already done the selling. Here you are holding your client’s hand and guiding them to decide what images they want to keep forever and to make history. Remember, these images that you are framing for them are going to be in the family for years. Don’t leave money on the table – it is vital you get this stage of your client’s experience right. Set yourself up for success by doing all the necessary prep-work first, so by the time it gets to the in-person viewing it is a joy and the sales come naturally.  

1. Preparation is key

By the time you get to viewing, all the selling should be done. Your client should have seen and been walked through your price guide from the start so they know what you offer. The last thing you want is for them to get sticker shock at the viewing when you hand them the price list!

Build their excitement from the very beginning; develop your own patter through your communications before, during and after the shoot:

“You will need to build a whole gallery to fit all of your gorgeous frames!”

“Oh, that is definitely a shot for the album”

“These are stunning, you are going to have such a hard time choosing your favourites!”

Answer questions before they ask them; how will they see their images, what products do you offer, will the frames come ready to hang? 

2. Continue the journey

If you take your client through your amazing shoot experience, being with them every step of the way from booking to the main event, then finish the experience by sending them an online gallery you are effectively dropping their hand at the last stage.  

You have built up this trust and you don’t want to break it now. This luxury experience needs to continue and this is where we strongly recommend doing in-person sales. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be ‘in-person’, zoom can be your friend here, but the vast majority of our in-person sales have been done face to face. Invest in good IPS software (we recommend ProSelect) to make this process even easier for you and your client. Explain how long the in-person viewing will take so they can carve out dedicated time to experience their images for the first time. 

3. Make it high end

Think carefully about the products you choose to show your client. They need to be made of the highest quality, all with beautiful details. Have a selection of stunning samples on offer to inspire them, making sure to have at least one example of each product on your list. Don’t overwhelm them with 20 different frame options – keep it simple with a wood, dark and light frame. However, have your framer’s brochure to hand so you can accommodate for their personal tastes and decor. 

 4. Keep it fun

This is an enjoyable, emotional experience for your clients. Most clients will buy from an emotional place so take your time, don’t force them into a sale, let the images speak for themselves and just guide them every step of the way. If you are hosting at your own studio space, set the mood with scented candles, twinkly music and freshly baked cookies. Leave out a box of tissues to hint that this is going to be emotional! Listen to your client, suggesting solutions to their questions without being pushy.   

5. Simplicty is key

Don’t stop the 5* service at the final hurdle – you have to see the sale through. Make sure you have a payment system in place so you can take payment there and then at the viewing. Have all the necessary order forms and paperwork to hand. This should feel like a relaxed experience and all your clients need to do is pick their favourite images and you will sort out the rest. 

6. Under promise and over deliver

If it usually takes 2 weeks for frames to arrive, tell them it will take 4 weeks. That way if there is an issue with printing or the frame arrives damaged you can easily fix the issue without worrying your client. If it arrives before the 4 weeks then it is like Christmas has come early for your clients!

Do you still feel a bit queasy about the sale? Are there some glaring gaps in your business that are preventing you from hitting those big sales? Do you want high end clients NOW and to start making lots of money but don’t know how to get there? 

You have two options – you can do it the hard way or the easy way! For photographers who are ready for the next step, we have a whole YEAR of mentorship waiting for you with the 1yr Group Mentorship Course, starting September 2022. This is a step-by-step course to build the equine photography business of your dreams, by attracting the perfectly targeted clients EVERY SINGLE DAY without the confusion and overwhelm of doing it alone.