Selling Bridal Sessions
Sales is not a dirty word. I know a lot of photographers who in here when you think about sales, you think I'm going to have a client sitting in starbucks or sitting in my house or sing my little studio and I'm going to try to convince them that they need to buy something that they're not convinced to buy that's not what we're talking about sales is not that sales is something completely different sales and I love this quote from dave ramsey says sales is simply just a beautiful relationship between a buyer and seller when someone gives you money, dave ramsey says, when somebody gives you money for a product or service, he likes to think of it as their applause for doing a great job. That's what sales is you're providing a service to somebody that needs something from you or like apple with some of their products they created need that you didn't even know you had? And I love that johnny talked about that earlier with sales there's really two types of marketing theirs digging a hole ma...
rketing and there's filling a whole marketing so one is there's a hole somewhere in the market somebody needs a beautiful portrait of you know their daughter they need their wedding photo shot that's a need that needs to be filled that's your filling that hole it's already a hole in the market but then there's digging a hole and that's that's the hole in the market is iphone thinking iphone, everybody needed one of these bad boys, right? They've put a lot of technologies in the one place, and they solved a lot of problem. Thie ipad, on the other hand, nobody needs one of those who already have a computer in every phone. This is in between somewhere myself, and figure out exactly what I need for them to watch who you know, but what steve jobs did so brilliantly is he dug a hole in the market and filled it with his ipad, he said, you need this and people went, oh, of course, I need this and bridal sessions khun b on the fence of that right, they can be you may have not realized this, but let me show you all the benefits to this amazing service in this great these great products I can give to you and why they can enhance your wedding day. So that's that's how I like to think of that, we're digging a hole, we're showing people hey, check this out. I saw the problem that you didn't even know you had, and I think what makes it even more great about bridal sessions, you set it up from the very beginning that the reason you're doing this is so you can have something on display, the reception so it's not even like hey, do you want to come over and buy something and see images is like no like of course I do that's why they're doing this whole session is so they can brag on their daughter brag on themselves at the wedding showing a beautiful image or images absolutely so give your clients and opportunity to buy this is critical and all kinds of sales I know we mentioned this earlier, but we shot a wedding years ago when we first started out on the bride's mom came up to us afterwards and she was like, you guys did such an amazing job I really want to get an album of the all these photos and she's like todo you do albums jodi's like, of course, and guess how many albums she by none? Why? Because we never gave her an opportunity to buy the photos we didn't follow up, we didn't have a system for sales we didn't provide, you know a way for her to see what an album could even look like another benefit to the kiss system I can if you can build an eighty page album in thirty minutes and if you sell it on the low and that's fifty dollars a page that's, a four thousand dollars book sewn on the high end at one hundred dollars a page that's a ten thousand eight thousand dollars book, so if you could make somewhere between fifteen hundred and eight thousand dollars by spending thirty minutes of your time, would that be worth it? Yeah, because you're just showing somebody what it could be so that's what I love about using and really efficient systems and giving people a chance to see what they might want to get it's a great way to run and sell your business so we'd like to say that make sure you have a plan, not only make sure you have a sales plan, so you know you're going to sell to them, but make sure you have a plane. The last thing you want to do is invite them over two year home studio or maybe you have a studio that you rent just to do sail sessions, which is what we did for the longest time when we were still living in an apartment, which we're back to a living wage for house of the village. Come to think of it, that's what you can also come to them. So you want to be in a great atmosphere, we're going to get to that, but you need to have a plane, you don't just want to invite them over. You're like ok well um let me just flip over my laptop and we'll just go through light room and actually images and you can pick what you want like no you wantto create an atmosphere you want to create an atmosphere for buying and selling so so important to have a plan and know what you're going to do yeah I love another side quote from dave ramsey he talks about this with money but it's applicable to all parts of life he says that children do it feels good adults make a plan to devise a plan and follow it right I love that when you devise of anybody that knows this you get paid on payday or if you work for yourselves when the client writes you a check for a down payment if you just start doing what feels good with that money which is let's go out to eat and let's go buy some clothes and let's go have some fun all of a sudden your rent payment comes up in your house payment you have no money right that's not a very smart thing to do with your finances it's the same thing goes along with sales you have to have a very strategic process that you go through that you know is going to yield results most of the time for your clients so we want to do the exact same thing we want have a very specific plan that we follow and when we have that plan, our chances of selling go up tremendous slam mention this earlier but it's worth repeating that julia woods who's one of the best in person portrait sales people on the planet definitely in america she says the average climb will spend three to four times what they initially believe they'll spend if you create that incredible value for them if you build up the value and if the value keeps going up people keep spending and it doesn't mean they have money anybody know anybody that drives a brand new car that costs twenty or thirty thousand dollars that makes thirty thousand dollars a year lots of people do that is that a wise thing to do? Not necessarily, but as as photographer sometimes you think why would anybody spend five thousand dollars on a portrait session with me? I only work with clients having thirty thousand dollar weddings which is an average price well that's nonsense if you procreate the value they will allocate the money to what is important so they'll spend that if address is more important in your photography, the money will go to the dress if the cake is more important than your photography than money over to the cake but if you become more important the money will then instead go to you or they'll figure out how to make that work so don't think that justcause you're you don't have these million dollar clients or these three hundred thousand dollars weddings or whatever that people won't spend money on you we've got many a wedding where we shot a thirty thousand dollars wedding total that's how much the whole wedding cost and they spent ten thousand of that on us that's happened and it happens all the time and that's what most of our clients are like they're not these high whole roller clients of some kind okay, this is this is a plan that we have here a few steps that we implement when we're doing our bridal session sales so the first thing is to make sure you set expectations now we've done a really good job at the beginning telling them hey, the whole reason that you're doing this session is so you can have something on display at the reception and that's one one point that you're starting to set that expectation of what's going on when the shoot is completed as well. You know, we always tell our couples anyone that we're ever shooting at the end of this you what to expect from here on out because they don't remember even if you told him before so what will tell the bride is you know we tell them they were going to turn your image is around will contact you within x days excuse me, whatever the time frame is, the sooner the better obviously and we say at that point, we'll have him over and you can view the images and you can pick, you know, the products that you guys want, and so you just talk about it really exciting, lee and just said those expectations and remind them, hey, you're coming back over to view to purchase for the reception and then of course, once the images air done, whether you, whether you call them or whether you email them, you just set those expectations again, these air, the products they were going to have available, I wouldn't go ahead and send them all the pricing if you want to, you can just to give them an idea of what the pricing is, but they should have that from the initial sales point, but just remind them we checked, we accept checks, credit cards and penny is whatever you, whatever you accept, says just reminding them that, hey, this is to buy next is that we want to create a purchasing atmosphere. This is really critical, I think, you know, it's difficult to walk in, you know, to a starbucks and carry a giant canvas with you. You know what I mean? And hoped to sell that campus back in the day, though we have done that, so don't get me wrong, it can be done jody and I like to control the atmosphere as much as we can, because the more that we can control, what happens inside a sale session, the better chance of it going in the way that we wanted to go on, everybody winning at the end, them getting the products and services that we know they really need and want, and us being able to sell those things to them. So jodi and ice have spent a lot of time sort of thinking about when somebody walks into my house. If I go to their house, what of this, things that are happening in sequence, to draw people in, to get them back, excited to create value, and remember, most of it is about relationships, most of it is about them and focusing on them. So a couple of things that we do back when we had a home, which we don't have right now on what we'll have another one, hopefully sometime in the next six months, when we first walked him into the house, we're very strategic with how we set everything up. We put a giant canvas on our wall behind our dining room table. This is our front door right here, and we intentionally stand to the right side of the door were open the door, they look at that canvas, the first thing they think is that's not a picture of a bride that zack and jodi sitting on the wall and it's a seventy two inch split panel canvas and what are they doing when they see that the bride is going this is what you do with professional photography you stick it on the wall like that that's what it's designed to do the reason I like that size is because it does what's called the anchor effect it's very large and very expensive we put a very high price on it when they see that and they go look at how big that is that's the biggest one and it's a ma and then we have they ask how much it is we tell me much of this is like two thousand bucks then they go whoa but it anchors in their mind and they go well somebody spending two thousand dollars on a giant canvas and then when we talk about our thirty by forty that seems much more to the middle much more attainable it doesn't seem so crazy expensive when that's nine hundred dollars does that make sense and that's the size they want to sell anyway is that there are forty so so yeah, this is a strategic pricing subliminal pricing thing that all companies do any restaurant you go into, you see all these things for fifteen bucks on the menu when you see that one thirty six dollars steak and you're like gosh that's so expensive this fifteen dollars pasta seems like such a great deal but if you would've walked in everything cost three dollars and then they had a fifteen dollars posterior thought the pasta was expensive so it's just that's what they mean by anchoring you're anchoring the mind as to what the value is and then you come down from there and people feel comfortable line and we love coffee coffee is our thing even more so sexy and mine is a self proclaimed briefed a copy snob so you know, we get a copy dreams were giving them waters and we're just chatting and then one experience talking about the upcoming wedding day talking about the shoot and it's a very great time for so just connect to our client and to do something experiential some people like to do fancy food or, you know, bringing some wine we like to do the coffee thing because that's kind of our thing whatever is your thing do that maybe they love cookies or you could even put on the bridal survey what's your favorite snack and then have that available at the bridal sale session when she comes in and goes, I know you love brown m and m's so I picked out every other one except the brown ones and here you go and she's like, oh my gosh, is it just or maybe she was showing him after the wedding I'm not sure okay um that on from there we want to make sure that everything they're looking at and seeing is controlled so when they walk in notice we only have three canvases hanging up and they're actually with an eye line we don't put him in the middle of the wall because when they're sitting it's too far to look that's strategic right we want him to clearly easily be able to see those canvasses when they come in and we have three sizes hanging on the wall because that's three sizes we sell small medium and large the smallest one is twenty by thirty knots are small so if you want us to you know show small you'll sell small show biggest sell big let's keep that in mind another great thing when you know it was really important for the bottom floor of our home to look really sharp into feel inviting and one of them so we had we hired an interior designer and one of the things she told us about her living room and she said you have a ton of wall space but the last thing you want to do is fill up every single open space with the canvas or something because then I'll just look at it and people will spazz out and they just don't know what to look at so that's why we're very strategic with how many images we put up in the images that we did put on this play we bring them in and at this point this is a little bit different from our wedding sales because what we want to do is you want to show them you know the best of the best of the best of the bridal portrait because they're actually going to be viewing and also deciding which images they want ordered especially if you're in a time crunch that's something that you have to know you know that day or within the next few days so what we do is you can either one this is a great idea well one you can just go ahead and show them a highlight of the images and you can put it to music remember we asked our bride what kind of tunes she dug so this is a great opportunity toe incorporate that information so use that song or that artists a song from the artist that she loved so you can do that or with kiss you can go ahead and just simply make a quick a book of your favorite images from that shoot and with kiss they have a thing called designed for forty nine so if you don't even want to design your own book which takes exact said no time at all mineral act will actually designed one for you for forty nine bucks which is awesome! So anyway, so now you have this album design that you can show them so it looks really slick really professional? You know, we have a big screen tv up in our living room on ben so you can show this to music as well to your bright and what you're doing as you're creating this really great experience, you have this great music of the brightest connecting with that she loves and then she's saying her images for the first time absolutely another thing to keep in mind too, with portrait sale sessions it's important not to over show too many photos, you may shoot three or four hundred images and we'll do that in on a portrait shoot, but we'll try to narrow it down to ten percent of that show no more than my can and then forty five images tops, because if there's too many images she's going to spend too much time she's not going to have to decide and just show the best of it doesn't mean that was another good shots. It just means you're showing the best of the best of the best so that she can have a narrow field of view to pick what she wants and to get it in a book if it's going to be a little coffee table book, it should be, you know, twenty pictures or something like that she doesn't need to see a tremendous amount of images and that's a better way to do portrait style sales question me out right there bring it on what do you do if you do make the small kiss book? Are you selling that to them at the time? Are you trying to just show them an example so they get something bigger? Is that a gift sometimes or do you send it later when they're not expecting it or you show them something? Yeah, when it comes to the little kisses we up to use these more for as bonuses as surprises so they don't even know they exist, we never show them we never show them pricing we never talk about him it's after they order their original book than a few weeks later, we'll send them these little kisses and then they absolutely when it goes back to what zach was saying earlier, which is we want to do something for our clients to get them to talk about us and then it's something that makes it easy for them to talk about us. And so by giving them an album that they never expected like they're like, oh my gosh, I'm so excited to there now I'm going to talk about it, but then this is such a great and easy tool for them to talk about it because, you know they come in the little cute little covers and they can throw them in their bag on their person and show him around absolute. So a couple of bribes, final session tips on this, we have any more questions, everything miss something, go back so we show them this light show if you show them the book and it doesn't have all the wedding images in it, then we'd show that to them later on dh, then on dso then what we do is after this light show was done, then I have my pricing, she have a pricing sheet that we put together, and then I talked to the items and the different options that they can get. The last thing that I want to do is just him and the pricing sheet that I'm trying to talk over their brain is their brain is looking and processing and looking at all the pricing. So I hold the sheets that keep him to sitting in my lap, and I say, ok, here are the different options that you can get you get a gallery rap canvas, you can get a book and we have a coffee table book, we explain everything, we just talk about the different items, and then I go ahead and I hand them the pricing now, it's a couple of tips, tip number three kiss keep it simple stupid right? And we love this mentality because the last thing you want your bride to do is be bombarded with one hundred options of what she could get instead of just two three or maybe four simple options of the best stuff and stuff that and I love this quote from roger barnett who's a billionaire and owner of shockley and he said this had the amazing opportunity actually sit down in a business meeting with them and teach a group of men that I'm in a class or ah business group that I'm in and he said any time you're in business don't competed for the bottom he said, don't be the wal mart of any business getting a business where you have high profit margins and sell things that have high profit margins and things that you own proprietary rights to where that other people don't have easy access to and that's shack lee in a nutshell so he said, if you have sixty day eighty percent profit margin that's a good product otherwise stay away from it because it's just not a good business to be in weddings and porches is not not a high volume business we can't afford to sell three buck prints or eight bucks prints it's not a good way to make money we want to sell that nine hundred dollars canvas and sell one of them in a session and then sell a book now we're talking about making real money and creating a really unique piece for our client oh, hang on the wall so we keep our products very simple we offer canvases, books, disc of images and other if they ask for it, so if they ask for something, we'll show it if they don't ask for something, we don't offer it, and then they go well, every client gets one of these to hang at the reception, and most of our clients get a book guess what they end up buying. Everyone gets one of these most people end up getting a book, so when it comes to engage in sessions when we were selling products or even bridal sessions instead of selling them at the big leather album, we kind of want to make that and reserve that for the wedding day, we want to keep that special. So what we're selling to them when we sell a book as we're selling a linen book and we call like a coffee table book and so here it's actual linen and of course they come in a million different colors and then if you want to, you know, order the little kisses a surprise, it looks the same thing, you can order the same color if you want get it engraved, and so these air really great because the pages air they're a bit thinner and but it's still a really classy like high standard book so there's still giving something that's great quality but it's not as elegant as a wedding album that we want to say for the wedding what differentiates the two products? Well, which is good another thing and we're gonna have somebody hand us one of these bad boys and these giant metal prince I don't if something can handle this one um as you're going through your business and he started noticing um thank you just sitting here I will as you start noticing ah featured a product of some kind that you offered that now is readily available to the masses like the dvd of images as an example, it's loses its value tremendously because people know it cost twenty five cents to make one and it's hard to convince them that what my art is on there my heart is with value it's a hard way to convince someone now the same thing can start being set for certain products of certain regions. Prints are everywhere, so it's harder to sell prints because people know they can get him at costco that look just the same in their mind prince for twenty nine cents now costco offers gallery wraps and they're in group seven times less expensive than yours so any time you can come up with a product differentiator, you see and don't do that until you start seeing a pushback of people go, and I just I just don't see the value in that. Why is that so expensive? Time to bring in a differentiator differentiators something like this that you can't necessarily get a costco. This is a thirty by forty metal print, right? It looks different, it feels different, it shimmers different in the light. Everything is different about it. And when people don't know a lot about a product, it's hard for them to go that's worth x, so it becomes a differentiator in your lineup, offering your images in a different way, like through pass from show it fast if you offer your images to pass and now they have a way to immediately share all of their photos. It creates new value for those images and new life, because there's something different about it. S oh, this is this is one way to do that is through a huge metal print or something that's, unique and other, some retirees that build unique things for their clients, because there's, nothing like it and that's. Why we love bay photo is because they have a great variety of different options that you can sell your clients, and then also, obviously, the quality is really great, too, but what we encourage you to do is not be like oh my gosh I console gala wraps until middle prints I can sell mounted prints on film gore and I could do all this stuff and then your client is like, which one do I want to do? And they made us default to the cheapest one so you just want to pick one thing that you want offers and metal princes at campuses, is it? I don't know zebra colored background prince, whatever it's just picked that and then all they have to decide is what size they want we don't want to overwhelm them. So number four, whatever you show, you're going to sell and keep that in mind if you show small, you're gonna sell small into show big, you're going to sell big, so we only show things that we feel like I would want to sell that to my client. So just because you know you can sell a bunch of prints doesn't mean you necessarily should we're just because you don't sell, you know, packages of prints that come in like the options doesn't mean you shouldn't just because you don't. So we have always shown big photos and we've always sold big photos and how is we get asked about how do you sell a seventy page book to a kleiner? How do you celebrate a book? Because we showed it to him once they see it and they see the value of and they see that it tells a story they see that it captures some history they see how it hangs above a couch you know this if that was an eleven by fourteen I promise you you're gonna walk over here but I'm going to so you can see back here probably pretty clearly this is eight by eight so if this is hanging above a couch aye but it sounds big eight inches by eight inches and then when you hanging on a wallet looks awful right so when you walk into your house and you don't have a plethora of four hundred images all over the place you have one or two or three great shots you have something like this this is a third twenty twenty four by thirty six I believe hanging up you go oh that looks significant but even this one that's a twenty four by thirty six above a couch doesn't look that impressive we want bigger right that should honestly be from about here to here to really dominate that wall space and when it does people go I want that and then if it's really big they downgraded size and then you end up selling exactly what you wanted to you like to say you can't sell what you don't show and we found that so true we had you know gallery wraps on our pricing for forever and we never sold one until we finally got that studio space and I had mentioned this one before with the bride came over, we had campuses on the wall and we said this image that you have and what beautiful is a canvas? And she was like, yep, that's the image I want and she's and she could actually see the campus not just have this idea idea of what it is she could actually see it, and we sold it a piece of cake and it's so hard to talk about a product if you don't have it in front of you and so when they see it that's when they want it so you can't sell what you don't show absolutely, um sell the benefits and not the futures to all of your products. I think that's really important and a lot of us get stuck in that, you know, if you get this bridal book, you know when you open it up to him in his life flat cool and it's got a linen covered this is our leather cover made in italy you can pick from eighteen there's four hundred different colors you need to get a glass cover a whole glass that's expensive right class cost a lot of money that's it it's like it's, readily available people while printed on kodak endure a paper so that's going to last a long time so I'm going okay great you're not selling me a piece of crap awesome thank you. What else do you have people expect good quality people expect good service what people don't expect is to have an amazing experience and when you create an amazing experience people want to spend money on that so when we're talking about books or canvases or you know individual products like a bridal shoot or whatever it may be we're trying to find out what is the benefit to the client. How does this benefit that's why in the beginning we talked a lot about how the benefits you get to run your hair you get to do this, mom, you're going toe you buy this you're not just buying, you know, something printed on canvas you're buying a moment in history with your daughter this is never gonna happen again and we want to keep this hanging on your wall for the next fifty years and pass it on to her and she's going to pass it on to her daughter like we want to capture that moment for a really long time when we photographed a wedding um back in two thousand ten a couple of joshua mackenzie amazing story, you know, uh the bride's father got really sick before the wedding and they weren't even sure if he was going to be there to walk her down the aisle, and I'll never forget we walked into the wedding and dad was that I was the night before the day of that, he was going to be able to make it to the wedding. He was very ill, and they have this moment together where he was sitting, you couldn't stand very well. She went back and saw her dad, and when he stood up, where, you know, with our long lenses, were shooting these images of her just in tears, her dad came there and was able to walk her down the aisle. It's an amazing moment in history, right? This is super important that's the benefit of a product when we talk about products or books, we capture those stories or those images and put him in books, put him on the wall, talk about those things, and people go what's the value of that you can't put a value on that. It has unending tremendous amount of value and that's where people want to end up investing their money is when you talk about your services and products like that, don't talk about your pages laying flat don't talk about stuff that should be expected, talk about stories and talk about, you know, the bride were I was in the waiters and I was in the water, and we're capturing this really important. Significant meaning to them. I want to capture important, significant meaning to you. Every time you look at this picture, you go that's my daughter that's who she is that's that look on her face and you captured it. You want to be here? That photographer and that's, you know, as we're talking about these different options that they can purchase like that's one. Why it's important that we want mom there? Because mom especially sees the value. This is her daughter getting married for the first and hopefully on ly time. And this is such a special time where her daughter is finally the bride and so it's, so great! Because it's like this book that you have a ll forever captured your daughter as a bride. And then, you know, she just gets so excited about that. And that and it's something that she's going to have for years and years to come and that's, you know, that kind of ultimately goes back to my story. You know, I love capturing moments and freezing times of people gonna have us to look back on and it's such a special thing, and and so selling the benefits and talking more about the benefits of how it's going to make their lives better is what we want to focus on in those sales sessions on the very last thing that we do is we want to make sure the clothes that we want to make sure toe wrap everything up and you know they're coming there too by so it shouldn't be an awkward sentence or it's like so do you want to get anything you know it's like let me know if you have any questions on glenn you know she'd like to get my mom to stuff ballot you guys kind of chat about it for a little bit and then I'll just come on back so you're making that assumptions assumpta assumption sick uh say assumption closed thank you some assumption closed my gosh where you know you just approaching as you're just assuming that they're going to buy which is why they're there anyway and so when you come back into the room if they have any questions you say you guys have any questions I can answer what is it that you'd like to get in the sheet that we hand them? It has little check boxes of the items that they can purchase so they just check off what they want and then I take their papers and I tally it sales tax and all that other great stuff and to take their transactions. And then we make sure to communicate with them, to turn around time and everything like that.