Sales: Out of Town Clients Q&A
back by popular demand. We kind of pulled a 1 80 here. And we're bringing Jason back to answer one big question that we saw in all the chat rooms and from everybody online. And from every day here in the in studio audience will take some more questions from the from the online audience as well, because, man did it just it blew up last last segment. And so we're gonna bring Jason back a little bit. Jason, come back on. Come on. Like you earned yourself a job, huh? So it is not in my contract. Will take. All right, So tell me what you got. OK, so the question that resoundingly came through the question that was, I think, head and shoulders above all the rest room was we talked about how to do and execute a great in studios or sales plan. Portrait wedding. We talked about what to do If you can't. If you have a studio and you need to meet your clients elsewhere. We didn't talk about what to do. If you can't meet your clients was your clients are out of town. I know. In San Diego, 40% of my...
couples each year, roughly speaking, are from out of town. They come to San Diego just to get married, and I never get a chance to meet with them. Period. My studio, their house. What do you do? Let's talk about how to set up a sale strategy for that. Sure. So let's start by acknowledging at least one thing that a lot of times I hear people say, You know what? What you just said was great but doesn't really apply to me because of my situation. And this is one of those kind of questions that was really great. But I can't do that because so the first thing I want to say is, let's be honest if you knew and the numbers are pretty similar across the board for people who transition from online only to being able to build on in sales process that you're going to see ah 3 to 5 times increase in sales if you develop a solid sales process. So that means that if your average portrait sales bucks afterwards, let's let's dig in and build a sales process that's gonna look at $1,504,500 Here's the thing. If you knew that that was the case, you'd figure out a way to make it happen, Right? So let's talk about how we can figure out a way to make that happen. And I always like to tell people the only reason you can't do something. It's because you haven't yet decided that you can. The only reason that you can't do something because you haven't yet decided that you can. Okay, so So the first obstacle to overcome is okay, Let's get creative. What does it look like now? Fortunately, you know, in our industry today, there are a ton of great resource is okay and the process for me for my studio looks pretty similar, and I want to acknowledge upfront. I don't have a whole lot of portrait clients because of the type of portrait we do high school seniors. They're very local, so I don't have a whole lot of experience with destination portrait clients. But I will say this if I had destination quarter clients meeting, I was either traveling to them or they were traveling to me. I would be figuring out a way to do a viewing session as quickly as possible so that I can still do that in person type thing. Now that's not practical with a wedding, because it goes on until midnight and people go home and you know, then they leave and they go on vacation or whatever, so that practical. But it will say the first thing I want. If you are in a destination portrait business, I'd look at How do I figure out ways to make that happen as quickly as possible? Same day. Reveal, for example, that I paid it will be a great way you could load all those images on the IPad. You could do a viewing. Ask your clients if they come out of town. Take that photograph in advance so that you'd have their wall sit down and do it. And, you know, I was I mentioned how I use that. We're talking about the first time I ever use that app $2200 sale just by being able to use that one app with a client, and they were able to visualize what those images look like on the wall. So, man, there's a great tool. You got somebody flying in from out of town for engagement session or a portrait session. They're coming to you. Or if you're going the other way around, you're going to them. Let's develop a process. So the client knows in advance we're answering their questions Were making it easy for them to understand that. Hey, when we scheduled the session, you know, we're going to your session. We're gonna go to dinner. Maybe you've got an assistant who goes back and does it rough calling an editor. Your image is loaded on an IPad. You guys get back together and you're able to go through and do it. I would figure out a way to make it work for a 22 $100 sale in one. You know, using one thing for weddings. It's a little bit different because, generally speaking, you're not gonna call thousands of them put together an album. They go on their honeymoon exactly where they want anything to do with you that night. Let's be honest. Okay. Nobody's coming back to do a sale session, okay? Or what? Anywhere. So there's, you know, there are a couple of tools, and this has happened. Me. When I first moved my business back from the San Francisco Bay area. I was traveling back out side of clients that were similar. I wasn't able Teoh bring them to my studio because they were gonna fly toe the Midwest just of you. Their album. So there's a couple really good tools. The process is the same. We still want to emphasize that slide show. We still on emphasize that process, letting them know, Hey, the album processes, we're gonna pre design it. We're gonna create the story for you. We want you to view it so we send them a link. The two that really stuck out to me is great. Album exposure is a really good tool for that. And Kiss has a really good tool that allows you to create a slideshow of the album, lets the client view the slide show and then make goes to the same process that could make comments on it. They can let you know what they like, what they don't like. And in both cases, the client can actually approve their album design and then you can put it into production. Okay, Now what one of things that we've done is I like to send a link. Let them view the slide show, and then we schedule a Skype call soon. Soon way. Send them that way. That's a good question. We schedule a Skype call with them. I send them the slide show in advance of it like an hour in advance so they can watch the slide job. Then we get on the call and we talk about is very absolutely. Here it is. And now it's time talking. A couple weeks, you know, that's a principle. That's true. Whether you're meeting with them, you know, locally or oh, are their remotely. I'm sorry. That's what it's time sensitive. You want it? You wanna strike while the iron taught. You want to create that emotional connection while it's still there. You wait weeks and weeks and weeks, and it's not gonna work. And I really want toe. Here's the other benefit for the customer. You know there's obviously a lot of benefits to us because people are more likely to purchase when they have an emotional connection. Benefit for us is this that when the client is on the phone with you, I can add value to them. I can get that album in production immediately for them. They don't have the wait six months for their album or 12 months. We can finalize this now. I can have a Manama mint a couple of weeks, so we schedule a call, will release their album for them right ahead of time. They're able to view that sideshow. Then we get on a column. We talked through what they want to do. Okay, so that works really well for people who are remote for weddings. That Yes. Yes. Now, do you find the same? You find that same numbers apply that seem like Do you have a much success or is there just kind of a You have to kind of check it at the door. I understand you're not gonna sell quite as well because you're not in person. Well, I think that, you know, that's a question that we have in the back of my mind, like, Well, I could do that, But not, You know, I'm not in front of him in my not gonna sell as well. Do the numbers look a little different? Possibly. But here's what I think. It's true that if someone is hiring you for a you know, a destination wedding photographer is sort of a lug. If hiring a photographer is a luxury purchase to begin with, hiring a destination photographer is an even higher level of luxury. So is the percentage of their maximum ability to spend with you a little bit lower if you can't get in front of them? Probably. But even that lower percentage is still gonna be a problem for sale. No, I mean anybody who can get on a plane and come to San Diego, you married, get married or vice versa. Anybody who has me fly to wherever garlands to shoot their wedding. Yes, you're right. You lose something in the in person sales going away, but they obviously seem to have a disposable income that's available well in the piece that I think is really made. A difference is I did notice that we had people who were more likely to make changes in to eliminate spreads before we started scheduling that Skype call because I was ableto take the conversation away from simply, I'm going to save money by eliminating things to let's talk about how this really lines up to the way you remember your wedding. If this tells the story, let's figure out a way to get this book right and we can talk about it and then they're not making that decision simply based on. Well, you know, there's 35 spreads and that's 200 bucks of spreads. That's X amount of dollars, and I really want to spend Why. So how do I get it down, walk him through it and ableto be Consul Tate It in that process, even though we're not physically in the same location, were still able to have a face to face conversation. So from the beginning, what I wanted to do was kind of summarize where we've gotten from the beginning of last segment through all of last segment and then all the way into just begin this segment and it sounds like and jump in. If I'm missing anything, it's all about first saying expectations. And when you set expectations, you have to have expectations yourself to be able to set them. I love that. Then once you go through the whole process of working with them and you've set those expectations, you have to connect with them when you're sitting down with them. and it's about connecting with them and giving them exactly what they want and making it easy for them to land in that product. And it's not about trying to sell them everything under the sun. It's not about trying to give them what they don't want it, listen to what they want and then meeting them with a product that does that. And then there's a lot of strategies and how you do that to close the wording you use the way that you handle objections with you handle rebuttals and it does look different in application for in studio versus out of studio. But it seems like principles are in the process is basically the same. Just a couple of pieces look a little different. I'm still taking people on a journey. I've got to know where we're going. If I'm gonna take you on a journey with me and the touchpoints along the way, or are similar, if you're not gonna be able to be in front of them locally, then you know you can figure out a process that work. But I do want to go back to saying Listen, if you knew that the difference between putting up a gallery and figuring out a way to be face to face was several $1000. You figure out a way to make that happen. If you're poor, you don't and I think that looks specifically in Portrait's. If there's a way for you to build that into the entire process, you come to me for a portrait session and you're traveling, you know, from somewhere else to San Diego. This is a two part process, and we're gonna build a system in our studio where we can make that happen, you know? And if it's a wedding, then there's like I said, if you're selling an album, there's some really good tools. One of things they will say that's important about weddings is that you have to resist the temptation to blawg every image in post an entire gallery before you're able to show them that album, because again they're gonna have an emotional connection. So especially if there you know, not local, the remote, and you're gonna try to sell them an album. You resist that urge to blawg 100 images in posting tired gallery before they see that because you're going to just be that that much far behind, trying to create that emotional connection to that. I also love that a lot of the sales principles really that you're talking about can apply outside of the examples you're giving which wedding and portrait, you know. I mean, there's two different types of star was watching from fine art and boudoir and those examples I keep going back to, but Landscape E I mean, it's just these or just kind of fundamental sales principles applied on the on the level of weddings and porter searches, which is what you do so well. The second reason that you came back so we can actually answer some questions. We really weren't able to answer any questions. We go in studio first year. Trina Trina got a question, and then after we go in studio, we'll go back and hit up some of the online questions to see if we can find some questions out there that are common. Running through treated. Go ahead. So most of my bride's right now just book the basic package with a disc. So I have a studio, but I haven't been having them come back in, and I know I probably could make more cells if I get them to come back. And I feel awkward saying, come back into, you know, choose your prints or order your album because they didn't book that. And I don't want to feel like that. I'm putting that pressure on them to buy something that they weren't planning to. So is there a good strategy for getting them back in studio even when they weren't planning that? So you bring a really good point that way. Touch them real briefly. The beginning. That really? If your process isn't set up for this, you gotta change the process first. You can't just suddenly slap a sale session on top of a process where client wasn't expecting it. But I do want to touch on a couple things. One of the things they don't call it a sale session way are today. But we call it a viewing session. And if the client has to come back to view her images, she's gonna figure out a way to get back there, right, because that's the benefit to her. She's gonna get to view her images. Now, if you're just gonna hand over disc of images. She doesn't have any reason to need to come back to you to view her images because you've already given at all to her. And are there ways that you could modify the practice process? Yes. I think you have to get creative. I know photographers who they want to kind of make a transition. And still, they offered the client hair. I'd love to invite you guys over to her house for, you know, wine and crackers, and we'll have a little viewing party. And you could you could do that. But again, if you haven't started the process from the beginning, it does get difficult to suddenly just drop that on somebody. Hey, I know you gave your disk, but I'd really love to sell you some stuff. So why don't you come over, I think what What? The advice I give is, starting today, you're gonna figure out a process so that the next time you book it's gonna be different. You can't really change the name of the game in the rules on everybody else, because then you're defying the expectations that you've created for them, but from moving forward from every package that you book. From now on, you can start looking at it differently. That is your question. Thank you. My question is, how do I respond to clients that want to very gently influence me to put those photos up on the gallery first before the viewing session for some extraneous reason, like, Oh, my so and so is coming into town and they won't be able to make it. Are you sure you can't put him up? How do you respond? So again, this comes back to expectations. And the story I tell people Roll briefly. As you know, a couple of years ago, I had to have a root canal, okay. And if you've ever had a root canal, you understand? Well, first of all, it's not very pleasant, so that's not the analogy to sales. But the truth is, if if you're gonna have a root canal, you go to an end of Don test, you go to his office for consultation, and then you come back to their office and you that's what they do. The procedure. That's the way it works. I don't call the root, you know, the end of Anderson Say, could you just send me the novocaine, and I'll take care of that part myself. Or are you available on weekends or, you know, could I Just coming. You Could you come to my house in the evening. Now you know how it works at his office. Why isn't it the same way for you? You've established a practice and a policy, and this is how this works. I shoot your wedding. I let you know that the next thing that's gonna happen is you're gonna come to my home or my studio. I'm gonna come to your home, or I'm gonna And then you're gonna view your album design because that's the focal focal event. And then what's gonna happen is you know, if this is the way I did in my studio the minute that they leave from ordering their album, their galleries released, so it's already online is already ready for them. It gets released as they leave, not holding those things hostage. I mean, we're still talking about, like, 2 to 3 weeks after their wedding. It's not like they've been waiting months for this. So my answer to you is, if you've established on operating procedure for your business and you've helped your clients understand how that benefits them by creating expectations. You really shouldn't be getting that question. And if you are getting it, not as a criticism. But start looking at where along the way could I address that? How could I make it so that to the client, this is just the way that it iss okay, any more from in studio here? Yeah, Like giving them their gallery like night before they come. Because not always both parents could be there or just for a sales, not for wedding, but for portrait. It's and I don't know. I found that kind of helpful, That kind of counter everything you're saying. Well, let me say the spurs. If it's working for your business, by no means am I gonna tell you you're wrong. You know, if you set up a business where that's working really well, then you should do that. The counter argument to that is is it possible that you're leaving something on the table? Is the possible that weight? You know, the benefit of that, You know, they're happy they like because they've seen the images. Is that detracting from the emotional connection did they have that emotional connection the night before? And now do you have to try to rebuild that for them in a different environment? So that's kind of the question you have to ask yourself is, What's the tradeoff if it's working by all means, like, don't change just cause some guy sitting here told you to. But think about what is the trade off? What might I be able to do differently? You know, if I wasn't giving it all away, you know, ahead of time. Well, how about last time when we broke for lunch? You guys were like, Oh, my good question. I'm gonna first pull up the question that was before lunch, since we didn't get a chance to address it. And it's from Canadian Laura, who says So are you presenting your clients with something that is way more than they're wanting to spend? Do people ever feel like they're totally being sold to and manipulated slightly since they were maybe not expecting to spend so much where they maybe not expecting to spend so much? Well, if that's true, then I did a really bad job of creating expectations. If if they come to my studio and they were not expecting it to be this, that I didn't know they weren't expecting it, and that's my fault. So I don't know for talking weddings or portrait's, but let's just pretend we're talking about a portrait session. We've photographed somebody. They're coming in for a viewing session. One of the things I said earlier is when they leave their portrait session. When they walk out the door, I hand them they get a port, a product guy. They know exactly what things were available. They know exactly what the prices are. So there are no surprises, okay? And then I don't have to start talking about all you want a 30 by 40 when we're actually doing this viewing session. That would be this much money like we don't That's not the conversation we have to have given them the product guide in advance. And I find that that avoids that. Oh, my gosh. I had no idea that it was gonna be this much. Now, that doesn't mean that that doesn't still happen. That people are like cash. This album is just a little bit more than we wanted to spend. I think that when we think about that in the back of our mind, we're imagining doing this sales process on our existing clients who we haven't prepared for this in any way. So that's kind of like the answer that I would give to that. It's almost like give the don't give the images until you see them. But give them all the information about the products and prices. Absolutely, there's this goes back to there shouldn't be a surprise. No surprises I have is how amazing that captured that everything else up front, times of warning and, you know, clarity. Go figure. Yeah, yeah, It's like the second chance for clarity of the product guide. Here you go. Um, so we have a couple questions. They're slightly related. So Cynthia says, How would a coffee shop initial session go? More tips for coffee shop strategies mock weaken play the way My thing about coffee shops. And let's be honest, if we're photographers like 90% of us have at least one time or another used a coffee shop is our office, so that's not really all that you need to have the blender going off in the background. You're tryingto Yes. So that's the thing my rule about that is, um, if you're in a coffee shop, lets the same things that attract us to that the white no is the everything that goes on are the things that you can't control. What was my rule in a sale session? You want to control your environment Now? Here's my thing. If you can't have control, you shouldn't have the blame. So let them pick the location. That's my trick. If you're meeting with clients and it's not an environment you control, then let them pick the location. Because if you don't have control that way, you don't have the blame. And one of the tactics I've used frequently is if I'm meeting with a consultation with the wedding client. My suggestion is I love to take you guys to dinner. What's your favorite restaurant? Okay, as opposed to, I'd like to take you to coffee. Is it a little bit more expensive? Sure, but if every other photographer they're gonna meet with is taking them to coffee and it's loud and it's noisy and they can't find a table, and you finally find a table in its dirty. So you gotta wipe off the table and bring everybody over and you're laying down on your stuff. That's experience were having with everybody else. And I say, Hey, I'm so excited. You're getting married and love to buy you dinner. What's your favorite restaurant and let them pick that with the food's bad and the service is bad. It's not your fault, right? It's their me. Truthfully, though, if you pick the location in it sucks, say that whatever, then it reflects on you poorly. But if they've picked the location and it's terrible, then that was, that's not gonna get held against you. Does that make sense? That would be my advice to people who are meeting in the Let them pick. So even if it's a coffee shop, let the client pick their favorite location. But step it up. Don't just do the coffee shop thing. If you have to meet in a venue like that, offer to take them to their favorite location for dinner because you'll find out a lot about them to find out what what the favorite restaurant is, which can tell you all that lot. And the interesting thing is, you can tell a lot about a client by what they order when you're buying, you know, do they expensive thing on the menu? Did they order like soup and salad? It just tells you a lot. You learn a lot that I also like the fact that it's also a gesture to them that you're so genuinely interested in them in their story that you're willing to invest in them first. Absolutely, for sure. All right, so kind of on the same vein is Julie's question earlier. And also the kind of the new school of training for Facebook and marketing is that Julie's wondering. Is there time when posting to Facebook photos enhances the sales process or not? Should there be a limit to images posted on Facebook for the states at stake of exclusivity? And also, I see a lot of photograph with lots of pictures of weddings before the online the viewing process. It's like beat that I feel now like the school, you know, that we hear a lot about writers like beat the IPhone og refers, you know, a sneak peak from the wedding right away, and beat those IPhone naeger. How do we compete? The you know, our marketing versus, like our sales, and that's a great point. The tension between those I want to get stuff out there and I want to get referrals and use it for that. But can that detract? You know, I think there's a sweet spot for high school porches, especially well post three images online. Three are our three favorites. We don't let them pick three images online, and we'll let them tagged. Their friends will tag them in it, so that way they're still getting the benefit of them. But they haven't seen the best of the best. The other thing is some photographers, their businesses based totally on that referral, marketing totally on putting up all those images, that kind of thing. And if that's what your business is built, your business may not be built on. You have to understand the cost because it is marketing sales, like you understand that you might be putting an image up on Facebook. I was talk about how I put an image up the night off Facebook, and if I don't get up the night off, the benefit drops off dramatically, and so for me. But for me, it's worth it to get that one image up, not the whole gallery, not to get one image up. That's a marketing move that helps out. But it does probably track from sales a little bit. Well, let me say Right, here's a good rule for that. This is my rule on that For portrait. I only put three images because it kind of went with their appetite for weddings. I do the same thing. I want to get one image of the night. By the way, it should not be the absolute best. Did you like the third? Still be amazing. You shouldn't be putting it online. It's not amazing. But you've got to leave something for that wild moment when they come. So don't put your are temptation is, let's put the very best absolutely even which no. So that way they seen one image. But then they come in and there's, you know, they're watching their album slideshow, and there's this full spread to you page photograph in their judges of the floor. I had no idea. You gotta have that. You need to have that emotional reaction. All right, So, Jason, one last question before we have to say goodbye, Teoh. The Internet wants to know if you could leave us with what our your magic words again, the four magic words. And then there were three men before any magic words you want to get Teoh wear in there. Not just four magic words of creating expectations. Most of my clients and then whatever it is you want them to do, most of my clients the three magic words are act as if so when you want someone to do something or you want to move someone along in the process, act as if that's what they wanted. Act as if someone who comes to meet with you wants to book. So most of my clients, when you're talking to them, that's those are four magic words. The three magic words are active, and that sounded like shameless but truthfully, like in addition to those being in the book like that's all stuff that I have available for free on the block. There's a post about that kind of stuff, starting out right in that, like those air, those magic words are things that I write about on a regular basis to try to help people with that same kind of thing, Not by my book. That's not those are not by my photo Booth has been an absolute treat. Having you here with us today. The Internet just absolutely loves you. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us again. Like sales is not a four letter word to us anymore. It feels so much more achievable now, So thank you so much.