Sales Strategies with Jason Aten
Sales Strategies with Jason Aten
22. Sales Strategies with Jason Aten
Defining Your Goals and Metrics27:10 3
Goals and Metrics Q&A36:50 4
Assembling a Team and Insourcing vs. Outsourcing21:43 5
Creating a Company Manual14:00 6
Jared's Business History33:51 7
Print, Online, SEO and Social Media Marketing43:23
Vendor and Client Referrals35:23 9
Specialism with Guest Jeff Jochum29:18 10
Defining Yourself in Three Words54:54 11
Homework Review with Guest Jeff Jochum34:11 12
Pricing: Packages56:49 13
Pricing: A La Carte36:20 14
Rebuilding a Pricing Sheet Part One21:33 15
Pricing: Extras List46:56 16
Rebuilding a Pricing Sheet Part Two35:05 17
Natural Upsell and Presentation50:03 18
Critiques of Students' Pricing Presentation18:48 19
Three Phases of a Consultation1:02:52 21
Consultation Q&A11:18 22
Sales Strategies with Jason Aten1:10:18 23
Sales: Out of Town Clients Q&A25:07 24
Six Figure Plan30:18 25
Profit Goals with Student20:55 26
Thanks + Credits04:40 27
Building Your Team42:29 28
Business Roadmap Challenge18:00
Sales Strategies with Jason Aten
Let's go ahead and get into our next segment, which is all on sales. And I've invited with me Jason Eaton, to come out from Michigan on. De So Jason is a photographer. He has had a studio for over 10 years as a professional wedding photographer. He is an entrepreneur. He is the owner of 99 Beans, which I talked a little bit about earlier. It's a accounting solution for photographers who want help with their bookkeeping and with their taxes on dive. Gone in on that a little bit with Jason to help him. And he's also educator. He has a book out called Starting Out Right and Has a platform or educates photographers and helps them out. Eso if you're from Michigan, he's from here. I've been told That's the way to talk about it. And without further ado, let me welcome Jason on. Come on. Thanks for coming out. Thanks. To get that you use the correct hands. Why don't you tell us what I miss in the intro where they want to? A little more about yourself? Well, you know, similar to probably a lot ...
of people. Photography started for me kind of passion is a hobby, something that I really enjoy doing through high school and college. But my background actually was in business. I I never imagined I was gonna come a photographer that wasn't like anywhere on the road map of my life. And if you know me, you know that I don't tend toe do things that are not a part of that road map. Tend to have things pretty well figured out, you know, worked for a Fortune 100 company doing sales and marketing effectiveness. And it was sort of kind of like the story that probably all of us could tell. We were really passionate about photography, and people started to notice that we seem to know how to use a camera and, you know, people started asking to take pictures. They somehow people start actually giving you money to take pictures, and all of a sudden you're a pro, right? And so for me, that journey kind of lead Teoh a passion of mine, you know, because my background was in business and in sales. I really looked at it and said, You know, if I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna give my life to doing this photography thing. It's got to be a business. First. I've gotta approach because I could do anything I want with my life. Any of us could do anything we want with your life. So this is what I'm going to do with my life. It's gotta be a business. It's gotta be profitable. It's got to be sustainable. And so 10 11 years ago decided that that was kind of the road that was gonna take. And ever since then, business the business of photography has been what I do to support my family and I for predominantly shoot weddings are. Studio also does a lot of high school senior portrait's family portrait, that kind of thing. Andan. I spent a lot of my time also kind of helping photographers figure out How can we build something that's both profitable and sustainable so that it's adding value to our life because we know how it is you you get so passionate about the photography, but then suddenly you do the business and it's like I don't have a clue what's going on, and I know I love this part and I want to make it last, and that's what's really great about this course, and I was excited to be a part of It is it's, it's It's really important for photographers to start to understand that this is more than just a hobby. There is a way that this can add value to my life. That's been like a female according absolutely business, a business that makes you happy. Let's let's cut into sales cause that's really what you're I know you're an expert, a lot of things, but to me you're an expert in sales. You've always been a mentor to me in sales. You worked for FedEx under the senior vice president, right? Sure So, yeah, I spent my time. There was It was fun, and it's really applicable to what we don't photography. I was manager of market effectiveness, market analysis and sales effectiveness, which is a really fancy Yeah, it's a really fancy way of saying my job waas to figure out what our customers wanted, going to bet your product teams figure how we could provide that for them and then trainer sales force to sell it to them. So it's exactly what we do on a day to day basis. We just individual one on ones well and say OK, so sales. I kind of tease it earlier sales is like the four letter word. If it is, it's a dirty word. I for the longest time, you know, hated it. I've talked a little bit about how much it scared me. And yet there are some studios that are super successful at sales. Yours being one of them, by the way. And there's a lot of stories that aren't successful. It's tails. Tell me about tell us about why sales is so important in a business and why we I know you believe we have to have that as a component of our business in photography, and I think you're right. I think that I'm all the things that we do on a regular basis. Sales is the one that scares us, and I think there's a lot of reasons for that. But the biggest one I want tell a little story. First Eyes. I think that we misunderstand what sales really means. Okay, let's be honest. If this photography thing we do is a business, it has to make money. And if you think about it every time you have an Internet with a client that involves them giving you money, its sales, whether that's booking a client like you talked about this morning, whether that's selling the packages or prints or whatever, it ISS anytime that sales. So it's a huge part of what we do on a regular basis. But I think we misunderstand that, and there's a fear associated with that on a lot of people have shared like it's a scary, scary It's so why is it so scary? Yeah, I think that there's really there's really three fears that we have. When we look at look at sales, you know the 1st 1 is, let's be honest, we're all afraid of rejection, right? I'm afraid that if I try to sell something they might not want. If I try to get them to book me, they just and it's much easier. Even though the result is the same, you still don't end up with the client. It's much easier to just not do anything because there's a sphere of what if they don't like me? What if they I don't want to pay me whatever? So there's, you know, there's this. There's this fear of being rejected. I think I think at the same time there's also we got into photography because we love photography. Yeah, I think that's true. Probably of all of us. And were artists were passionate about creating things that are meaningful for people? And I think there's this fear that if suddenly we transition from creating something meaningful as art to selling, does that make us L up like is my photography and art anymore? If I have to sell well, yeah, creative. As an artist, you want your work to be bought. You know, you kind of feel like when you're selling it, you're not doing it for the sake of art. Maybe anymore, it's not as creative anymore. And so I totally agree with you. I mean, I think that it's hard to overcome the idea that sales is a part of photography because it's a part of our business and but it's still hard photographers and it's still hard for us to overcome that. I know for me that was a very hard transition, right, and I think that those two things together kind of encapsulate this third fear, which is, quite frankly, it's a fear of not even knowing where to start. Like, I don't know that. Like, I look at people who are able toe book big weddings or they sell lots of prints or albums or whatever it is, and I don't even know how to get there like, I don't know what we need to do to get to that point. So that fear of not even knowing where to start prevents us from even taking that chance. I'm gonna put in a spot here. This isn't part of what we talked about. You have a great story that you told me before about it's about the kind of the way you look at sales and what was an ah ha moment for you in sales with a client that called you. That's what I'm talking about, that that ah ha moment. Can you sure that I know I didn't have No, that's OK. And I think that it's really relevant because it goes to this misunderstood. The fear is driven by a misunderstanding of what sales is. And I think that story really will illustrate. You know, I was like all of us. I'm sitting one day in my studio, my phone rings, which, if you're in business for yourself, that's a good thing, right? Your phone rings, that's good. And I pick up the phone. Hello, this is Jason. On the other end of the line, I hear a guy and he says, Hi, my name is Doug and I have a problem like Okay, that's kind of a weird way to start the conversation. I have no idea what's about to happen after that, although the reality is, if you think about it for just a minute, anytime anyone calls you anytime anyone e mails, you sends you a text message. Whatever it is is because on some level to have a problem, right, my wife sends me a text message and bring says, You know, stop the storm by milk. It's because we have Ah, we don't have enough milk in the fridge Problem, right? So she's sending a big problem. It is three little kids. It's a bigger problem than you can think. But so many have anybody's contacting us because they have some kind of a problem now dug in this perceptive situation had a big problem with a friend, and I said, OK, so tell me about your problem, he says. My fiance and I are getting married in three days, and our photographer went out of business and suddenly I'm like, Okay, he has a big problem. He has a I have no photographer for my wedding in three days Problem. Ondas I soon learned he actually didn't even bigger problem, which is I have. My fiancee is freaking out. That is a bigger problem because we're getting married in three days and have no photographer. That's a big problem, you know. And it just sort of reminded me that when you start to understand that when people when people come to your business to you as a photographer, it's because they have some kind of a problem. And the reality is, sales is simply figuring out how to best solve it for them. And when you start to think about sales as problem solving instead of you know, we all think of sales as trying to sell for my sixes and five by seven thin prints and canvases and albums and packages and all that we think about how do we get people to give us money? You know what strategy is gonna have to get people to give me money so I can exchange them for these products or services. That's not sail. Sales is having a deep understanding. I love what you talked about this morning about the conversation in the connection and learning, because that's really the heart of what sales is understanding the needs that your clients have and then figuring out the best way to solve them. And when you start to boil it down to that, you know, Doug called because they have a lot of problems, you know. But any time a client calls you, it's because they have some kind of a problem. If it's a mother of a high school senior, it's because they have. My kid is graduating and I want to remember this moment for the rest of my life, you know? And the other reason I think that it's what it really wasn't a ha moment for me was that we, as photographers, especially wedding photographers in portrait photographers, tend to think that wedding clients call us because they have a need photos of my wedding problem. But I like, but that thing, this is the ah ha moment for me when you're sure? Yeah. Or if it's a high school senior mom or a newborn mom, that's I need photos of this new living creature or this kid that's creating or whatever, but that's not the case. The rial problem we could solve is I want to remember the way I feel, right? Yes, I love my wedding or I want to know when I'm when I'm high school high school seniors. Mom calls me. It's not a I need five by sevens and wallets and eight by tens of this kid. It's, you know, suddenly, I remember the first time this kid came home with us from the hospital, and I remember the first time he had sent my son off, you know, to elementary school. I remember when he got cut from the JV basketball team. You know, I remember when he finally made the team as a starter, and now this kid who has been in my house for 18 years is leaving, and I want to remember the way I feel at this moment when you start to think about that. Okay, sales becomes a lot easier, right? As photographers, we just get to help them remember And so you know, I think that that barrier of that fear of not even knowing where to start comes from not really understanding that that's really what sales and photography is about is solving that problem that clients have. What is called we talk with scoring with consultation is just understanding that instead of going into it thinking about how do I book them, how do I book them? If you just kind of flipped that and think about well, how do I just connect with him? How do I just, you know, where can I fit into their experience here? It is a mindset, but we're talking about overcoming that fear of sales. And so it's kind of mind set exact what you say. Okay, I'm gonna change course because I wanted to get to brass tacks here and really to talk about how how do you develop a sales strategy or sales process? What steps you can take a photographer? Where you you talked about? I have no idea where Start. Let's talk about that. Where do you start to develop a sales strategy? Sure, So let's let's talk about three things. Okay? Three components of developing a strategy and what kind of expand on each of them s only briefly? Just talk about the over high level, and then we kind of dive into deep, deep dive on each of them. The 1st 1 is understanding that 90% of what you do in sales happens before you're ever sitting down with the client. And it's the way you create expectations. Okay, Creating expectations is easily the most important important thing. Because you could be gray at relating to clients in person. You could be like the smoothest sales person there is. But if you haven't set your clients up for that experience, then it doesn't really matter what you do, right. Sale session. So the first thing we'll talk about is how you create expectations with clients. The second piece is what is your process? How are you actually selling and where? Okay, so what are you doing to actually make that to make a sale? What does that look like on then? The third thing will talk Is you started this morning a little about closing because I do think that that's probably the biggest fear that people have when it comes to a sales process is okay, That's great. I love showing people slide shows or love doing all that. But how do I actually get from the point of? Here's what you said you wanted to. Could you give me some money for it? I love what you're gonna say because I really spent most of time this one type of the mindset, your clothes and you're gonna talk about the strategy. Absolutely practical. Exactly. That's why this is Harley. So let's go back to the 1st 1 Sane expectations. Talk about send expectations. I've hinted at it. But what? They're your from a sales percent perspective, Why is it so important and to set expectations? And how do we do that? Sure. So, like I said, you know, 90% of the stuff that you do in sales happens before you're ever sitting down with a client. Okay? And that's because, let's be honest, nobody likes to be surprised. When I talk to photographers about sales, A lot of hymns, they start thinking, Okay, all that stuff you said about the consultation in the viewing session and all that kind of stuff. I could do that until they try to do that in the next client who has not been prepared for that whole process and it still fails. Like I did exactly what you said. Yeah, but you didn't do with the 90% of the work beforehand. So let's break that down into four different things. I like breaking things down. That's how my mind works. I'd like to chunk things, you know, I take a big idea. Let's make it small. So let's break down the expectations thing into four different for different areas. And let's let's start by talking about knowing where you want people to go. Okay? When you start to think about developing expectations and creating expectations for your client, the first step is to know, where do you want your clients to end up? What is it that you want to accomplish with? Um, okay, and the second piece is making it super clear what you want people to dio. So that's kind of the second law of creating expectations. Make it clear what you want people to dio. The 3rd 1 is make it super easy for people to get information, and then the 4th 1 is be consistent in the message that you're sharing with those four keys are what really help you create meaningful expectations that will guide you through a sales process. What if the first thing you mentioned was you need to know it's a photographer? What you're expecting? I think most the Tarver's don't think about sales in terms of what they expect more, and I'll speak from experience, especially in the early years. It was more about what I hope for. It wasn't about what I expected. I just hope for anything didn't have How do you have expectations of a doctor? How do you realistic expect? Yeah, you do that. So let's talk about the best way to talk about that is kind of compare. Like, for example, if you're a wedding photographer in in the core of what you do is create for people an album. This this is important to me because I believe the best way for a client to relive the experience that they had on their wedding day. The way that they feel is through the story through the album. OK, so that's important to me is a wedding photographer, so I need to design a process that has that in mind that has the album in mind, which is very different than if I was just gonna shoot their wedding and hand them over a desk. This sounds a little bit like must has. Like I mean, I know you're not. You weren't here yesterday. But if you know there must have. You can kind of have some expectations. Absolutely. And you want to help get you talk a lot about the Socratic method. The idea behind that is to move people to a space, move people to a decision without having the necessary Tell them that that's the decision. You get them to come up with it on their own because they own it a lot more. So if you're a wedding photographer and your goal is to sell an album, then your process is gonna look a lot different. If you don't have a clue what you want a client to buy from you, then there's no way to develop a process. How can they know what to buy if you don't? Absolutely. And you've got to start with the process because you know, you start here and work your way backwards. From this moment on, I'm gonna be guiding people on this process to get to this point. OK, so what is an effective way to do that? How you guide them on that process? Absolutely. So a couple things. One of the things that we use the I found that super valuable is the way that you talk to a client really matters. And it starts from the very first conversation that you have. Okay, the way that you tell a client what's important to you. And, um, I like to talk about what I call the four magic words. Okay, definitely write these down because to me, this has been the one of the most significant things in my business. You're ready to take notes right? And this is probably the most powerful tool for creating expectations of their clients. And it's these four words most of my clients and then whatever it is you want them to dio Okay, so think about that when you start to talk to your clients. If you're a portrait photographer and you want them to understand the way that your system works, most of my clients find that 3 to 4 outfits is perfect for a 90 minute session. Most of my clients prefer a non location shoot, you know, in an environment that's natural to them. If you're a wedding photographer, most of my clients end up with a 25 35 spread album. Or most of my clients find that if you want to do Family portrait, the best thing to do is to him right after the ceremony at the ATO location. Because once everybody leaves, it's gonna be really difficult. I'm basically tying the client what I want them to do, but I'm doing it as a consultation partner. And to be clear, you're telling them what most clients lined. It is helpful. If it's true, you gotta get true. Yeah, that's how we talked about self actualization and whatnot. But that's if you are attracting the clients Louis and authentically attracting clients that want to work with you. Then they want to be like the other people that are also like you and like them, well, that's really that's a really important thing you just said. We often think like everybody wants to be individual and what but here's the thing. Anytime you buy into a brand, it's because you're buying into what's associated with that. And the truth is, most of your clients want to be like most of your clients. They want that experience and so telling them most of my clients whatever is very powerful way to help move them through that process. You know, when, when a client and it's super helpful, even if I'm talking to a client at the beginning of the process. And what about the digital files? Most of my clients find that digital files are a really great way to archive their wedding, but it doesn't tell the story. Most of my clients find that an album of 25 to 35 spreads is the best way to tell that story. I didn't I didn't I'm not knocking doing that, but telling them, Hey, that's great. Most of my clients find that that's good for this, but that's not where I want you to be. What I want you to be is with Oh, yeah, I wish I could say it like you. Just most of my There you go. I just record this and then, like they actually are. They are. I think they purchased the first video I should buy the course video. Then what? I'm trying to sell it. Hold on most of my client ago. It's true. It's so powerful because it helps you create a connection with people that they understand. Okay, this is what's normal here. This is what you know. This is what's normal. This is what's expected of me, and that really gives people a lover of comfort. So it doesn't become, you know, kind of awkward or whatever way recently, like went to dinner and it was at a place we've never been to and was kind of a fancy place. And we didn't really know what to expect it. Which we wear. No, they're gonna put the forks in a certain order, and I have to let you know. But when we walked in, it was kind of uncomfortable because there was no one to say. By the way, do this and this And this And this, you know, is the food was amazing. The experience was okay, but it was because we didn't really know, like what to do or what to expect. And a lot of hand. I think clients come in tow Teoh relationship with us and they're in a similar position. If you're a wedding photographer, you know it's a pretty good chance that most of your clients have not been married multiple times and have not hired multiple wedding photographers. So they're looking to you to help create that experience for them. Italy. Non processing. As you said, I could never hear this enough. I sat in on a talk Jason gave two years ago, maybe at out in Boston, at the inspired. You spoke for probably two hours about it. I recorded the whole thing and I came back and I played it for Bronson and enter and I still would listen to it. I feel like I just want to try to say it like Jason and your delivery is very good. But But the concept is, I think, what's most important. And, yeah, clients want to self actualize. They want Teoh be like other clients, and more importantly, they just want direction because it's a brand new thing for them, their overwhelming. When we talk about that a lot yesterday, yeah, you know, one of the other things that we found really works well for creating expectations is toe. Have we call them client guides. You know, we have something that can take home because even in a conversation, let's say the booking conversation or whatever they're not gonna I remember everything that you say and then they're gonna book you. And then you have all had this happen, right? You book somebody and you explained everything, and yet they still email you and ask your question. You told them when they're you know, they're images will be available and then they're emailing you. Three days later, when in my image is gonna be available. Or you know, how much of a credit do I have from my album or whatever you can I get the files or whatever the questions are. So all of those things that are really important to the process we put in a product died that we can send home with them, you know, for portrait clients that come to their session. And we send them home with a product guide that tells them all the things that we offer all of the prices so that when they come back to our viewing session 10 days later, they know what we offer. They know what it's gonna cost. There's no surprises there ready to And they also it tells them. By the way, when you come back to see your images, this is what you're going to do. You're gonna order. You know you're going to make a purchase so that we set. We use printed materials, product guides, client guides that help create those expectations for clients. One of the things the transition one of the things we talked about earlier that you talked about was getting information. Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned making it easy. Absolutely. But that's like the theme of Apparently the course is clear and simple. I love it. I love making things about Major easy for them to get information. What does that look like? You know, um, that's another thing. Making it easy is like a big rule for me. Make it easy for them to contact. You make it easy for them to get information, and it starts with. Let's talk about your website. Sales really starts with your website. If a client comes your website and they see beautiful photos, that's great. But if all they wanted to do see all your beautiful photos, they could just go to your Facebook page or whatever. I mean, that's not the primary reason you want to become your website. They're coming to get information, so make it super easy. You know, there's people talk about Well, how much information should give should get my prices. Should I? Well, people are coming to your website to find out two things. One. Do they resonate with you that the first opportunity they have to resonate with you and they want to know, How can I contact this person to find out what they charge and be? Are they available? So let's start by making it super easy to get information. Okay, we use those product guides and client guides is another way to make it really easy for people to get information from us. Because the more by the time somebody has to ask you a question, it's kind of too late, right, because they've already created an expectation in their head. If I have to ask you, you know how much you know, when will I see my wedding images? They already have an expectation that probably should have seen them by now. It doesn't matter if it's two days after the wedding if they're asking you, it's because somehow they didn't get it from you before. So let's make it really easy for them to have that kind of information. And if for some reason it's not available, make it really easy for them to contact you to get that kind of information Grant and we would rather give it to them ahead of time. But the worst thing is that clients doesn't know what to expect. What do they do? They fill that void with their own expectations, right? And what happens then Bridezilla or whatever, because in the truth is it doesn't matter how many times you said it. If it's if it's not easy for the client to understand what you expect of them, they're gonna fill it with something else. And then it's your problem. Yeah, and I've always I mean, it's hard to look at things like this, but I've always said that whenever there's a new issue or a question that came up rather than looking at it like man, come on, I just totally didn't read or write. It's like, No, we failed. Somehow we failed. They didn't understand what that what That part that part played out. And if that's a question, how can we find a way to get it so that they don't ask that question? You say that's contributing at that actually helps the sales. I just always thought that was good customer service. You're saying that actually, doing good customer service tends to help helps. It's kind of goes together in the last thing kind of ties along with that, because we're not only talking about things that happened in the sales session or whatever we are talking about the entire process in the last thing that's really important is you need to be consistent all the way through. You know, a lot of hands, photographers, prices, they change the products they're offing offering. And what does it look like to a client? They book you for a wedding, and then suddenly they come toe purchase an album, and now you're offering a different album and you're have a different process. And you know, you hand out your pricing guide and has one set of, you know, language and photos. But your website has difference. You see this all the time because photographers tend to be tinkerers. You know where artists, and we're visual. So we're changing things all the time. But that can have a huge negative effect on your sales process because it just opens the client's mind confusion. It's not consistent all the way across. And if you want people toe act a certain way, if you want them to behave a certain way, it's really important to be consistent, whether that's in your consultation to book down, whether it's a phone call, whether it's in a in a sale session, no matter what it is. Yeah, no matter what. So well, okay, so going back to creating and setting expectations and how important that is to the sales. Because that's a question that seems to come up a lot and not just sales, but in how you work with them on the day of what they expect from their images, with How do you create expectations? Were some practical tips that you can pass along about create expectations? Sure. So like we said, let's start with where we want to get them and and let's create touchpoints along the way. That helped them move toward that. So the way you talk to them, that's a super practical way toe the way you answer questions for them when they when they ask you about you know, what is an album? What is whatever the way that you decided to talk about that is really important. Having different physical guides you consent, sent home with people on another thing that I think is really important in creating expectations. And this goes back to some of the questions that were asked in your last session. Is this this other rule? These three magic words Unit four Magic words. Now we have three magic words. Act as if What? I mean, when somebody sends you an email on inquiry from your website, what is it that they really want? Okay, well, my guess is if they what are they asking? They want to know my available And how much do I cost? Right. So I should assume I think it's safe to assume in my mind that if someone has gone to my website, they looked through my gallery and they've reached out to contact me. It's probably safe to assume they actually want to have some kind of connection, right? They haven't booked me. Yeah, but we often respond with, You know, these all this stuff has nothing to do with what they're really contacting with you about which is to meet with you. Just establish some kind of a relationship. I think it's safe to assume when you respond to someone who sends you an inquiry to act as if they want to meet with you. That's the next logical step you used. I mean inquiry. Let's have a consultation. So the way I respond, yeah. Thank you so much for your You know, your email. I am available for your day. And I'd love to talk to you more about your wedding. I found the best way to do that is for us to have a conversation, but loved him. But you over to my studio for some coffee. I'm available on Monday at this time Tuesday at this time or of Saturday. You know, at this time if we could work better, which of the following You know which of those work best for you? Because I'm assuming that the reason they contacted me is what they want to meet with me. So I'm moving them in that direction. Someone come to my studio to meet with me. Guess what? I'm gonna act as if the reason that they're there is to book me. Otherwise, what are we spending this time together for? This isn't like, you know, some kind of a weird first date. This, you know, we're here to I'm gonna act as if now it's not always true that they're going to book me, but I treat that consultation differently. I'm moving them towards that. That's the final goal of the meeting with me. It's not to show them photos like they've already seen your photos. And what do you think? I mean, I know you said this is true, so forgive me, but most people are not gonna contact you and have no idea who you are as a photographer unless they've been referred by someone that just they trust you. It's pretty good assumption to make that if somebody's coming to your studio to meet with you have seen your work. I agree. So let's not just that. I didn't tell that one story, but I totally agree with you. And that's why you know, that's kind of why usually the images can get getting away. But what really the intent of theirs is to come and meet with you to book, absolutely waving the book. They're hoping to find that the solution absolute. But what do we do? We sit them down. We put an album in front of them. We saw a slide show on something, and we start talking about photos. But that's not what they're there for. So let's act as if the reason that they're there is to book us. So when you start to think about that, let's break the process down and figure out. Why did the client do this? I'm gonna react. Respond to that based on what it is that they really want. And if they're contacting me, it's because they want a consultation. If they come to a consultation, you think about that. Someone comes to you in your studio, your home or Starbucks or wherever the heck it is. Your meeting with them. You know they've already gone to your website. They've taken the time to email you. They've taken the time to respond to you. Let's not waste their time or your time, for that matter. Let's just be Let's be candid. They're there because they're making a decision about booking. Yeah, so? So I'm acting as if this is what should happen, and the clients are then going to understand This is the process in the way it works. Let's talk about selling. Actually act the act of selling. And you booked him. You've shot the event. And now comes that time where you know where you need to sell. Probably. You know, I mean, we call it whatever you want to call it, but the sales is about to take place. What does that look like for you? You know, what is this sales process that has made you really successful in sales? Does that look like for you? So because I'd like to know, and I'd like to get a share with their one. What? The steps are what the practical how to is after the event. So you can probably guess I'm gonna break this down. I'm gonna break it down in a couple pieces and let's talk about each of them on. The first thing is, let's talk about kind of where you're selling, what the environment and where, and I think for a lot of photographers, we the default is we pay for some kind of a service where we can put our images online, and we hope that someone will buy stuff from us. That's sort of like the default. That's easy. It's what I like to call post and pray right post them online and pray. Somebody buy something right, and that's sort of like the default. But think about that experience for a client, you know, um, who is it that's usually buying with your portrait photographer? There's a reasonable chance it's a mom if you're you know, if you're photographing her high school kid or a baby or newborn or whatever a family and what else is going on in her life when she has a chance to finally sit down and look at these photographs, who knows? Like if it's like my house, it's probably chaos. You know, there's kids that air you going crazy. There's stuff everywhere. You're thinking about the 95 things you have to do, make dinner, laundry, whatever. Change diapers, take out the trash, and you're supposed to sit down and make a decision about which canvas you want on your wall like that's not gonna happen. Or a wedding client. Bride 234 10. Whatever it is, weeks after her wedding, you posted a gallery online with, you know, 6 700 images of 1000 just 1500 whatever it is that you're doing. And you know she's just moved into a new house. She started a new job. She's unpacking all of our furniture. She's trying to figure out what to do with all these gifts that people gave her for that were not on the registry, and she has no idea why she got that. You got four years, Yeah, four blenders and she's trying to sell to him on Craigslist, and suddenly she's going to sit down and look at an online gallery and figure out which picture she wanted. Her album like And you wonder why it takes clients 8 to 12 months to get an album. Sometimes it's because that environment is not conducive to solving that problem that they have right, that is, in fact, in a lot of ways, it's totally disregards the anxiety that comes with making that decision. So what's a good environment? So I again, let's be honest here. There's gonna be people out here, have studios and a lot of cloud your doughnuts, Teoh. Let's talk about that part in a minute. But let's just talk about what it would look like to be able to sit down with a client and be concentrated and build a process that way. And my general rule is that I want to have total control over the environment that that client is making the city. I want to able to control what they see, because what they see is going to define what they buy it. They walk into a studio and they see giant canvases on the wall. What are they gonna buy, right? You sell what you show. That's one of the cardinal rules of sales. You sell what you show, so they walk into a room. I can control what they see. I can control what they here. I get to pick the music. I get to set the mood. I get to set the tone. I get to control what they smell, like one of the things that that we always sort of joke about. When people come anytime someone's coming to a meeting with me, where they might be giving me money, that's kind of the crude way of defining it. We baked chocolate chip cookies about 15 minutes before they come. I'm totally seriously you're associating cookies with. Here's how many people you know. You walk into a room and there's fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. You don't even care if you're gonna get to eat them. You just smell him and it feels like you're at home right way. Actually, let them eat them, too, because that would just be mean. But 15 minutes before they come to the studio like I'm baking cookies, you could do that whether you're a studio or not, right. But when we opened our studio, we literally bought this toaster oven for the purpose of baking chocolate chip cookies, thinking there's gonna be a candle out there, but they don't get to eat the candle. It's not quite the same experience. I have a three year old who's tried it, and it's not anyway, but right under control, because if I can control those things, what they see, what they hear, what they said, I could help influence the way they feel right. And remember, the problem we're solving is a feel problem. Want to remember the way I feel that I want to be able to influence that. So getting one on one with somebody where I can control the environment has a huge effect. Now I will say this. It's not always practical and we'll talk about a couple solutions. But I want to say this for us in person Sales face to face sales is our primary mode of selling to our core clients. Our wedding clients, you know, bride and groom, if possible. Sometimes their parents as well, because they're kind of a core client. And for portrait clients, it's, you know, the our primary motive selling to that client. Okay, we do still use online sales because, let's be honest, I don't have time to meet face to face with every guest of the wedding. It's just not practical, right? Some of them just want, like a five by seven of you know, the cute little kid on the dance floor. That's fine. They can do that online. No big deal, but for the core sales for our wedding album, for a large prints for our bride and groom's homes and then for all of our portrait clients for their purchases. We do that in person. And then for some of our portrait lines, we will use online after the fact when they have extended family or after after they've made their purchase, we will put them online. Because sometimes Mom and Dad, a divorced dad, lives in some other state, and mine doesn't want have anything to do with ordering for Dad. So I'll put him online afterwards for that. Okay, Okay. So but in person sales is what we do for all of our primary client sales. So what is an in person sales session look like? Well, it starts with chocolate chip cookies. Like we said 15 minutes beforehand. Yeah. Bad. Like a secret because they're going to be done about 10 minutes. So that way they don't burn their fingers off like a secret. It is a secret. minutes before that. Just usually means that up until 15 minutes. I'm trying to figure out like who I am and what I'm doing. Okay, great. Got a big cookies now, okay? And I have enough time to eat a couple of without having talking on my teeth if I do that. But so he starts with cookies. We bring them in and I like how you talked about the beginning of any kind of It's the same similar to what you talk about. The beginning is just let's talk. You know, if I photograph your wedding, I haven't seen you for a couple of weeks. Tommy Tigers were doing. How do you love the new house? How do you know? Tell me how things were going. How was the trip toe, You know, state times or wherever you went for 100. We're just having a conversation in talking. If it's a portrait client, we bring them in and we just we want to just connect and talk to them and then the centerpiece of our what we call a viewing session. That's what we call it, because that's creating an expectation. You want to see your images, you're coming to a viewing session. Especially, this is true for Portrait's. Like we said, we don't even put him online until after the fact. And the reason for that is people will have an emotional connection to the first thing they see, and I wanted to be to that slide show that I'm showing them in my controlled environment rather than on their monitor at work or whatever. I or whatever you want to control the environment and calling it a viewing session. Auto viewing sexually, whatever else, let's separate for just a minute because the processes are similar. But let's talk about a portrait viewing session first. Weddings are very similar, but it's a little bit, you know, but they're different enough. Let's address one at a time, so Portrait's will bring him in and the whole centerpieces around a slideshow now for a portrait session. If that's high school seniors families, I don't personally a lot of newborns, but if that was the case would be the same. We show 45 to 60 images, and that's it. 45 to 60 images in a slideshow. Now there's a couple rules or a couple of reasons for that. But but one of them is this rule that not only do you sell what you show, but the other one is that the less you show them or yourself. That's good. Talking was less is more absolutely born design and presentation. But the less images you show, the more you will sell. This is also true in weddings. If you put a gallery up of 1500 images. Don't be surprised when your client can't pick any for album because they are not editors. They're not. Curator is. You are a curator, so let's not waste any time. And I know the objection that a lot of photographers have is how do I know which expression they're gonna like? How do I know which of these four images that are very similar is the client gonna like? Here's the thing the like what you show them because they won't know any of the other ones existed, right? They're not gonna have a clue that you cut out five images that were basically the same. They're gonna like the ones you show them because it's not about pretty pictures. Remember, it's about remembering a feeling. So let's not let's do the hard work for the client so that when they come in, they're watching a slide show 45 to 60 images that ends up lasting 4 4.5 minutes, right set to music. They come in, they just watch the slide show. Now. You talked earlier about open ended questions, and that's another one of the most valuable things that you can understand is in a client consultation or a sale session. Open ended questions are your very best friend. Because the first thing out of my mouth after we watch a slide show is tell me how you feel about those images. That's an open ended question. It connects with the client in a way that they're starting to tell me what it is that they want and what they need to tell me. How you feel about that's like gold because they're going what they're gonna do. They tell you how you feel about it right now you feel feel really well. You're talking about open ended questions now for sales we talked about for booking, but yeah, same idea, open ended questions. You can write this down open ended questions or what you use when you want to get information. Because they forced the client to think an answer. And the next rule is when you ask a question, be quiet. Let the client answer. How many times do were you? Tell me how you feel about this and they're thinking. Did you like it? Do you feel good? What? You know what you know. Don't do that. Don't answer the question for the client. Asked them an open ended question. And then you just wait and let them tell you how they feel. It might take a second. What did you think about which? What are those images Where your very favorite. Which ones can you imagine? You know, do you really want to have open ended questions? And we're getting them to talk to us about what they think and that part of the conversation could be the longest. Sometimes we end up washing the slide show again because they're just especially for the wedding album. This is the first time they're reliving that experience. We're showing them 25 to 35 spreads that we've pre designed. Within those two weeks, they come in. So they're viewing a complete story of their wedding, right? Right, So that, you know, the idea isn't just to play a slideshow of images to tell a story. Okay, so we use all these open ended questions. We talked to them having tell us how they feel, and then we transition to multiple choice questions. Open ended questions are designed to help you get information, multiple choice questions are designed to drive people towards a decision because if I ask you a multiple choice question, I did this when I send the email back in my acting as if they want to meet with me. Which of the following day's work Best for you? Monday at four. Tuesday at six or Saturday at 11. Which of those? So what are my choices? One of those three things, right? No. Is not one of those choices now, Obviously, it could be, in which case we circle back around. But I'm giving them what I expect by asking. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, I was saying earlier, When it comes to the consultation, you've got to make yourself Theo easier option. You know, you gotta make it easier to book you, then to not right, and we give them so many ways. And it sounds so similar because it's like if you want to meet with them, make it easier for them to meet with absolute and to not. And when you just say, when do you want to me? It's like I gotta get my calendar. I'm gonna find a date. I've gotta propose that I wonder if that's gonna work. I've gotta make sure when you just get a couple dates. Oh, that's simple. I just checked that. Yeah. So something like, Well, none of those dates work for me. OK, do then my next question is still multiple choice. Do weeknights or weekends usually work better for you. Okay, so now I can filter it down for a lot of, you know, evenings work better for me. Okay? I have Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening available. Which of those works for you? Like I'm still not going to say Tell me what works for questions in sales, I start well. So where they asked all these open ended questions. I've started to get information. And then I start positioning the solutions to the problems that they have. The problem, the needs that they have. So we start saying things like a portrait session. So you said earlier that you wanted to have something for your wall. Which of the images you've seen would look great over your couch. Okay, that's a multiple choice question. Right? Because if I've shown them 40 images, they have 40 choices. In theory, it's not an open ended question. It's a multiple choice question. And let's be honest, how many of you have ever sent from the client? You know exactly which one they're gonna put, you know? I mean, it's pretty obvious when you're watching. Hopefully, hopefully it's one of the 1st 5 images you showed them or you didn't put the slide together very well, but you probably have a good idea. But you're asking him which of the images that you saw would look good for that. You know, you said you wanted this. I asked you an opening a question. And you said you wanted to do this with your images. Which of the ones you saw would work really well. So we guide them through this process in a portrait session where we start on. This is the other thing. I think that's kind of confusing. Is do I just show them images and then ask them what they want to order, like I don't know. And that's one of the reasons that in our in my studio we've never sold portrait packages. Okay, just to be totally honest, we just And the reason is that it's not constitutive. If I sell you a package. And then all we're doing is watching a slide. Shows that we can plug things in like that. Doesn't feel confident. Now you need for eight by tens. Which ones do it like that doesn't feel concentrated to me. What I want to do is say OK, so you wanted a You know, you wanted a wall. Are Let's talk first about what you did you want. Well, I love that one of our whole family sitting under the tree with the sun coming in. That's the one we really want. O K. Now tell me where you gonna put that image hanging over the fireplace hanging over couch? Are you going to hang it in? The hallway is gonna go in your bedroom? Because their answer That question is gonna tell me what? How big the image to be. I'm not asking them. Do you want a 16 by or 20 by 30? Because what are they gonna tell you every time my client order something for the wall? What? They order an eight by 10. Right? Okay. But that's not a wall portrait. And in fact, we actually it's another thing about creating expectations. That product guide would give them, walks them through the same process. The first thing they see our signature wall pieces. Then the next thing they see our gift prints. What is a gift, friend? Certainly not something You hang on the wall, right? Something You give it away to somebody else. Five by 17 8 by tens. Those are perfect for gift prints. They're not suitable for framing and hanging on the wall. So in the conversation we're having, we're doing the same thing. Let's first talk about that signature piece that you want to put on the wall. Which image do you want? Then? Where you gonna put that? And I get to be the constitutive partner and I get to work with them. And you're gonna hang that over your your bed and you're in the bedroom. You probably want at least a 20 by 30. Okay, you're gonna hang it over our fireplace. You're probably looking at a 30 by 40. You're hanging over a couch. You know, maybe you have a on a for couch. Let's talk about, you know, 3 16 by 16 or 3 20 by twenties tanks to create something like that. So that you're not hanging a 16 by 20 print over your couch. That's not going to solve their problems. They're gonna look at it. Go. I I have This just literally happened this week. I did. We did a family session and I sat down with the customer and they told me where they're gonna put the images. She's like, we just moved in this new house, which, by the way, is by far the best situation. You could have a portrait photographer because they have nothing on the wall. Right? Realtors are your best friend. If you're a portrait photographer because you find out who just bought a house. There you go. It's like what? My walls are bare. So I need a picture. Like I was thinking maybe I'd put like, you know, we could get a framed 11 by 14. But you do that and you're still gonna have empty walls with this little photo in the middle, right? Looking worse. It's gonna be worse, you know. So let's talk about how we can best solve that need. And the cool thing about it is you don't come across as trying to sell them something bigger. You're doing what? You're solving their problem? Because they told you I need to put something on this wall that has nothing on it. You tell me what to do. It's a re occurring theme like expectations and having the client be the one that voices there need, rather than trying to solve their problems. Haven't identified for them. Absolutely. Because that's I think the anxiety are average. Sale session is about an hour. And I had this conversation with the mother of a high school senior who I had photographed, and I told her work schedule an hour coming. How much? We're gonna do this in an hour. Like, how am I ever gonna be looked through all these photos and figure out what I said? You're not gonna figure it out? I'm gonna help you. What I wanted to say is I'm gonna tell you what you want. You know, I'm gonna help you figure out what it is that you need and what you want because, you know, we saw them. The large print. And then the next logical question is, who else in your family do you think would want a copy of that? Well, nobody wants 20 by 40. Can I understand? But mom or your grandma? Aunts, family members. Well, what is Grandma going to do with it? She gonna put on the mantle or she put on her desk. She department. Well, how about a framed eight by 10? She's gonna put it on her desk. Probably a frame five by seven. It's gonna work. Like I'm asking them a question based on what they tell me they want. Then then I am able to offer them a solution that meets that. And that's I think the trick for a lot of people is they think I got I just basically taken order and we're not. Order takers were problems off. Yeah. Yeah. And sales isn't about taking an order. It's about solving your clients problems. Because then not only is it profitable, let's be honest, it is. But then you become a hero. So this is marketing implications. This has all you know. You're gonna get referrals because you created something for that client that met their needs, right? You know, I was gonna Well, I want to ask about when you don't have a studio, but I don't want tea. If you have more points to make about a wedding. A little bit different. Portrait. Let's talk about that just a little, because I know that that will come up. What about To be clear? It seems like what you because we talked about what? What are your you know, saying expectations as a photographer for what you want them to buy from the beginning for them, you want for them to buy wall hangars for a portrait session in an album wedding? That's the primary for a portrait session we want to sell Signature wall are which for us could be framed prints or campuses. I don't necessarily discriminate against those, but I can promise you that depending on what the client sees when they walk in, that's what they're gonna buy. It's canvases hanging in the wallet. That's what they're gonna buy. So we saw the signature while are then guess gift prints. And then it's like a high school senior. Them wallets, which are basically gift prints and then what I call specialty products and for us with Portrait's, we sell books his well, because what happens is if a client gets done and let's say it's a high school senior. They've ordered a large print for the wall. They've ordered some gift prints to give away to grandma and aunts and whatever they've ordered wallets to give the friends. And they really only purchased five images. Right? If you think about it, they've probably only ordered five of those poses or whatever, and all of a sudden, like what about the rest? I just 60 images or whatever 45. What about all the rest? Perfect opportunity to solve a need, Right To solve a problem. I want to have the rest of me photos problem so I can solve that for you. We offer a 10 10 image book or 20 image book, the only decision they have to make our which of those which are your favorite 20 images. Let's put in a book for you and you wanted a nine inch or 12. It's like super easy for the client. They just go through and it's a thumbs up or thumbs down process. Those 20 images could put in a book for the client, you know, So they that's solving a problem of I don't want to leave here and feel like I'm never going to see any of the rest of those images, and that's for the Porter session. For a fortunate for the wedding wedding. Our primary goal is to sell the album, and so the way we do that is you know it's a similar process. That client comes in 2 to 3 weeks after their wedding. We've pre designed their book for them Are my wedding collections include a $ credit? I didn't, by the way, invent this process. A lot of people said albums this way. We refined it, but we included credit in our base commission. Okay, so you hire me, you get 10 hours of coverage to photographers, a $2000 credit for your album and online hosting of your images. OK, so they know they know they're going to getting an album later because I tell them it's really important to me that every client have this. And so here's a credit, but also then tell them most of our clients and over the book that's 25 to 35 spread. So that's what well designed for you. I can't sell you a 50 page bark before your wedding because I have no idea We haven't photographed the story yet, like you haven't written the script. So how can I tell you how long the movie's gonna be? You know, So I don't want to sell 60 page books or 80 page books or upgrades or whatever. I just want to tell them. It's so important that everybody have an album. So you're gonna get credit for an album in your book, and then we'll figure out the rest later. So they come in. We've designed a book that's 25 to 35 spreads, and they watch what with cookies, just like candles cooking. They don't need to cut candles, they eat the cookies. And so you know, we show them that side show. And what do you think I do after that? How did you feel about that story? How we told you a wedding story? How did you feel about it? And they're gonna tell you and there's, you know, the brightest in there. Hopefully awesome, like that's about exactly. That's exactly what Wonderful. Okay, that's great. Go through the whole process now, and it's much easier because they're buying one thing. At that point, they're buying an album. I don't have to start asking them, Like what you want to do with this album. You're gonna hang it over your fireplace? Probably not. You know, you figure out what they're gonna do, what happens? They get that groom starts doing the math, right? You've had this if you try to sell it. If you're trying to sell a large book and haven't pre bought it, they start doing the math. And they're thinking, How much is this? You have a 2000 credit. How much of this book do do I get because they knew that their 10 year, $2000 credit buys them a 10 inch book with 10 spreads, and now they have a 25 to 35 spread book. And so I let them wash the slide show and we go through the slide show, and I just asked him to tell me about it. It's each other. Well, I feel about it. What do you think? Does this? And I asked just this. Tell the story of your wedding. All right. So I have an order form prepared for them. I can slide it across the table and say So let's talk about your book you have to. You only have two choices at this point you can buy. This book is a 10 inch or 12 inch book like That's the only decision that, well, they could decide what color they want. But they get black or Brown, you know, So it's very simple. And there are times when a client looks at it goes Okay, well, that's a little bit more than I was expecting for a wedding album because they might be sort of doing the math. What they're really doing the math. They are just falling in love with the story, which is what you want them to dio. And one of the things that I found that works really well in that situation is to go back through and allow the client to, um, kind of review each slot or each spread and give me a score. I can't remember who I first heard. Tell me this, but I didn't make this up. I'm not claiming that, but it works super Well, I just asking a rate of 1 to 5 five means I love it. I have to have it in my album right one means I can't believe you even took that photograph and put it in a book fired. So hopefully don't have many of those. Most of them are gonna be, what, three fours and fives. Five means it's gonna be in the album, no matter what. Four means they probably gonna put in the three. Basically means you don't love it. But I could probably do something to that slide and get to get it to a five. So we just go through the whole process. And here's what I'm basically telling my client, okay? And people think, really You'd actually say that? Yeah. You guys planned an amazing wedding. I love being a part of this wedding. I love everything about it. The details that people moments. So we created an album to tell that story. And what I hear you saying is that, you know, maybe it's a little bit more than you wanted to spend. So all I need you to do is tell me what part of that amazing wedding that you guys plan you don't want in your book Knicks like Oh, that's what we're really talking about. What we're really talking about is figuring out which part of my wedding day. I don't want in my album, so I'm letting the client make that decision. You know, you told me you wanted a book that tells your story, so we put that together for you. If it's bigger than you want, you tell me which part you want. Inclined to like. The bride is always like talking about cutting stuff, not cutting anything in the groom's like, Well, we need to cut about $ whatever. So we go to their process and work with clients so that they're able toe developed the book that works exactly for them. So I think we're photographer struggle with that whole process is that part where you slide it across and you kind of start talking about it, But it's I like the way that and I've heard you talk with us before in that you talk about it very rationally and they have the expectations you told them in advance. Most of my clients spend X dollars. You know, most my clients, they from a while. You've told him in advance that I want you have an album that's important to me. Most of my clients get an album. You put that out in front of them, and it's more than they might have thought. But then you just have a conversation about it. So I don't know. For me, that's important, because it's like that was the part that I was got really nervous about, and that was a part that was always hard for me to do. But it sounds more like you're aligning with them rather than trying to be on opposite sides of this negotiation where we have to whittle away at this album. Well, let's be honest. This is another thing that's really difficult sometimes for us to wrap your mind around. But let's let's be honest. It's not your job to save your client's money, okay? They're grown ups. They'll figure out ways to do that on their own. They don't need your help. And I think that that's the fear that photographers had. We're always trying to save money, something ways. We're always going to make the number that we tell them smaller because we're trying to get more power. But will you want this album? It's a question of the $4000 it's like we would rather vomit say that number, you know. So we're figuring out what could I do? Like it isn't your job to save your client's money. Okay, so this kind of moves in for whether it's weddings or portrait's. Let's talk about how we kind of move into that the club closing kind of clothes. You know, if I've done my job with my portrait clients, I get to a point where I've basically put together an order that's done what I put together, an order that's giving them exactly what they told me they wanted. OK, so I put together in order. I usually excuse myself from the room after we've gone through this process and let the marshal slide show one more time put together in order, sit back down and say, OK, um, and closing is all about developing for yourself a script that you can literally say every time. Okay, let I'm serious because it's the hardest thing for photographers to do is to close, so make it is easiest possible. Come up with a script, practice it in front of the mirror, so you see it the same every time, and I'm going to know exactly what to say. OK, That's exactly how I do it. Okay? Say, based on the conversation we've had, I've put the order together. You told me you wanted this. So here's what we've put together. Okay? The first thing I want to ask them is is there anything else? By the way, that's the only open ended question you're allowed to ask you in closing. The only one you don't ever ask any of you don't know. Ask them. Set down the order. We've been asking clients. How do you feel? Never put an order in front of them and ask, How do you feel? Because they'll probably tell you that. Right? But I'm gonna sit down in front of them and say, based on the conversation, we've had a particular this order. I just want to make sure. Is there anything else? Certainly. If they wanted something else, they want them to tell me. Right. Okay. There's nothing else. Disorder includes this. This in this. If everything looks correct to you, this is your total. We can have this together for you in 2 to 3 weeks. Would you like to take care of that today with a check or credit card? Exactly. what I say every time. Closing or multiple choice Question, right? Yep. Check or credit card? Yes, Cash is an option, but it sounds really weird to say, Do you want to hand me an envelope of cash? So if everything looks correct, we can get this into production and have it ready for you in 2 to 3 weeks. Would you like to take care of that with your check your credit card? That's I. Well, first of all, if it's a portrait session, that should never happen like they should never. You've done a really, really, really bad job of creating expectations if they come to revealing and sale session and they're not ready to buy. OK, But what we're really talking about there are objections. So let's get to that in just a second. Let me make sure that everybody kind of lets that soak in. I'm gonna create a script in my mind that I can say the same thing every single time, because because that repetition breeds confidence, which gets rid of fear, right? So if I know exactly what I'm gonna do, it's like when you're when you're shooting something you're so familiar with your camera that it doesn't really matter what they throw at you. You don't have to think about what to do. You just change the settings and you're good to go, right? You want to be in closing that that good, You know, it's gonna happen. So you want to think about it? I can set this down. I mean, I could sell you something right now and sit down and go, Okay? Based on the conversation that we've had, This is what you told me You wanted it when I hadn't put this order together for you. Is there anything else? No. Okay. So I don't get this. Get this in production for you. Don't take 2 to weeks. Did you want to take care of this today with the check or credit card? We didn't talk about Price. I'm not gonna hide the price room, and it's right there on paper. We didn't I don't talk about it, but here's the thing. I'm acting as if they want to buy the things they just told me they want to buy, right. Why would I assume that? They don't want to pay that. Why would I assume that they don't want to buy what it is. I just told him that they that they just told me they wanted by. Right. Would you like to? So my question isn't How do you feel about this order, or would you like to pay for this today? Like, that's not the question. The question is, would you like to take care of that with a check or credit card and that I'm giving him a multiple choice question that drives them to action. Okay, now you're right. Sometimes people have objections and like, Okay, well, this is just mawr, by the way. That's the same conversation they have after the album. This is how your album will look. Is there anything else? If you, you know, we have a place in the production will take 23 weeks. Would you like to take care of it today with a check or credit card? Okay, well, that's just a little bit more than we wanted to spend. Whatever. The question is the same. Okay. You tell me which part of this thing you told me you wanted. You now don't want Yeah, you tell me. You let me know because I put together in order. It's not confrontational, but I put together this order based on what you said you wanted. No big deal, something what needs to change. You tell me which thing you want me to take out, and we'll go from there so we could go through a concentrated process, right? So we can help drill down to figure out what the issue is now. Sometimes the question for a portrait session. Very rarely are people going to say we're not ready to buy. At least that doesn't happen. If they do that you've done your problem has nothing to do with your sales technique. It's all about You didn't create expectations. Yeah, back to they didn't come prepared to buy right now that I haven't got more, though, when you're talking about a consultation, right? Yeah, the principle to the same. So let's jump to that for a second. Let's talk about because the other objections we get a lot when you're meeting with a new client. And by the way, I know that everyone's hand have been going up. I'm sorry. No, it's OK. And I know you're gonna get to some of this. Some of the stuff that's already been asked, says. That's why I'm I'm just letting it go. But I want to say, Well, let's take some time for questions here in a little bit But let's I know what you're talking about answers Some of the questions coming up keep going. But I see I see all your hands. I apologize. Good. So let's talk a little bit about that because it really comes up a lot in the booking process. Some of it does come up when you're selling products, that kind of stuff, but really the issue. And I know this is all the questions earlier is what do you do when you sit down with the client to book them and they tell you we're not sure we're ready, right? That was the question was asked last, So one in sales. We call those objections. You encounter them all the time. There's a couple things you should know. First of all, the first objection you get is almost never the real objection. OK, but you deal with them all the thing here's you write this down. There's three things you're gonna do to deal with an objection. The 1st 1 is You're gonna ask a clarifying question. Actually, I'm sorry. 1st 1 is you're going, Teoh, you're going toe. Repeat back and connect with what they've said to you. Okay, so, uh, we think we need more time. Okay, So what it sounds like to me is you guys aren't quite ready to make a decision, right? I'm making sure I understand what they've told me. Second thing is, you're gonna ask a clarifying question. So my question back to you would be How much time do you need? I'm asking them a clarify. Sounds like you guys aren't quite ready to make a decision. You tell me. How much time do you need? I'm gonna When? Based on their answer, I can reposition to them. That's the third thing is reposition. So I'm gonna relate back. Whether telling me I'm going Teoh ask a clarifying question, and then I'm gonna reposition. Okay, so it's We're not sure we're right to make a decision. Okay, well, how much it sounds like you're not. You're having difficulty making decisions, You know, this is a big decision for you. I totally understand. It sounds like you guys need some time. How much time do you need? I don't I don't know, really. What happens? You get another objection, right? Really? You know, my mom is paying for it. And eso I just need to talk to her. Okay. So it sounds like I'm gonna reflect back around here. It sounds like they're decision makers who are here with us. Tell me when we could get back together and include everybody. That's my clarifying question. When can we What do we need to dio to make that decision? Or like you said, Well, let's get your mom on the phone or let's you know, Skype. So you have. All you need to do is talk to Mom. You might need 10 minutes, like, pick up your phone. I was to put the room that sign. Well, you know, really, we're looking at some other options. Okay, so it sounds like to say it's the same process every time you get an objection. Because here's the thing. People, if you have truly gone through the process that Jerry Jerry described in this process that I'm talking about and you've really figured out what their need is and you've offered them that then what the heck are we doing? Like, what is the real deal? And sometimes it comes down to well, but they could be scared to say that are. Sometimes they're processing through it as well, you know? And they probably don't know what the real That's what We're asking these questions. Let's drill down. And, you know, here's the thing. I know that some of your like you really just say that it doesn't feel like I'm being pushy. I'm being helpful. And he sounds like this is a big decision. You guys want to think about time? How much time do you need? You need 10 minutes, like so I step out of the room. Do you need a weekend to think about it? You know, do you need a week? Like if I know the answer to that question Now I have information, right? I've got more information, and it allows me to help continue to guide the process instead of just, uh, and just kind of giving up. So I didn't say All right, take your time or something. Exactly. So Okay, we'll go home and, uh, hope I hear from you again, right? Don't call me. I'll call you like I mean, you know. So oftentimes what happens is someone will say things. Will. You know what this is just like out of our budget or this is really expensive. And here's an important thing to understand when you get a price. Objection. The process changes a little bit. You still on a make sure that we ask clarifying question. But what you do not ever want to do is to validate their objection. With all the other objections we validated the way they feel. OK, I need more time. Okay? It sounds like this is a big decision, and you guys want to think about I'm validating that. But when somebody does a price objection, you never want to validate. Well, you guys are just really expensive. It sounds like you think we cost too much like you never want to say that to somebody. You don't want to validate that. But you do want to ask a clarifying questions. So, you know, you just it's just This is really expensive. My question is gonna be compared to what? What? You used the word expensive. So I need to know what that means. What do you mean, we're too expensive. Compared to what? What do you comparing to meet you? Are you comparing me to the Craigslist shooter? That gives you six hours for 500 bucks in a disk. I need to know, like what we're talking about compared to what? Compared to a Maserati, I'm really not that expensive. Like, what is the game? What? You know what ballpark we're playing here? Or maybe they say, Well, you know, we really only budget it. You know, it's a little bit over our budget, right? And that's an easy one, because it's not too expensive. So then it's easy for me to say, OK, so based on the things that you told me that were really important to you, this is the package that we talked about. But it sounds like maybe that doesn't really meet your needs. Tell me what we would need to dio to this package that we've talked about so that it would fit your needs and your budget. I can ask them a clarifying question and let them tell me they might tell me would cost you. We love you. We really want you to be the photographer, but our maximum is just It's $4000. Well, now you have information, right? You can. Like Jared said early, you can choose what to do with that. If somebody you really want to work with now, you can. Now you can develop you on the business. You can make any decision you want about business. It's not always a good decision, but you can still make any decision you want. And if you know your packages five grand for 10 hours and an album and or whatever, and they only have four grand. You know, we could probably work with you for eight hours and two photographers in an album. Credit for that price, you know, is that, you know, if we were able to in the question I asked them is if I was able to put together a package then that included all the things that you needed at that price point with this being no brainer for you. Yeah. Okay. Well, then it's done. Yeah. Sold. Yes. Sorry. I'm processing through what you're saying, and I think that it's just so easy to get thrown off course when you're in those moments. And at least that's what most of ours I talk to say, is How What do I do When? When somebody puts forth that objection, it's like, Well, ask him why they're objecting. So three things validate their objection. Ask a clarifying question in them. Reposition. It's not. We think it's the end of the conversation, right? It's not the end of the conversation. Actually, that's when some of the best conversation can happen because you find out all the things you didn't find out earlier, right? So last question for you. Before we take some questions out here, how do you have ideas and guessing you dio avoid objections like however the things we can set up to avoid these objections from happening? Sure. So usually the degree of the objections you have is a direct reflection on the quality of conversation you had to start with. Because if you really listen to your customer, you've really masked up with your ideal client right? Then there the only objection. You're likely to have somebody who loves you and wants to work with you but can't afford you, right? Okay. And that's an easy one to work with. I mean, really it iss like if somebody loves working with you. They're a perfect match. Then why the heck not just figure out a way to make it work for you as long as it's still profitable and it's good. The other outcome is you find somebody and it turns out there really were a good match. Then who? Then why are you wasting your time like Don't? Why would you want to save that? Right, that's OK. And there have been times when we get to that point where we say, you know, it sounds like maybe this isn't the best, but I would love to make sure you guys get taken care of. So let me give you the names of a couple people. That would be really good for you. It's not that I don't work with you. I just I want to make sure I do the very best job for you, and I'm not sure I would be the best choice for you, but it's still I don't have a great experience. So let me refer now. There was one question about you asked me earlier about people who don't have a studio space. Yes, way doing good on time. We have time to take that quickly. Yes. OK, so the reality is that just because you don't have a physical studio space doesn't mean you can't can't do this. And they're sort of like there's sort of a hierarchy. First of all, most of us have a place where we live. Ah, home or whatever. And that's an option. Okay, that's an option. In fact, I actually do that on a regular basis. I have people in our home. I do sail sessions. I do consultations at our home, um, on a regular basis. And you could make that work. It works best when you have a controlled environment where you get to set the tone, you get to control it, you get toe, make sure that it looks. What I'm basically saying is, don't invite somebody into the messiest room of your home and expect that your bill to clean it 10 minutes before while you're making the cookies, right? So what are We have a room to call the client room. My kids call it the client room. Daddy, that's your client room. You know, it's got other people's wedding pictures on the wall and, you know, and my mom are. My five year old is always asking me like, Daddy, how many times have you been married? Because he thinks that I'm in all those pictures. But but im not. But its not mommy in those pictures. Yeah. Whose mommy is that? Daddy, Why are you kissing her? Dio I'm like, Well, those guys look really good. So I guess if that's how you see me, I'm okay with that. But But, um yes, we have a controlled environment I don't have to worry about, You know, cat puke in there and kids, toys and whatever. So but the principle is the same. I want to make sure I have a controlled environment if you're going to meet your home. Another option. And I think personally that this is one of the best options for especially for poor chip sales is the client's home. I think this could be like the silver bullet for you. If you're a portrait sales photographer, portrait photographer, Because how cool can it be for you to be consultation tive in their home? Where did you want to put that photo? Right there? Boom. I know exactly how they used to be And you know some of the obstacles when you're in a client's home is Yeah, but how do I show them the images? How do I do that process? How can I help them See what it's gonna be like? I actually use this was at our home, but for the first time this week, used reveal what you've been talking about quite a bit. And, you know, if you have an IPad, that piece of software is killer, especially if you're a photographer who's going to doing viewing sessions in their home. Because the way prevail kind of works is, you know, you get a photograph of the clients actual wall so you can show them exactly what their images are gonna look like on their wall. You know, if your meeting with them in your studio or something, you have to have them send you a photo. No big deal. But if you are at their home, how cool is that? You could, like, take your IPad boom, dropped their images in it and reveal and say this is exactly what that would look like on your wall there, couch right there. It's like the Holy Grail for doing portrait sales sessions in a client's home. I mean, and I use it at our home. I wanted to try it out, and it was amazing, like it was awesome. I was able to because I had the situation with this client where they were thinking of putting one image on the wall, and I was able to show them right and reveal. Here's what we should do. Let's do 16 by by 16 3 of them, right across. You know, the wall that you're talking about doing, and they could visualize it. You know, we mirrored it to our Apple TV, so they didn't have to look at it on the IPad. They're able to see it on the big screen from within the app. And it was like it was a no brainer for her because she could see exactly what it's gonna look like on her wall. And it was 3 16 by 16 campuses. Yeah, because I know it takes into consideration. Besides, absolutely out of the measurement. Okay. All right. Wow, that was a lot. And let me see if we I was great. Thank you so much for coming out here. I could never tactically like that was like so fast. I know I feel like we just started talks like that was like four hours of content in an hour.
Ratings and Reviews
a Creativelive Student
Eventhough I'm not a photographer I got so much value from this course. The pricing strategies and the concept of specialism apply to any business and made a huge difference in how I get and work with my clients right now. I recommended the course to several of my friends and would recommend it to anyone who's stuck in their business doing things they don't enjoy and gets little money for it. Fantastic job, Jared, thank you!
I'm just so blown away with Jared and this course and his experts that he brought in. It is truly A-Z of running a photography business answering the question what to charge and how to show it to get the most purchases. He spends a whole day on this question. The first day all about you and the "authentic" you so you can attract like minded individuals. The last day, in person consult and sales. This is my first purchase through Creative Live, even though I've watched many classes free during the live taping. I'm so happy I did it. I'm going to watch it over and over again. WELL worth the cost!! My review? PURCHASE NOW while it's on sale!!
I see another reviewer touched base on exactly what I was going to say. I was hopeful this course would discuss portrait photography pricing, and not just wedding photography pricing strategies. Since I don't shoot weddings, the 'packages' discussed was completely invaluable info to me. I can translate the concept, however, but it still would have been nice to know that this course was geared towards wedding pricing etc. With that said, I don't regret purchasing this course and still learned plenty from it. I enjoy Jared's teaching style tremendously.