Selling Your Work

 

High School Senior Photography

 

Lesson Info

Selling Your Work

When you step into our sale room it's home field advantage okay, this is not an accident. Everything going on in this sales room is very, very scripted okay? From the way the room's light out from the way we're showcasing their images from the way taylor leads in opens up the presentation it is completely controlled environment so I get a lot of questions all the time from people going well, what do you think about going to the client's home to do presentations there? I hate it I think it's a horrible idea you're losing home field advantage now I know I've spoken of photographers all over the place and they were the first to tell me I have a very high sales average it's a very high end service to go into the client's home? Yes, I'm sure, but I do everything by the eighty twenty rule, so I'm more worried about not that one sale you had that was seven thousand dollars by going into the client's home about creating a repeatable process so if eighty percent of the time that's working for y...

ou keep do it god blast don't change it, but I'm telling you by not having them into your environment it's no longer controlled uh and you're losing home field advantage what do you mean by control? You're going to go into their home and offer them a drink that's not possible it's ridiculous right hey guys, thanks for bailing me to your home to get yourself out of the fridge it's ridiculous. So the key here is when they come into my studio space now I can get extend them yet another level of service hey guys, what can I get you something to drink there's always a pause nobody wants to be the first to ask for anything right? And then I force it on them right and I'll be like, well I'm getting I'm getting a dyke okay? I'm getting a sprite what do you want? You know, do you like jones and then we tell him everything we have in the studio and then all of a sudden somebody's like yeah I'll take one of those you know joan sodas or what else do you got? Dad michael do you have a beer? What you drinking? I got heineken I got this I got that name all for five years and now I'm playing host I can't play host when I'm in their home and like taylor said as soon as they walk in boom there's immediately a picture up so they're already excited talking about this so now they come into our studio space okay before we ever get into pricing and packaging and you will see this this afternoon so as soon as we finished come back from lunch you're going to see in action this being put in place but what I'm trying to do for all of you out there is to set this up for you so that you understand when you see what's going on it's not accidental it's all by design so picture will be here they'll be sitting in a living room environment we want them to be comfortable right? So don't have chairs like this okay don't I understand things look good but you want them to be comfortable you don't want them thinking about how uncomfortable they are sitting there now they sit down that's why we're offering them a drink we want them to feel relaxed and at home there's pictures on the wall so we have sample images on the wall whether it's a canvas whether it's you know large prints, framed prints you can't sell it if you don't show it it's impossible so you're not going to sell acrylics if you buy into the concept that you love acrylics which our senior clients are loving them right now how would I be able to sell it if I can't show it to him that's where having it here on the wall helps you sell larger sizes, I guarantee you those of you who are struggling selling larger sizes probably either on shooting to sell or aren't displaying them correctly because sue is a client here sixteen twenty four they go into panic mode like that's huge and then you show it to him on the wall and you're like, oh, I guess that's really not that big, so you have to be able to show it so now they sit down, taylor is going to spend five, ten, maybe fifteen minutes, depending on the client talk just talking about them. So how's your day going so far, we're excited to see your pictures. Did you have fun on your chute? I wasn't there with you, but south told me he had a great time with you. I heard about the horse and about this or whatever the case may be. So now there's all this just small talk it's very genuine, you shouldn't be fake, but there's all this small talk where taylor is talking to them, getting them just excited to see more and more they're pictures so that first ten or fifteen minutes is extremely important to getting the client acclimated to your sales environment is some other rules for your sales environment where they're operating out of your home or in a studio you have to create an environment that doesn't get interrupted. You don't want them to get tied in to these images emotional and then the phone rings that totally kills the mood and it drives me crazy, so whenever we were like the matrix, like the phone ring and it's like reality just slaps you in the head exactly like they're in this atmosphere, and now they're weak. So if you're in your home, we operated out of her home for several years, I would unplug the phones because once it starts ringing and over and over again in the middle of the session, they start feeling like they're not the most important thing, and you want them to feel like they're the only thing that matters at that time. Another thing is the music I used to just turn on the radio on our house intercom until, like trojan commercials would start coming online during senior sessions like trojan this's the right atmosphere, and so make sure you have the right music. Make sure your music is licensed and that's the right mood. Also, make sure you have control of the volume at your fingertips. The reason I do this is because if it's on an intercom system when they walk in, I want the music to be louder when the presentations I want the music to be louder when I start walking him through pricing. I don't want to be yelling over the music, and I also don't want to get up and interrupt the mood to go turn down the music, so make sure you have control at your fingertips to increasing and decreasing as you've seen. Yeah no that that that's perfect and so now at this point we're controlling right we're in control of the environment audiovisual the temperature temperature is very important as well right you don't want your client sweating you don't want your client freezing these are all things that you cannot control if you are in their environment but for those of you out there you know you're wondering ok sal how did you get started because you didn't have a studio space or maybe you're working out of your home right now nothing wrong with that so what we did and we started we worked out of our home but it was easy for us because we don't have kids and we were both in the business it would be very difficult if you're not working with your spouse and I know some of you are not on your tryingto have a sales presentation at ten o'clock at night but your spouse wants to watch the game right or you got kids running around the house and they're screaming you're not controlling the environment if that's the case you need to look into a business incubator every city has these you can get reynold space by the hour and in some cases you can get rent in these business incubators for anywhere from one hundred bucks a month to two or three hundred dollars a month totally worth it you get one sale doing what I'm telling you here and you you're going to make more than three hundred dollars additional on that sale. So look into your local small business association uh and you confined access to incubators all over the country very, very cost effective, so don't let not having a studio space be a barrier to you bringing them in studio for the sale. Okay, so let's, come back to this and talk a little bit about maura about our goals and objectives just even going into this meeting today with kendra what's our mindset what's your mindset going in there, I'm again I'm not a sales person and I'm very much an introvert, so when sounds wanted me to start doing sales on like what? But you have to come at it from the mindset that you're not selling your just helping them pick out what they want because we've sent from the pricing ahead of time and everyone knows that they're coming to dio I all I'm doing is just explaining the price sheet to them I'm just showing them the products is really all it is and if they need advice or a gentle push in one direction or the other, I'll give it to them but for the most part it's just helping them I am the trusted advisor's advisor and I'm very you have to be honest and real with him too like if a client comes in and they're like, oh, I want that one in a thirty by forty metallic campus and I think it's gonna look terrible. I'm going to tell him, even though that might cost me a seven hundred dollars sale, I don't want to sell them something that's gonna look awfully that they're going to regret or that someone would say, really, that studio let that out? Um, you have to be honest with him, like, well, okay, I think that would look better in a twenty by thirty, because once you start going larger than life size, it tends to look a little funny, so I probably do a twenty thirty metallic instead, and they recognise that, and they appreciate that they know that you're giving up a sale and that now you really are looking out for their best interest. And now you console them whatever you want, right? And perfect example of that might be something like this. A headshot behind these types of headshots, we will sell at sixteen by twenty fours. Typically as big as I will try and sell that we have clients come in and they're like, oh, my daughters are so beautiful, and we want thirty by forty camels were like dude she's like a billboard size now right so that's when you got back him off the ledge you know our our guidance for you is sixteen by twenty four here and then maybe one of these architectural shots in a larger size because she's smaller there and it'll look better right and so that's our job coaching them through but we come back to what our goals and objectives are here when we step in to the chute taylor has already seen some of my signature edits right some of our high level edits so I'm coaching taylor on here's my favorite five images from this shoot that's very important because remember from a client perspective they saw me by now as the trusted advisor as the artist so this is going to be reinforced when taylor gets into the sales room with him taylor is now going to show them just for the record these air south favorite five he thinks this one should be a sixteen by twenty for this one should be a fifteen by thirty you know he thought artistically these made more sense match the mood of the shoot etcetera etcetera so taylor's reinforcing that artistic vision without me in the room right? I don't want to be the one painting that picture so there's a lot of coordination when we talk about the objectives, goals and objectives of walking into the south she's not walking in blind she's, armed with two very important pieces of information. One what my artistic vision is to that pre call she had with the client that pre call she had with the client tells her more than you could possibly imagine if the client starts asking all sorts of questions about albums. We know the client's already thinking about getting an album, right? Taylor's gonna just her presentation accordingly. If the client starts asking all sorts of questions about campus, taylor is going to make sure we adjust accordingly. Does that make sense? Right? Questions? Yeah, uh, the idea of albums and books would you go through the process if they've asked about our booking? You made that notation in your notes. Would you go the process of designing one of having that ready to display to them on the television? I am a big, big believer in not doing pre design. I do not like pre design, I find it to be too gimmicky to sail z and a waste of time. And I know I'm going to get lit up on this because there's a lot of tarver's that make their money pre designing and I'm gonna tell you why I feel this way, right, so I'm not just gonna tell you no, I don't like it, I will tell you why. In my local market there was a short stint of time like a forty six month window I was booking all these newborn sessions now you already know my philosophy in newborns it's not my thing, right? But I was booking all these newborn babies and so I started asking all these clients I go well who did your wedding? Who did you work that's my if I did your wedding and you're not coming back to me for your baby pictures, that means I did something wrong, right? So there's a mist there so I would always ask who did your wedding? The same photographer name kept coming up true story so I said, well, what was it? I started a play stupid the whole time what was it that got you to not go back to him? They're like sound his images were amazing great photographer but we found we left with a bad taste in our mouth after our wedding we went into a studio we had only bought a twenty page album, but when we went into a studio he showed us a sixty page design and don't get me wrong it's beautiful they bought it it's sitting right there in their home as I'm they're taking their baby pictures they go, but we felt so sales so sold through the process that he's like pull out what you don't like how can we pull anything out? The thing looks amazing so they made the purchase they got pulled pulled in but they would not make any referrals from that and it hurt his overall brand. This is once again a photographer who's out of business in my local market, so what I do instead is I will not put pressure on a pre design instead we show them sample albums all over the place, okay eighty percent of my high school seniors buy albums eighty percent but is not an exaggerated number, so I'm getting to eighty percent of my seniors to buy albums and I'm not doing any pre design no sales tactics just merely being the trusted advisor, the products and the packages sell themselves so that it's so important how you structure your packages and what you include his pull through like what you guys discussed yesterday that's going to drive your sales so once they come in and see the product and they fall in love with either a book or campus and you educate them on what you can do with those things uh, that's what's going to drive the sale, you're going to see how when I walk a client through products, I'm not just like, okay sixteen by twenty four book eight by ten I talk about each product and what you can do with them these are eight by eight albums notice it's on metallic paper it's got a little shimmer to it. They hold about thirty images and they're custom designed there's no templates and they're based off of pictures that you've narrowed down to. So there you get a lot of your favorites, it's a great because you can only display so many on your walls, but you obviously like, you know, seventy, five hundred of them, this is a great way to still have them and be able to share them with people. In my personal opinion, I think the pre design is an old sales tactic that is something that I think photographers who didn't quite understand how to run a true sales process would run their sales process. So you've got to adapt your sales model to what's going on with your client base and again, it's like all things, if it's working for you, don't get away from it. But I'm just telling you if I put yourself reverse this if you went someplace and they made pre selections for you pre designs for you, would you feel you're being sold? Or do you feel thankful that they took the time to do that for you? I would venture a guess that you might feel a little pre sold, so got you. Membersmoney dub sell the album then you do you somewhat reverse engineer that meaning that if they can't get down to thirty then the option is the next ah forty page bread instead of a twenty page all the up sell is easy because you only get so many images in an album and then the next you know to the same place just a different way of getting there but I don't have to get him there there right there right there getting themselves there by saying but I can't get to thirty, right? You say abscess not a problem you could you could do a bigger book and this is the price and then they get to sixty and they make the decisions all on their own and I just by the way I look at it is I'm merely the guide with the flashlight you tell me what you want and I'm going to show you the path write verse going here's what you need to go here's where you need to go and the more I keep saying here's where you need to go the more they're pulling back from you it's human behavior okay, you have to understand that sales is psychology it's human behaviour for them to pull back, the more you're trying to pull them instead I'm just standing here going right metaphorically of course I'm going you tell me where you want to go and I'm gonna help you get there and I'll show you the best best path there. Why? Because I'm the trusted advisor I'm not selling I can't emphasize that enough how important it is to be the trusted adviser and not be a sales person I mean I don't want to be that person I just want to guide them and if it means I get to make three hundred dollars less on the sale I'd rather make the ranger dollars less in a cell because of the end of the sale they're thanking you for walking them through the process you know people might come in apprehensive like why can't we look at these two home? Why can't you print something out and give it to me like the other studios by the end of it they're like I would have never been able to do this on my own thank you so much for taking the time and helping us you have such a great opinion because when you're going to that process, you're giving them your opinion now this one I think would look great in this size. I don't like this expression because you see her eyebrows a little messed up right there that's driving me crazy, you're giving them honest feedback and now they trust you and they may not have noticed that they don't know what to look for it's all about the experience all about this and you really want to taint or end that experience and you've gone through all this work up front you're buying and everything I'm telling you to do and now you get to the five yard line and you drop the ball by turning into a giant sales person that's not what you want to do keep the momentum stay the trusted advisor we've seen what you offer in your um ala carte pricing do you have any other products like you know my friend johnny over here got this? Can you do something like that or are you just you're strictly I mean you've got very set sizes that you're offering and not a time I mean, I've seen photographers priceless where they have everything that you could get at a trade show they're offering. So are you very deliberate in what you're offering? Will you offer products that maybe you're not? I don't know it's I think it's about your brand, so we usedto offer like the dog tags and the license plates with the pictures on them until one client said, you know, I'm really surprised you offer that itjust doesn't represent your brand, it doesn't seem like you told him was gimmicky like, wow uh yanked it in yeah, and so if you ever go to a restaurant and the menu's like the cheesecake factory it's like a fifty page menu and you it takes you like an hour to decide what you want to eat that's what you're doing if you're presenting all these different products to people, you figure out what represents your brand and what you find people want or don't want and that's how you build what you that's how you decide what you offer remember we don't want to overwhelm with product one overwhelming with great images the pricing is very simple on our pricing fits on one price sheet so the clients not flipping through a menu of items and options to me that means there's a little bit of schizophrenia and your brand you don't know what your brand represents you don't know what you want offer, right? Can you imagine if you went to louis vuitton next week and louis vuitton decided they were offering cheesecake? I came in for shoes? What what's with the cheesecake, right? So I mean you've gotta you've gotta understand what your brand represents and control it. We have it all the time people come in and they're like, well, do you have this? Unfortunately, you know we don't carry that line of technical question on your price sheet do you list the savings of the packages that getting their mind how much they're saving were like percentage you do you do that yeah, you definitely want them to have ah uh, understanding of what they're going to be, er savings because it helps with any objections. So if they're saying okay, the package is nineteen, ninety nine regularly thirty nine, ninety nine they're not going to object about the price. How could you object about the price if it's half off? I mean, what do you can I want more of a discount? Really? What? We had that one lady who said to us she's like I want more of a discount. I'm like it's fifty percent off she's like I want more like there's no more. We're done that's the lot. She was a haggler man s o let's go online let's take some questions before launch. Okay, way have quite a few questions about this kale photo design had asked I'm in a different state than most of my clients and so currently do online sales. How do you suggest getting around online sales to create more of an in person sales experience when I can't physically sit down with them? We have that situation too, because we do a lot of destination weddings or clients live in another state, but they're having their wedding in st louis you have to try and offer as much of an experience you can as if they were in the studio so what I do with our clients that are out of state is we do a skype call, and during that skype call, I try and recreate that sales session as much as I can, so I'm walking them through the packages I'm showing them my favorite images, I'm holding up campuses and changing it under the light so they can see the texture as much as I can. And then we also created a video on a secret link that we can send them to that reminds them of the different sizes. Now you're not going to get a sale right then and there, like you would with an in studio session, but just give them a week or, you know, four, five days to make a decision after you have that skype call, but that video is very important that video, it doesn't have to be like a huge production value. It could be set up on a tripod, right? All our cameras. Aaron cording hd somebody you know has got a camera. We recorded a video in our studio and honestly, it's, pretty much talking it's. Always me. Hey, guys, thanks so much for, you know, having your engagement session with us, you've probably have some pricing and packaging in front of you. From taylor, what I want to do now is walking through our products, and so what I do there is, I don't talk about pricing because the second you start talking, pricing, if you change your pricing now, you need a new video, so instead what I do is I walked through product, right? So what I want to do now is show you a canvas, and I'll put out the canvas, and then I'll turn it sideways. This's a sixteen by twenty four campus on an inch and a half stand out here it is two and a half inches. What I think you should do is make a decision based on your home in your living room. If you go with me, a two and a half inch that's going to stand out further from your wall, it's more of an art piece, so I'm not only showing them product, I'm showing them the value of each individual product that video ten minutes long, something like that. It doesn't have to be a super extended video, but it gets the point home, and taylor sends that to them on a private link. So now when she gets on the skype call with them, they've seen what our product offering is, and that helps, so if you're working in a different state, this is the easiest way to get as close to an institute sales and I just did this sale session with one of our clients that lives in nashville, and they spent two thousand dollars in their engagement pictures without them ever coming into the studio, we never actually got even too meet them in person until their engagement session. Yeah, yeah, so they booked everything without seeing it in person so that skype call in that video really? I mean, you can have the same is in session or in studio sales? Yeah, my initial console to them was over skype and so way had the skype meeting had a great time, hit it off on skype, and it was just like to me sitting in my studio, I was showing them product on skype on dh we went that direction, so it works, you've got to embrace new technology. Another thing to consider doing your sale session is the way you dress. This is how you address for a sale session, so my frame of mind is that you want to be able to go to dinner with that client should they invite you so you don't want to try and wear heels if your lady where heels or just dress like you were going out to a nice dinner and guys something like this is fine, as long as it represents your brand, you want to be in a suit or a dress, but just look presentable put on makeup every day, you know you're that trusted advisor for being that stylist don't show up with no makeup on and sweatpants and a baseball hat if you're picking out their clothes for their session, you have to make them feel comfortable about the decisions that you're making. Your personal image is part of your brand, the way you dress the way you present yourself, it is part of your brand. I'm sorry to tell you this is reality. This is where we live today, so you've got to understand that couple more. How about how about one more south since we're a little bit over now on wanting to go to lunch and this launch is now big, didn't she said it, folks, it smells like bacon having barbecue to, uh, okay, so the question is from coakley twenty ten how do you handle it? When mom comes to the session and dad does not come, then mom says dad needs to see them before making a purchasing decision. Is there a second appointment time for these situations? And vegas studios had also asked who's willing to buy more mom or dad that's a great question, and I'll let you handle because that does happen. Well, first of all, if they say I need dad here in order to make a decision, I tell them, well, unfortunately, email states that the whole purpose of us being here today is to review in order your pictures and we're just so busy there's no way I have time to meet with clients multiple times what you can dio like you have to offer a solution to their objection in order to perceive that the sale what most people do it that if you want dad's input on pictures if you lock into a package that includes an online gallery that will post all your pictures online and that way that allows me to purchase that package from my vendors so I could take advantage of those discounts before they expire, but they let me fill those those products whenever I want I just have to purchase them. So what we can do is upload your pictures online and you and dad can go through them online and pick out exactly what images you want for those sizes and then just email me and then I'll fill your package with the vendors. So the key here is understanding that remember when we did our pricing and package on friday? We posting online is not for every session it's on ly if you're in one of our packages, so if you're not in a package we're not posting online so that forces them hey, you can pay one, ninety nine have this posted, but you don't get any pictures were going to post it online. It's a pull through so taylor's already introduced it in the email be prepared to pick in order your pictures so if dad didn't come, shame on them. We already told you what to expect here, however, that does happen from time to time, so we can't just tell him no, that will stall the sale. What taylor is doing is saying, hey here's an option you can buy a package today and fill it online, but I won't be able to help you or you could just pay to have it posted and then dad can help you that way. So that's, how you know you have a good online gallery, like with photo biz? They can save their favorite images and it'll save into their accounts so they can re log back in and their favorites are still saved. It really helps them pick out images versus having to, like, write him down and remember him. Yes, you definitely want a shopping cart system that allows him to tag favorites.

Class Description

Join Sal Cincotta for his "take no prisoner" approach to the business of high school senior photography. In this photography business course, Sal digs into marketing plans, business plans, pricing, and packaging. Sal also shows how to create an ambassador program so that your kids are talking about you and advocating your business in their schools.

This business course also includes a series of live in-studio and on-location photo fashion shoots, showing you how to capture the most of-the-moment trends, poses, and backgrounds. Sal also covers why high school senior photography is at the core of every successful photography business. Seniors become brides and brides become long-term family clients.

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