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Pricing Strategies

Lesson 2 from: In Person Sales Techniques for Photographers

Ben Shirk

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Lesson Info

2. Pricing Strategies

Next Lesson: The Consultation

Lesson Info

Pricing Strategies

Developing confidence, however, can take a little bit. It can take some getting used to. Just the ins and outs of sales. One thing that can help you develop that confidence is to create a sales strategy. We spent years in our studio creating and developing a sales strategy to help ensure that our clients come to our sales, know exactly what to expect, value our products, spend a bunch of money, and leave excited and happy for what they're getting. Our sales strategy consists of a dynamic phone script, a detailed experience guide, an art product catalog, a guide for tips on clothing, on hair, makeup, et cetera, when they come to their sessions, reservation forms and policies, helpful reminder emails, and more. So, it's a very extensive system that we've set up. You're gonna have a chance to see this system at work in the next half hour or hour that we have presented. And you're gonna see my expertise and my salesmanship in a live phone consultation or a live mock phone consultation and ...

live sales session. I figured why stand up here and just tell you what I should do? I've always thought it'd be much more valuable to someone if they could actually see how we work a sales session. So, we'll be doing that live for you. And then, before we get into that, though, I want to give you a little bit of lowdown on our pricing structure so you understand what I'm doing with the client and how that's working out. So, next we're gonna go over my pricing structure. Structuring your pricing is a very important thing, and I'm not gonna go over a whole lot about actually prices, like dollar signs for your items, because that kind of depends on your cost of doing business, your desire to income, and how much you even value your time. So, instead I'm just gonna go over a little bit more about just how to structure, again, your pricing. So, there are two main schools of thought when it comes to structuring your pricing and selling. One is a la carte pricing, and the other is package pricing. Package pricing, I'm assuming most of you guys are familiar with. It's where you have a specific amount of product in set packages, so Package A would have, for example, four 5 by 7's, two 8 by 10's, and a 16 by 20. The thing about package pricing is that as a client fills out those requirements, they select the package they want, fill out the requirements, and they feel completed. They don't feel the need to add on anything else. We use an a la carte system, but we call it something much more friendly. We call it "Build Your Own Collections." And our verbiage for that for our clients is that you get to select everything you want and get exactly what you need. Which sounds very friendly to them, also. With our Build Your Own Collections, a lot of people just assume that, like my clients would come and they would say to themselves, my clients would just come in and get a single 8 by 10, right? If you're thinking a la carte pricing. Because they don't have to pick out anything. But we have set up a few ground rules for our Build Your Own Collections. We tell our clients that we do require them to get something for on their walls, so a single wall portrait, at least, and then something that's the smaller prints. So, our 8 by 10s, 5 by 7s, and 4 by 6s. So, six of the smaller prints. So, a couple of basic requirements that should be very simple for our client to get from the time we're investing them. If they don't want that stuff, maybe they probably aren't our client, anyway, right? So, we have that set up. Other things about our sales system is that as you're developing your own sales strategy and your pricing guide, make sure it has great visual appeal. When I first started, I was not aware of the importance of that. So, if you go into a restaurant or something and you sit down at a menu, and you open it up and all it is is a list of their products and pricing, it's very unappealing, right? It's kind of frustrating to figure out what you want. Because they haven't created the desire by showing you cool images. You guys are portrait artists. You should be able to take pictures of your products to show your clients. It's fairly simple. However, this is what I first started off. This is an actual copy of my pricing guide when I first started. So, it is ugly. Like, it's all just numbers and dollar signs and is completely confusing and frustrating to look at. Who's gonna figure out what they want from that list of numbers? I can totally see why one of the big reasons why I was not doing as well. So, our pricing guide now looks like... that. (laughs) So, I have it with me, luckily. It looks like my images are not coming up on my slideshow, but we will go on. So, our pricing guide looks like this. It has lots of big images and lots of large products. So, it creates that desire for it. It also, the steps that we go through, are very important for our Build Your Own Collections. So, with those steps, we want the client to see and understand what we're gonna sell to them and follow along and not try to control the sale so it's very important for us to sell in a specific order. So, we have wall portraits first for our order because that's the most important thing for us in our collections, is sell them a wall portrait. It's also very important to me, as an artist, because that's what I enjoy having my clients to have in their home. It also happens to be our biggest profit margin, too. So, it's a nice thing to sell first. The second thing we have listed is our multi-image wall art. Which is we sell a lot of stuff to, we do a lot of seniors and senior athletes, so they're looking for their composites, collages, different things like that. Third thing is our albums. Our album is a very high-profit-margin item, too. It's a great way for our clients to get all of their portraits and have for years down the road. The third thing is our 8 by 10's, our 5 by 7's, and 4 by 6's, and the last thing is wallets. These things are typically given out as gifts to other people. I don't want them to use up their budget on their gifts to other people that they're not gonna end up keeping for themselves. As I mentioned, visual appeal. On our album, we have a very large picture of a wall grouping for the very first thing in our wall portraits. I cannot tell you how many times a client will come into our studio after a sales session and say, "This is exactly what we want." They've seen this pricing guide multiple times before they actually come into their sales session. We've created desire because we've shown this to them. This is a 20 by, or, sorry. A 30 by 40 and three 12 by 18's on canvas. Clients walk in all the time and say, "This is exactly what I want for my home." Because they like the look of that. We created desire and they ordered that. Same for the rest of our products, too. We show them lots of big, large, product images. So, we have large product images. We also have descriptions that create desire. So, on that description that creates desire, for example, I don't just list our canvas portraits. I say, "Richly textured, premium canvas wrapped around a wooden frame." "Your very own masterpiece." Sounds much friendly than just, "Canvas. Metal. Frame," type stuff. If we have descriptions that create desires, it's very important. And we have our prices listed from high to low. So, if you notice, they take up a very small amount of space on our pricing guide, compared to... ...compared to this, right? So, our prices are downplayed, but they're listed from high low, so our very highest one, our largest print, is the first one we show. And it's the most expensive thing. I want my clients to look at my prices and say, "Holy crap! That's expensive." That's what I'm going for, because then when they look down the rest of the line, they say, "Oh, that's way better. That 30 by 40 is way better priced." So, then they start, it just acclimates them to my pricing very quickly. So, having prices from high to low is very important. Easy upgrades are very important, too. So, for our canvas, our metal, and our frame prints, it's kind of like going to McDonald's. "Would you like fries with that?" That's an easy upgrade, right? "Sure. I want some fries with that." The same thing for those upgrades for our wall portraits. All our wall upgrades are the same price, so it's whatever they prefer. Whatever they want: the canvas, the metals, or the frames. Which one would you like? It's not a whole hard decision for the clients to pick out, figure out what type of material, and then the price versus this other price. Just an easy upgrade. And then, having premium products is very nice, too. Having some premium products, clients will naturally gravitate, if you have premium, a mid-range, and a lower-range products. Clients always will naturally gravitate towards the mid-range product. And so, it kind of gauge where they're gonna go. Also, if a client happens to come in and wants to impress all of their friends, it's nice to have those premium products, too. Building Block Pricing Structure. For a building block pricing structure, I'm gonna bring out my guide again and hold it up. We have a lot of our products are set up in a building block pricing structure. So, for example, our multi-image wall art and our albums. These things, the clients goes through and selects the features they want to build the final product. By selecting, going through in multiple steps, the client sees and understands the value a little bit more. So, for example, on our albums, they're going to go through and pick out the size of the album first. It's the first step. So, they pick out an 8 by 8, a 10 by 10, or a 12 by 12. Which size do you think most of our clients gravitate towards? The mid-range one, right? The middle; the 10 by 10. So, they're gonna gravitate towards that. That's one price. And then they're gonna go through and select the design. How much design time we put into it and invest into it. So, one is a very simple one, and nother one is a custom design, and a third is exclusive. Again, they gravitate toward the middle one, typically. And they pick out the design series. And the third step, then, would be picking out the number of images they want in the album. With this, we sell a number of images and not pages because I'm a portrait artist and not a printmaker, and so I go by the number of images they want. But each step of that adds on value. And they can figure out, again, what they want. If I just had my albums listed at $1,500 or $2,000, the client would look at that, turn the page, and never look back. But since they're building that step by step and picking out the features that they want, they're able to see and understand that value. So, they are much more likely to invest a little bit more to get what they want.

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Tomas Verver

Good inperson salescourse for creative entrepreneurs. To the point and direct help you increase sales success.

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