Skip to main content

The Consultation

Lesson 3 from: In Person Sales Techniques for Photographers

Ben Shirk

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

3. The Consultation

Next Lesson: The Pre Sell

Lesson Info

The Consultation

So we have developed that comprehensive sales system that includes all those different guides I kinda mentioned previously. It starts off with a dynamic phone script. A dynamic phone script is a huge first step in educating and booking your clients. By using the right words, you create value and create desire for your products. In a moment, you're gonna have the chance to see me use my sales expertise in a mock phone consultation. And then we'll do a mock sales session. So, our dynamic phone script starts with creating excitement for our studio. So first when I talk to the client, I'm gonna create excitement for them coming. Then I'm gonna establish rapport, show them that I care about them. Third, I'm gonna qualify the client. And then fourth, I'm gonna set the expectations of what's going to happen so they know exactly how our policies work. And a preemptive strike on any objections they may have. So it's very important. We have an actual phone script printed off in our studio that w...

e go through. And whoever answers it can follow this exact script. So it doesn't necessarily have to be me or like a head assistant. I can have maybe even a high school student or something answering the phone if I needed to. But we are gonna have, we have a volunteer that's gonna be coming for us in a second. And so a potential client is calling. What's gonna be the first question that a client asks? Anybody know? How much. How much, exactly. They're gonna ask something about pricing right away. Are you prepared with a good answer for that? Do you know what you're gonna say? Being prepared is very important. So in a moment when the client calls, you're gonna have the opportunity to see how I change the question about pricing into an opportunity to build value and excitement for our studio. And then you're gonna see me present our policies, pricing, and procedures using key words to present what we do as a benefit to the client. So, here is the ringing of the client. And, maybe. Well, so we're gonna pretend there was a phone ringing coming on. There was some audible that was supposed to come on, too. I forgot to, must not be working. But anyway, ring ring, ring ring. Shirk Photography, this is Ben. Hi, I was wondering what your prices are for an eight by 10. Sure, I'd love to tell you all about our pricing, but first since we're a very custom studio and create a lot of unique artwork, tell me a little bit more about what you're looking for. What kinda session are you interested in? A senior session. Alright, cool, and what's your senior's name? Jason. Jason, awesome; tell me a little about Jason. What does he like to do? His hobbies, his interests and stuff like that? Hmm, well let's see. He's out for football and wrestling and he likes working out. He spends a lot of time outdoors. Oh, and he plays the viola. Wow, he's certainly a busy guy. We love it when seniors are able to bring in stuff that show off who they are and what they're all about. So as Jason is preparing for his senior session, make sure that he can bring in stuff that not only is typical like his jersey, but all the stuff you'd typically wear to a game or practice. So for example, his football stuff. We would have him bring in his head helmet, his shoulder pads, his cleats, all that stuff. Same for wrestling. We'd have him bring in his warm-up, his singlet, his practice gear, or even any awards that he's won. And then when he's here for his session, we can create a lot of really unique images from one of our most popular options is to photograph the athlete on green screen and then create something more dynamic like a Nike or Under Armor ad. It'd make great artwork to display in your home. And it kinda is a great way to show off all the hard work he's put into that sport. That sounds great. So did you catch that? I just explained to the client and created value for our products. So the client is probably used to getting a generic four by six sports pose from their volume photographer over the years. And now they're starting to think about something for on their wall. So I'm creating that desire for our products. If Jason thinks about anything else that he'd like to bring into his session, for example, he can bring in his friends, siblings, pets, even a car or truck, he's more than welcome to do that, too. Cool, he has a Jeep that he loves and it would be fun to have some in his pictures. Awesome, I have a great idea actually for that Jeep. We have this old dirt road we can take him to, and he can do some mudding. We can capture some great images of dirt flying up, and him just having a bunch of fun. Might make some great images for an album. Oh, wow; I think he'd really like that. Awesome, so what I just did again is creating that desire and value for another product, our albums. So I'm starting to sell, pre-sell to the client and have them envision actually getting these products. So I'm creating excitement and value for our products. Now I'm gonna go kinda create a little bit of rapport. Have you ever had any professional portraits of Jason or his siblings created previously? His older brother had his senior pictures done. Alright, is there anything that you really liked or didn't like about the experience? No, Jason really just liked what he saw on your site. Alright, so what I'm doing there again is just kinda figuring out what I need to do to keep them as a client or not keep them as a client, or not do to keep them as a client. Also it gives me a good heads-up if I am going to want to have them as a client. They start complaining and whining about something that happened, maybe I just don't even want to book them as a client. It's kind of a good red flag area. So for you, what is the most important thing about Jason's senior session? Mmm, I'm not sure. Probably that his smile looks natural and that we get some good pictures out of it. Awesome, well since most of what we do involves the things that Jason loves to do, we're gonna have a very great time. And he's gonna have some great natural smiles. Now that I know a little bit more about Jason and what you're looking for, let me tell you about what we offer. So we're gonna go into now, I've kinda created that excitement, right? And the value for our products. Now we're gonna go over our pricing, policies, and procedures. I'm gonna qualify the client by going over a little bit of the dollar sign stuff. So I'm gonna go over her sessions, and then we're gonna go over our pricing and such from there. So what we offer for our sessions is that we go by the number of outfits that Jason would want to wear. So we have a two outfit session, a four outfit session, a six outfit session, and a model for a day session. Each of our sessions comes with a session fee and then also an order credit. So for example, if Jason brings in his football stuff, his wrestling stuff, a couple, dress your outfit for his viola, maybe a couple of casual outfits, it could easily get to six outfits. So the six outfit session might be right for you. With the six outfit session, the session fee is $225. And then we have you prepay a $500 credit towards whatever portraits you want. So the total for that session is $725, but again the majority of that just gets subtracted off your order total. So we call it order credit and not minimum order. Order credit's much more friendly, too. It's just the verbiage that we use. What we offer, about a week after your portrait session, we'll have you come back in to view and order your portraits. At your order session, you'll see all your portraits for the very first time on a big projection screen. And then we're gonna go through them a little bit slower, figure out what some of your favorites are by comparing them. And then we'll figure out what you want to do with some of those favorites. We certainly suggest and it's very important to bring in anyone who needs to help make decisions on what sizes get ordered or how much gets spent. Because when you're able to finalize your decision at your order session, we'll include a bunch of extra great discounts and bonuses. One of those is gonna be 10% off your entire order. Other things will be the grad cards, social media images, and things like that. So it's very important for our entire process for the client to be able to finalize their order at their order session. It helps speed things along and makes things simpler. However we don't force them to. It's just not how we'd wanna be treated. We wouldn't wanna be forced to make a big decision like that. But since it's valuable to us, we offer them incentives. It's 10% off, but to be honest, we don't really give them a 10% off. We just raised all our prices by 10%, and then the clients that follow our procedures get our standard lower prices. Clients that are a little bit harder to deal with have to pay more. Privately, I call it our pain in the butt fee. (audience laughing) So, from here, I'm going to now explain what is common for our clients to want and get from their sessions, so that I can establish what they should probably be buying from us. So I'm gonna say, most of our clients ask what they can expect to spend with us. And it's certainly a wide range depending on your needs and wants. Normally, normal's a very powerful word, so I'll say normally, our clients are getting a great, large wall portrait of their son or daughter for on their wall. Many times we're also doing a couple smaller ones beside that to kinda create a little art grouping and to kinda show off a variety of expressions for their senior. All of our athletes are wanting a really cool composite or montage from their session to show off all their hard work they put into it. And everyone wants an album because they have so many favorites by the time we get done, that it's a great way to capture all your images and have them for years down the road. I guess what I'm saying is that you're gonna love what we do. Just don't be surprised when you choose to spend more than you originally planned. Sounds great. So from here, I am, we are going to schedule. So I'm going to schedule what they want to figure out what dates and times work best for them. And we are going to send them a bunch of information so they can look over it. So, when I'm scheduling I'm going to set up both their portrait and order session dates over the phone or at that time. I'm not gonna wait until later on to set up their order session. It just becomes a hectic mess in my schedule. I'm gonna have a reminder again to include any decision makers as we're scheduling that 'cause again, it's important for them to make those decisions while they're here. And I'm gonna have them reserve those dates with a payment. So they are gonna prepay that for example, that six outfit session with tax, it's $775. They prepay that to schedule their date and time. Having them do it this way, it completely eliminates any no shows. We never ever have no shows. They can reschedule if something would come up, an emergency or whatever. But they never not show up for their session. So, a consultation is not gonna be enough. We just went over a whole lot of information, right? I can't expect my client to reasonably understand, or remember all that stuff we just went over. So we are gonna send them with those guides. We're gonna send them with that detailed experience guide. It tells them all about our studio, every step of the process from booking their session all the way through our process for them to pick up their portraits or receive their portraits. All their payment plans, all their, what happens here, what happens there. So they know exactly every step of the process. We are sending them our art product catalog. It's gonna be all our products and our pricing basically. They go through it. I want them to be comfortable with our pricing. I'm not trying to hide anything from them. I want them to see all of that. I'm sending more how to prepare guide. It's going to make sure that they are prepared with their clothing options, their make-up, their nails, all that type of stuff for their session, too. They're gonna get reservation forms and policies. This is a great thing that we've incorporated with our system where it has our, for example, our model release that they sign before they come into their session. Our copyright policies that they sign before they come into the session. It also has a checklist that they go through to make sure they see and understand all of our important policies. So for example, they know that they're supposed to bring in anybody who needs to make decisions and they check off yes, I understand, or no, I need more information about that. And so they just make check marks going down that list to make sure that they have seen all those important points for our studio. And then they're gonna get some helpful reminder emails just to remind them of everything that's going on.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Sales System Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Tomas Verver

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

Student Work