Getting Them to Book and Selling the Service
Getting them to book means using the right language okay language that connects and communicates it means relating it means the art of destruction providing service and inquisitiveness about them it's seriously like courting remember when you were recording your spouse or significant other it was all about them you want to know everything about them they were the most important you don't care about saying anything about you because they were so amazing right? You wanted to be all about them that's what your client should be about two putting their needs first connection affirmation, sincerity and authenticity you do not want to be fake about this guys don't be fake be really true to who you are open relaxed, calm and collected if you are reactionary or defensive that's the kiss of death by the way this is my little boy and his girlfriend o okay they've been friends since he's she's actually six months older than when he is he robbed the cradle she has known him since he was two months ...
old and there therefore now you're just a little little peanuts okay? So write down language you want to use and I charge you to write down words that are positive in their affirmation just brainstorm a list of words on a page that you're going to use that the terms you want to use things like things like um legacy history imagery not photography fine art um motherhood connection you want to use words that are really going to relate to them and produce the high end in the high end impression of your brand? So I write down words that relate to your brand, brainstorm those and then figure those into your phone scripts to help you communicate that message across connection means showing interest in that this is my boy would love to show him off. He hates his picture taken, so I covered his face with a funk empathy. Like I said, the beginning really putting yourself in their shoes. That's what empathy means reassurance reassuring mom's when they first call you when they're pregnant and about to give birth, they are nervous and scared, okay, especially for a first time mom it's a very scary thing to have a baby, and everybody tells you how gloria's and wonderful it is, and that means I want to tell you how awful their labor delivery story wass oh my gosh, I pushed for three hours and then they cut me open I mean, that's, what they want to tell you when you're don't, you know that I tour from here to here, I didn't even know that, you know, I like seriously, they want to tell you your birth story and you're like that is not what I need to hear, so when mothers call for one of first thing I say is don't worry about it I know everybody's gonna want to tell you they're horrible birth story but it's really not that bad and your brain has a funny way of forgetting it funny way of forgetting it and you know it's a good thing even though you may it may hurt a little bit it's doing something positive it's not like you break your arm and it's hurt like, oh my god something's wrong we're having a baby it's good it's supposed to happen that way it's not a mistake and that's generally makes them feel better and helps them connect with me even more and that makes her feel good that she's going to feel good during the session because I just made her feel good about the scariest thing she's about to do okay um fixing problems if they havent issue you want to fix it on the phone if they have ah concern about what they're doing or what they're going to get, you want to be able to fix that or at least be positive in your delivery to them. So say for example, if they just want digital files in our studio I say, well yeah, you could certainly do that that's not a problem, but when you get here I can certainly explain how things work and why it's a better value for your best pinto have us do some kind of art piece, but of course you're welcome to purchase anyway, you should desire, and that makes her go. Okay, I can do what I want, but there are other options, and then she'll want to know what those options are and possibly go that direction. So I'm helping to fix your problem, but I'm not telling her she has to go that direction. I'm not saying do or die, I'm not saying all or nothing, I'm giving her options relate with the personal experience, of course, especially if you've had a baby or been pregnant it's very easy to do, so if you haven't, you need to talk about people and friends you've spoken with relate outside your circle, especially with men you could talk about your wives, you can talk about other women, you know who have been pregnant, etcetera, etcetera and just consideration for the situation. I think that goes with anything it's really comes down to relating the way you would with a good friend relating the way you would with somebody you love with somebody you care about, and when you do that you're goingto immediately elevate the whole persona of your brand, you're gonna elevate the experience that they're gonna have with you, you're going to entice them to one of book they're going to go oh yeah this's cool because trust me, no other photographer they call is going to do it. And because of that, you're going to elevate yourself and make yourself unique. Okay, once you start once you finish connecting and it's never a finished process, but once you feel like you've got a good strong like she and she's in she's hooked or he's hooked, mostly the women calls goon calls to book, then it's time to, like, start selling the service and get them to book. Correct. So she still wants to know about her digital files, right? And how much they are. I haven't told her yet, okay, when I am going to tell her is describing the process of how it works, how session works with us she's going to come in, we have a full on nursery. She doesn't have to worry about anything everything's going to be taking care of for her at our studio, literally all chefs do was bring her baby and show up. We have a dressing room changing table diapers, a emergency first aid kit we have make up there. We have coffee station, we have oatmeal, breakfast snacks literally she just has to show up and I say to her, I know it's challenging and you're probably we're probably going to be one of your first outing we're going to be one of the first places you go other than the doctor's office, so I want you to really make sure you understand if you forget anything don't worry we've got it. We've got everything you need here to take care of your baby there's two sofas here for a reason if you need a nap, what they're there for and trust me it happens and they laugh and giggle and they really were like, yeah, you need to look at this as a break because I know this is going to be challenging for all of us in our studio have been there, we know what it's like and we know it's exhausting to get in also, please understand that I know you're gonna be exhausted and I'm going to make photographing you with your baby as easy as possible you don't have to look at the camera if you don't want I'll tell you exactly what to do. All you need to do is listen to my voice and it'll be very private there'll be no one else around and I'm the only one who's going to see the images on top of that we're fully fully trained professional retouching experts so we will be able to make that image look exactly the way you feel not the way you think you look most women have twenty pounds loose ok and I do make them lose it let me tell you ok that's what they hired me for I'm afresh in all they can't do that themselves if they didn't care about that they would take a snapshot with their camera they want the professional look so the liquefy tool is my best friend okay I love liquefy tool do I make them look like something? They're not no way of course not but they want to be the best rendition of themselves when they look at the images they want to remember how beautiful it was to be a mother for the first time not how fat they felt okay explain the benefits this is where we start getting into purpose the benefits of doing this now why they need to do it right away three weeks time from now your baby won't fit in your arms the way I'm going to place him there that's my goal they're squishy now this is the beginning it's so fast it's unfairly fast how god makes this go by so quickly and I'm goingto take over that a little bit and I'm goingto stop it for you okay you confirm what the client will get out of the experience you'll be relaxed we photographed almost five hundred newborns in our career were all vaccinated for protests and flew we treat ourselves like nick you nurse's hand sanitizer is our religion and we promise you that your baby will be in safe, happy and healthy hands I have an assistant on hand at all times for safety and security so I'm selling the experience I am selling her I am an expert at this you will not find better than me in the market not necessarily an image taking and how pretty they are that's the least of my worries it's the care and concern for the client the experience they will get this safe handling they want we will have of their baby and the break that she's going to get because I know she's going to be exhausted tire and I am basically going to take that away from her and let her go which has a tone of value ok, especially when they booked me right after the baby's born instead of before oh that's a clincher right there I know I can sell it just based on that alone because I know she's already exhausted okay and re important really, really right why it's important to do this? And sometimes I'll tell my story sometimes they'll say you know I when I had a baby I got postpartum russian really bad and two weeks into it I suggested to my husband that we give our child up for adoption because I couldn't do it and I was dead serious dead serious my husband like looked it really does on another planet and but to me it was perfectly rational in my head because of the ppd it was completely rash you want me to say that and my sister came up and photographed me my son I did not want to be photographed but she forced me and older sisters can do that too you took a little convincing but she did it I didn't look at the images for months but when I did look at them again because you know six weeks later when the doctor got a drug of spine you know is a little soul often antidepressants in your good and the fact that I was like fully a lot with my kid like you because I love being a mom and I thought to myself was nuts yes temporarily my brain chemistry was messed up was it my fault hell no it's just the way nature works and when my doctor explained it to me for different and fight or flight response of a little on all these couples I'm like oh so it's not my fault he's like how long were you thinking just give it to george will be fine I'm like cool there's a fix four months later I was fine I was in love with my child and I thought to myself what how on earth could I have even suggested giving him up for adoption and I would run in front of a train for him okay had I not taken those images, ppd would have stolen from me something far greater, and that has a huge component to my wife, and I will tell my clients the story as vulnerable as it is and it's hard. Sometimes it is to tell, and I say, that's, why it's so important to do this now? Because I want my son to know, even though at the time I was grief stricken, I want my son to know how much I loved him deep inside, even though my head was messed up and without thought imagery, he would not know that, so those that kind of language makes mama go, okay? And I'm saying a lot more serious to you guys, I'm usually, but I'm not so dramatic, you know, with my clients, but I do tell them story when the words enough and what I'm the subject matter is enough anyway without, you know, embellishing it with pregnant pauses for lack of a better word, no pun intended the it's just important to sell from your purpose, and I will only use that if I really need it and you can tell if you need it or not the conversation like if she's kind of so close to booking, but not quite there that's when I'll kind of pull that little thing out of my pocket. Okay. And belinda has a very similar story, you know, she went through a very similar conditions with her two girls, and you can see a ppd mom a mile away. They walk into my studio like, oh, dude, she's gonna need the story. I mean, I have had because they need to know they're in the same there's other people in the boat with them because nobody talks about it. Like people like this hush hush thing that nobody silly. I don't know why, but they literally walking. I went the other day. We had a mom walking and five year old baby, and she walked into the cheers or just streaming down her cheeks. She was late. I don't know. I mean, I went. Oh, my god. Okay. Comes it? Let me tell you something. Took over, took the baby, set her down, gave her some coffee. She should have a stiff drink. I mean, she needed somebody to take over, not somebody to go. Oh, ok. We can reschedule. That would've been the worst thing I could've done, but most photographers would have done that. They inside? What freaked out. But I knew what was happening because I've been there. Done that. Have that t shirt. Sorry. Says it's. Okay, I get big hug. I totally know where you are. Sit down. I need to tell you a little story. Here's, some coffee. Would you need some breakfast? I mean, we just frickin swooped in and took care of her. And what has that to sail? Session was monday, tuesday monday, my days of running the other afternoon, I knew he's, a chef. She stayed home. Um, okay, he should be nominated for james beard award because he's that good. But he just works in a small restaurant in bend, and I'm sure he doesn't makes, you know, a fortune. So it's just the two of them. And she I knew they were going to buy my lowest digital file package, like twelve files. Three, ninety five. Bottom of the barrel. The entry point just to get people to book kind of thing like nobody ever buys that. I knew they were gonna go there and I start talking to her about the benefits in the sale session and I know they moved up to a thousand dollars sale which I knew they couldn't afford and the reason they did it was because of the experience she had in the session with us and how much we took care of her and the image is it was a combination of things that was that was the images we got it was the products were providing it was the emotion in the sales room it was like such a combination of things if I had sent her okay, we could reschedule what I've gotten that sale hell now okay it's about the client the customer service and relating to them like I went off on a tangent here but on all of that relates to purpose I would have been completely denying and um alienating my purpose if I had sent her away that day if I had crumbled and not help her that would have gone against everything I stand for in my business because she was going through exactly what I was and the reason I do what I do and I'm like, oh my god and I kind of knew at the back of my heart like this is so my client so now let me help you you know what I mean? I just want you to know what I'm trying to reiterate here is the big picture always taking a step back and looking at forty thousand feet your business and going where am I going what am I doing? Why am I doing this what's my dream what was my dream and let that fuel me again okay so when it comes to understanding them you have to ask about their needs what they hope for in the session with their goals are for display what they don't want all of this insights that I care about you and what you want and customer service that's really what it comes down to so when you do all these kind of things you're really helping yourself book the session on the phone you can't do this kind of stuff via email now ah lot of knew a lot of photographers and general who aren't newborn will say we'll do it in person free consultation yeah that's a great solution to I totally admit that my my woman my client just had a baby she's not going to come in that many times it's too hard to get out of the house so I have had to restructure my business model little bit to figure out how to do that for consultation on the phone and it's entirely possible I would say we book seventy five percent enquiries so you got a present which is really nice number but they're also usually nine times out of ten heavily prequalified before they call even your email my pricing is all over my website it's all over the brochures in the hospital I make no secret about it I show the brand is very high end it's all of our facebook page it's out there in the public so they know already that we're high instead that would cost a lot it's just a matter of selling the experience from there to get them to book a lot of people ask me well I heard you're not supposed to put your prices on your website why wouldn't you do that? I don't want to waste my time with phone calls of people who can't afford me was it one of the questions I ask have you seen our website? No, I havent great this is gonna be a tough one, okay? The minute they say they haven't seen my website I'm like have you seen our for sure at the hospital? Oh yes, great okay they've seen some pricing if they haven't seen pricing, they haven't seen brochures and any but I'm like a train wreck, okay? And I go there but I don't expect them the book and maybe that's why shouldn't you have that kind of negative competition in my head? Maybe that sabotages may love it, but it's it's a lot more of a long shot that way okay, so there's a lot to think about I know the best thing you can do for yourself is make yourself a language and phone script okay? And we've done this the studio have a huge script that we follow in that new employees which you know I really had to do to contend with yet but it's offer belinda sake it was all written out and so she could follow along with it and that script is like a godsend in our studio to belinda at first because it tells you the different scenarios what if this happens? Okay go here. Go to this like a flow chart that just tells her where to go and when to go and she can read it now she knows that so well that she can kind of be natural about it and it took a few times to practice but I strongly encourage make a phone scripture or get one from customers from a company that'll that'll help you out in that regard there's a lot of companies out there who will is telling you that kind of thing that's up starting point at least if you have to email okay this is classic scenario on my website and reform name email phone number why are you calling? What kind of session yesterday is interested in you want to hate the most just makes you five five five one two one two the phone number zero zero zero five five five one two one two or zero zero zero zero one two three four five six seven eight nine you don't want to talk to me you're not really interested in session your price shopping I don't even give him the time of day if they don't give me a phone number okay I do have a canned response and personalize it you know with their name who just plug it in their cell the experience little bit in the mail too maybe hokum because you never know some people are just really private people and don't want to talk to phone in a shy I get that um I asked for a phone number so you can give them better information in that email but typically you should know that if people just email you like it like that the ones who are serious we'll give you a phone number and they'll want to talk to you because they want information now I'm finding as I get more and more like it should say I get older older and the generation of baby making mother's goes behind me more and more and they're more technical uh tiki I'm finding this balance like having to kind of revisit these issues a little bit because they're so email or in it but I think for now my solution to this of putting a candy email and asking for the phone number works I tend to be a little bit more forgiving of people who don't give me a phone number at first because I know that they're a little shy but some people will directly say they'll put their phone number and there and I'll say prefer to communicate by email really okay, fine we'll do it but I always say I will email communicate with email but then the minute we start getting into real serious discussion I say you know what? We need to speak with you on the phone or better serve your needs so you can either come in for consultation or we can actually a phone call but we need to chat in order to make sure we're both on the same page and that usually doesn't ok so they're booked right now what? Oh I don't think the ship okay do not put ah hole in your boat you need to make sure they can't get consistent and stellar service otherwise you are putting a hole in your own boat okay you just built this beautiful boat that floats so gorgeously on your sea of brand and customer service and experience and you plug a hole in there your fault okay I'm saying that customer service is fifty percent of what you offer booking is just the beginning ok are we a retail industry really? Ask yourself that question again do you have inventory that you sell everything you do is custom yes you have a product but you are a service industry service is fifty percent of what you produce the experience when they look at those images just like those vacation snapshots you took that your trip to hawaii last year remind you of the experience you had of the service people connotation it those images with the experience it's natural we do with every single photograph in our lives when we look at a photograph we remember the experience whether it's a simple silly iphone shot of your kid making a funny face or if it's a professional high end image that's turned into an art piece on your wall you will always associate that image in your head it takes you back to the experience we sell emotion we sell service and the byproduct of all that is a piece of paper with a pretty picture on it yep I know it seems weird I had the same epiphany and it wasn't that long ago stephanie was huge component of that I sell a service to my client's a photographic fine art service the end result of which is a piece of paper makes sense and every time that client looks at that image they will remember the experience without a doubt so if you screw up your customer service shame on you you just messed up a client's really think about it you just messed up especially with a subject like newborn babies he was messed up something that could have been incredible so I want you all to think about making customer service your priority, your business because really, when it comes down to it, it doesn't matter if the images are that good, maybe to be professional clearly. But if you kind of look at your work and you're like I get better and get better, I'm a pro. I'm doing things right, but I knew I could make it better. Your customer service should be your first priority before you even think about making your imagery better. If your customer service sucks, forget about trust me, it's, not something that trump the ball, the frickin time, I mean it. I drop it left and right, like, uh, you know it's, just it's, just human nature, so be forgiving yourself. I'm saying things are going to be perfect. No matter how long you practice this, you're going to make mistakes. It's okay, is what I'm saying, but making mistakes is the quickest route to making it stellar.