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Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)

Lesson 19 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)

Lesson 19 from: Master the Business of Photography

Sal Cincotta

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Lesson Info

19. Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


The Agenda


Why You Will Fail


The Changing World We Live In


Biggest Competitors For Weddings and Portraits


Day 2


Defining, Understanding, and Connecting to Your Clients


Day 3


Legal Issues


Day 4


Shoot and Share vs Shoot and Sell


Day 5


Pricing Your Work Part 1


Day 6


Pricing Your Work Part 2


Day 7


The New World of SEO


Day 8


Social Media - Facebook


Day 9


Social Media - Instagram & Pinterest


Day 10


Building a Better Portfolio & Attracting the Right Clients


Day 11


Proactively Developing Vendor Relationships


Day 12


Get More Publicity


Day 13


Booking More Portrait Sessions


Day 14


Booking More Weddings


Day 15


Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)


Day 16


The Engagement Shoot - Shoot To Make Money.


Day 17


Engagement Pricing and Sales


Day 18


Destination Shoots


Day 19


Working With & Training Second Shooters


Day 20


Growing An Alternate Brand


Day 21


The Wedding Day Timeline


Day 22


Managing The Wedding Day


Day 23


Post Wedding Sales and Pricing


Day 24


Post Production - A Real World Workflow


Day 25


Wedding Albums - Their Importance, New trends & Selling Them


Day 26


Ways Not To Suck At Customer Service


Day 27


Video - The Future of Story Telling for the Photographer


Day 28


Packaging & Final Delivery To Your Clients


Day 29


Lessons Learned - Where I Have Failed Over The Last 8 Years


Day 30


The Journey Of You


The Journey Of You: 30 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 60 Day Plan


The Journey Of You: 90 Day Plan


Student Examples


Interview with Warren McCormack


Interview with Lenny and Melissa Volturo


General Q&A


Lesson Info

Understanding the Initial Sales Consultation (In-person vs Skype)

Everything we've been doing has been about building to this moment where we actually get in front of the client right? So all the ideas we've been talking about is understanding our client getting marketing to them getting them to this moment the sales consultation you are not going to book weddings online so weddings family's baby seniors all are handled a little bit differently so in our studio weddings are booked face to face and that's gonna be the kind of the focus of this part of the conversation or this second I should say seniors are booking on the phone right? So we're not having a consultation meeting with seniors I don't have enough time for that families are booking over the phone rarely every once in a while a family wants to come in to the studio and look at some of our products and things on the wall but more than not all that stuff's being handled on the phone they're booking us based on what they're seeing on our website or based on a referral or something along those ...

lines okay, so the premise of this segment is really understanding how to run correctly the sales consultation on understanding what we're saying to them when we're saying it, why we're saying it and how we're closing the business that's the most important part is the clothes right? You don't want to be awkward about closing so let's dive right into it so the initial consultation right we've got to get to the meeting we also have to understand what the goals are for this meeting is going to be in person what if they're out of town that's the other thing I hear some of you are at a destination location maybe you're in florida maybe you're in the carolinas and you saying hey man, people are just coming in on the weekends and getting married so this stuff isn't going to work where we get in person great there's this crazy thing they call skype that you can use and so we use skype for some of those consultations we'll talk more about it we'll also walk through the actual sales process how how do we do this and it's not complicated it's really not rocket signs I will tell you is a process that has been fine tuned over many, many years of doing this and so there's no scenario anyone in this room has perfected this if you've only been following us for a couple of years now so pay attention to this because I guarantee there subtleties you're missing this is the most important meeting this is that meeting where they've they're coming in for the first time meaning they've already been pre qualified from a price perspective right? They know how much you are there been prequalified it's either on your website or in the email you sent them now they're coming in they've seen your work. This is it. You don't book them at this point, it's on you. You have screwed something up at this point. I hate to be the one to tell you, but it's, not them, it's, not your price point, it's none of that stuff. They walked into the room knowing how expensive you were and so let's kind of go through this and see what where we're making mistakes or what we can do better. And so the initial console again, this is absolutely the most important meeting they're deciding on you. You are what they're deciding on it this moment. And by the way, just is kind of a little segway. Think about this for a second. What is the difference between you and me? What is the difference between you and your competitors down the street? What's that difference? It's, not the photography. Get it out of your head, right? On a scale of one to ten. I would rather be a seven or eight as a business person and be a five is a photographer and I would write you understand what I'm saying? Because the average client does not know anything about photography, they operate from the mindset of its good enough there's some truth to that. Do you think really think the average client can tell how much tilt you have or the horizon line or any of that kind of stuff? They really don't know the average client doesn't know they're just booking a lot of times based on you based on what they get when they when they sit down and meet with you, everybody wants to do business with somebody they're comfortable with thing about who you do business with, you always do business with the best company or do business with somebody you trust do you do business with somebody that you you genuinely like? I know how I make my business decisions, the people I do business with consistently or people I have a relationship with our people I trust are people I like if I don't like you there's really no chance I'm gonna do business with you, it's it's just that and I would imagine it like that for most people, if you're if you're having a wedding day and you're spending twenty five, thirty, forty, fifty thousand dollars on your wedding day, you want people around you that you actually like understanding how important this meeting is now they're deciding on you that's the guy it's kind of a nerve ing to think that we're sitting in a room and I realize this I'm sitting in a room with my bride's they're judging everything I'm doing they're judging every word I choose. They're judging my work, they're judging the way I dress, uh, everything and that's their judging, my studio, my space. You've got to start understanding this this moment, this meeting has now become about you, and so you have to put your best foot forward. I'm not looking for you to go in there and be filled with nervous energy and just talk for the sake of talking. I definitely want you to go, be you, but I need you to understand we need to have the best version of you sitting at that meeting. Um if you don't get to that meeting because there there's a couple ways this can go and rather than waiting for you to push back on me, I'm gonna tell you how how the questions that should naturally arise. Bride's reaching we all get the same email, right? Ah, send pricing and packaging how much I'm getting married on september fifth. How much break you got to send that e mail out ultimately, which you can't do is allow them to get the pricing juste une mail if they get the pricing and email their tire kicking and they'll never book you because I'll always lose, I'm ultimately the most expensive photographer. In my area, so I'm ultimately gonna lose that convert that battle, if you will. So I have to get to the meeting I have to sell myself, and then of course, I'll sell my product. Ultimately, competing on price is a race to the bottom that's what this human place you're going if you keep if you're panicking right now in your business, right, mostly out there, if you're panicking and you're going, I nobody's booking me after lower my price. If that's what's going on in the back, your head, anybody, you're already going the wrong direction. You are competing on price and it's a race to the bottom you'll never win because it's this vicious circle as you lower your price, you don't have enough money to invest back into your business as you don't invest back into your business, you're not doing any marketing. You're not upgrading your equipment, you're not carrying top of the line product, therefore you're not as competitive. So then you're long your price more and it's just this constant race and you will never win. I have never once in my career lowered price to compete never happened. I've raised my prices over and over and over again ever since two thousand seven, two thousand eight. As I grow my business, I'm constantly raising my prices. I'm not talking about dropping at five hundred because I want to be busier raising it five hundred I'm talking about in general, if you look at our pricing, it has done nothing but increase since two thousand seven that's where you gotta be now you can't just raise your price that's not what I'm suggesting don't walk out here and be like south had raised my price I'm raising my price double right it's never gonna work instead it's gotta be opposite when you you've got if you raise your price, you have to add value. Value is to continuously come with the raising of price and that's the part I think most people miss, they raise their price five hundred thousand dollars but they're still carrying the same product and so the basics, right? Just common tents stuff, I think sometimes no coffee breath, right? We all we all eat onions for launcher. We have coffee. I know if sometimes I feel like I'd drink a gallon of coffee a day, right mints in your mouth brush your teeth whatever you got to do dress the part match your brand okay, I'm not telling you to show up in a tuxedo right, show up and be be who you are. You know, michael, I went to your web site and I was looking around your website. Dude, you're out there you're you got a candid shot of you looking away laughing. Your tats are showing that's you right show that embrace that be who you are, don't try and be somebody you're not that's. Ultimately the worst thing you could do for your business because then you're just being a fraud. Eso be exactly who you are when you show up. If you're a trendy jeans, you know, t shirt kind of person be that person in the meeting. If you're a little bit more, um on the higher end and you want to show up in a suit, just make sure that's who you are make sure that's what your brand is. Make sure that's what's on your web site make sure that reflects in the meeting and in the way you handled yourself everywhere. I'm very casual that's why I am with my bride very, very casual on a wedding day, I'm typically wearing a pair of like banana republic dress pants and I got on like, you know, chuck's that's what that's, what I'm wearing on a wedding day that's me, I'm not showing up in a suit and tie or any of that kind of stuff. They've never seen me in a suit and tie. They don't expect me to be in a soon time. Now if I showed the super, you know, expensive, fancy wedding and it's black tie. Well, then, of course I'm going to show up and be dressed appropriately, but hopefully you're getting the message here, be yourselves. Uh, get to know the client and their day ask lots of questions that is the biggest miss I see they're judging you they want we just said, we want to do business with people we like. We want to do business with people. We know if the first thing that happens is they walk into your studio, okay? And we sit down with them and then you go hey eso here you go, here's our pricing and you hand them pricing. You haven't even gotten to know them and you already putting pricing in front of him that's not what you should be doing right. Instead, what you have to do is sit down and just have some questions, so the first thing that happens when we sit down and tell me a little bit about your day shot up get out of the way just shut up let them tell you everything about their day because more than likely you are one of very few people who have asked them about their day verse everyone else trying to show them what we can do for you I don't want anything for you I just want to hear about your day tell me a little about today what do you plan for your colors? Where's the ceremony brothers reception it'll be fifteen, twenty minutes before they ever see pricing that's powerful that's the way you do it that's a soft sell well, I'm in no rush I got I got if you want to stay here for an hour we could be here for an hour that's my mindset I'm in no rush to get them out the door ultimately let them talk and you're trying to become the trusted advisor you've got about a ten minute window and I might I might be giving you a lot more time than you really have my p five minutes five or ten minutes there judging you and you're trying to become the trusted advisor and so the way to do that is to start asking questions about what they're doing okay, so tell me a little bit about your day where you guys get married, we'll get married at the corner bar oh, I love that place absolutely beautiful I shoot weddings there all the time what you doing for applying but where'd that come from what is this photographer asking meabout up lining right well because I've been there I've seen it I know the venue okay oh she's like well you know we're thinking about not doing any up lining the next question always comes immediately especially when it's a mom and daughter in there what do you think love it that's it flip just flip that switch I just became the trusted advisor sixty seconds I became the trusted advisor just by asking questions the minute they ask me what I would do I've already know they're looking to me for gods well guys here's what I would do I I've shot at that venue many many years it's got a really really orange light in there and so all your pictures will have this kind of orange cast it could be cool if that's what you're looking for what the college of your day right? So I don't tell him exactly what to do yet I start asking more questions what are the colors of your day? Well we're you know we're thinking of doing you know, eggplant and a yellow and okay well, you know what? Why not try and get some up lighting in the corners that really changed the color of the room right? We worked with this company millennium the deejay company, they provide up lighting and they've done up lighting in this facility many, many times, and I think they can help you with the color scheme that'll work. We're not even talking about photography, we're talking about their wedding day. My main mission during this sales console is to become the trusted advisor. I want them to trust me because when they go meet with another photographer, which they will okay, sometimes it happens, I'm the only one they meet with they know they want me, I shot a family member, a shot, a cousin, whatever that's great I love when that happens, but more than that they're they're shopping around. Do you think any other photographer is taking the time to sit there and go through this whole exercise with them and it's not fake? By the way? I'm genuinely interested if we're gonna work together? I want to know where you're getting married, what you plan on doing on how the whole day is going to shape up, so we're having this just genuine conversation they and they love knowing that that's what's happening thes air really, really cool things to be doing, getting to the meeting again, this is important to the actual sale that email comes in, we talked about this, the reality is what would be easier for me super easy for me and you send my pricing list in email that would be super easy just be done. Here you go, here's my pricing list but better service is tio sit down, meet with the client and talk about their day. It allows you to stand out from the crowd. It allows you to build that momentum and mouth allows you to build that relationship with the client in a way no other vendor is willing to do. I mean, the reality is, most other vendors are just looking to have their meeting and move on, and I could see the cater or an event planner or something like that spending some time. But everyone else won't spend that kind of time with him. Not not especially not the photographers, so we tend to be one of the few doing it. This is your way to stand out from your competitors and people are willing to pay more money for that kind of service. And so the goals off getting to the meeting, obviously we want to get to know them. We want to understand their day. Obviously we want them to book us that's probably the most obvious one, right? We have a meeting, we want them to book us on dh. I share these numbers with you guys all the time pretty freely for every request that comes in through email I would say of every ten that comes in nine probably go dark I never hear from them again once I send out our prices start at s o nine probably go dark off those one that make it for every ten meetings I have we probably haven't eighty to ninety percent close range, right? So for every ten meetings I have where they finally make it in I've got eighty ninety percent close right that's a good good clothes, right? That means I'm doing my job on many levels I'm pre qualifying him with price consistency on my website my work my portfolio there seeing consistent work s oh everything's being done correctly remember this is a formula this is a recipe everything's being done correctly so that when they get to the actual studio the on ly thing they have to decide on is me it's really the last thing that needs to be decided on we want to establish ourselves as an expert we need to showcase all the products that we have to offer and the services you offer have to absolutely show them we need to showcase our personality that is the true differentiator let your personality show if you're funny be funny I do your thing but again use common sense no politics uh no, no, no religion these things are things that should not be creeping into there right, I've got it I've got a horrible potty mouth so I try to make sure I'm sitting in these meetings I keep I keep it to a minimum because I obviously don't want to offend anybody that's never my intent but so I want to be myself but by the same token I got understand I'm in a sales meeting right now and I gotta let common sense prevail in person ultimately you're gonna let uh you and I have to work around their schedule most people have jobs so meetings you're gonna have to happen in the evening that's uh that's pretty normal for those meetings to happen in the evening you want to encourage them to bring the decision makers this is another point of contention if you let somebody come in and they're not really power, we understand power is the person with the money the person paying for the event so you've got to figure out a way to get the decision makers there so that they don't have to walk away and go well, I need to talk talk it over with my mom, right? I need to talk it over with my fiance. You gotta minimize out as much as you can not allow you to book some of these weddings uh starbucks let's talk I mean when we started two thousand seven, two thousand eight, two thousand nine I was meeting at starbucks all the time. That was the only place I could could I have a meeting? Absolutely nothing wrong with that but again use common sense buy everybody a coffee man. All right, well ciao what if they don't book? Yeah, I understand starbucks coffees expensive it break it, break the bank give ten bucks to buy him a coffee ok, buy them a coffee by everybody who they're with a coffee it'll go a long way again something most people are not willing to do. So do this go out of your way once you grow right and you bring them to your office make sure the office is just kind of a chill environment that's all we're looking for we want to keep the environment super chill ah light music is playing you know, not much going on no phones are ringing no kids running around we talked about this before, so keep that environment super super relax it's gonna make you want them focusing on the task in hand you don't want them getting distracted by everything else. What happens when they can't make it in this happens from time to time ultimately if they can't make it in it's a skype call it's that simple jump on a skype call I have a bride right now she's from out of town are mothers from st louis she's in st louis right now, but I'm here in seattle and so we're having a skype call and so she's actually going to my studio she's going to meet with taylor and I'm going to jump on a skype call so that it's me taylor and then at our studio we're just making technology work I don't think it's ah bad negative reflection on my business I think it's actually a positive reflection they understand that we travel, we shoot all over all over the place and we're making time to sit down and have a conversation with him to talk about their wedding day and we're going to run that call is similar as we can on skype a cz we would if we were in person, right? It's obviously not the same, but we're going to our best to make it that's that same experience. So where there's a will there's a way so it doesn't matter if people aren't from from out or in town and they're from out of town but ultimately gotta walk him through that process. I think that's the big thing and so the last part I want to cover in this segment is walking them through how we actually walk them through everything um and so the first thing you want to do is I think we all buy into the concept of its ah the meeting should take roughly about thirty minutes sometimes we'll go to forty five minutes or an hour if everybody's talking having a good time and that's totally fine I'm ok with having that conversation on dh sitting there right? So just allow properly for that time the longer they stay, the better it is for everybody involved right? And so that first as we start the meeting the first thing we do is when they walk in on the table right there sitting these two box hey there sitting out there so we have a ton albums that we show for samples and I apologize I don't have my my black label album um god bless ups it's somewhere in seattle it hasn't made it here so on another segment I'll pull out our top level album but sitting here are two albums so is they come in for the meeting there just sitting here that's it we just talk we just talk talk about their day about ten or fifteen minutes ago by ok I'll ask him all sorts of questions. What are you looking for in your photography? What do you looking for? Your wedding photography that's the question of your client's ok, so if I had to give you some questions to ask your clients when they come in to keep the conversation moving, I would say tell me a little bit about your day where you're getting married shut up, okay what's your goal with photography from your day what do you hope in? What are you looking for? Out of photography out your day? Shut up! You don't know the answer don't tell them what they should be looking for don't put words in their mouth don't talk about photojournalism don't talk about posing don't talk about editing, hear them let them tell you what they're looking for because this will actually give you some feedback on your own marketing techniques because if the bright star coming in and they're like I'm looking for something that's, you know, really natural and not posed and all this stuff, you've got to start asking yourself, what are they seeing on my website that's? Completely different than what I'm showing right? So there might be a disconnect there. So what are you hoping to get out of your wedding day when it comes to photography? See what the answer is now take that answer and start asking more questions. Okay, so typical thing I get, I'll tell you these are the answers I get when they come in. What are you looking for? Out of photography at a bride sitting sitting in my room and she goes, I said, what you looking for out of your wedding for time she goes, this I want this in my house that's what she said to me that was your answer that made me smile because that means I'm gonna be selling a lot of big print store because that's what's in my studio just big dramatic prince so I smiled and I said I said that's awesome I said I'm glad you're digging the work she's like I love the work I say if you don't mind me asking what is it? What is it exactly that sure that your love right cause I don't just want an ego trip I don't want to tell me I love the work I really do want understand what it is she loves what she's drawn into so tell me what is it you love about the work she's like I just love how it's all about architecture dude this is my bride it could have been teed up any better this is the bride I'm looking for she's the one that I'm marketing tool in my website she's the one that I'm marketing to one of my bridal shows this's her she's sitting here right in front of me so it's up to me to screw it up now she's saying everything I want to hear she's looking for architecture she's looking for big shots that's my bride you with me after about fifteen or twenty minutes of that conversation I say who I say I said all right, well the one thing before we get started, all our packages come with a wedding album so what I want to have you do is just kind of look through our wedding albums just kind of get a sense of what we're going to deliver from your wedding day no pricings out at this point so now I say all all of our arms come with a box of some sort right? Because I don't really want your arm to get destroyed so we have a couple of nice boxes so this is one box eso fewer if you're ordering from signature collection albums okay, this actually is what your album will come in come from. This is actually inspired by louis vuitton if you ever buy a pair of louis vuitton shoes okay, if you ever have an opportunity it's going to come in a box that's like this it's not your typical box okay, it's gonna be brown box can be, you know, stamped with louis vuitton but it's a drawer style box a self pull tab, right it's kind of nice it's a nice way to get your album it's not some white vanilla boxes something that's a little not quite branded but it's really, really nice so we hand this tour she starts looking through the album okay, then we'll say, uh the other thing we have is a zone option is we have these wood boxes right these are also from signature collection albums you've seen some of this getting posted rob you just got one of these uh you have the ability to laser etching so we can put our talking to you guys now you can put your logos here you come with their name and date here you can put their name and date here you can completely customize this thing that's cool about this right is it's all wood made in the u s dovetail design right so it's really really nice quality the cover is this super thick there's a really nice box for the album's other thing we've had photographers request is on the underside of the box is they want to put their logo here for branding okay just kind of cool we never really thought about it and then on the flip side right here is just put their customer you know bob plus ooh it's a really, really cool thing right? So all laser action this is from signature collection albums when we put this in their hands we want them to feel uh this quality and so it will end up happening this is our middle collection album just for the sake of this conversation I want you guys to understand that we start with our black label album but ups has our black label right now and so this is a signature collection album to ten by ten album acrylic cover black leather leather uh I'm sorry this is our signature this is our roma this is in our middle package okay? They have no other options with this so they don't have leather options this is the only thing that comes in that package in the black label you'll see in a second we they have all the different leather options cover options metal in lays art paper we're rewarding good behavior we want them in the big packages but what we do is we start putting these albums in front of them weii just talk I don't flip the pages for him I just let them start going through and I'm sitting on the other side of this and they're just flipping through this okay? They're flipping through page by page and I'm watching their expression as they're doing it and if I see them like something I stopped them I'm like what are you looking at? What you're saying is I just love whatever she's saying I just love the design I just love uh shot right so here's ah you know here's a cool shot here's a cool shot we took of our clients this is out of casino in in st louis there's furniture everywhere were at an actual casino we ran out of time doing their creatives and want to do something really unique form so all these curtains drapes there but there's all this furniture there side my team completely move out all the furniture there and we just created this kind of casual shot form. They're looking at camera, they're looking at each other, they're kissing each other. We got a whole slew of shots for him there, but the same way I would explain, I just explain this to you is the same way I would explain it to my client. I'm telling them this story behind the shot so that they start understanding is not just a picture it's a memory. You see the difference. Anybody can take a picture it's really hard to create a memory and that's the ultimate goal. I want to create memories for my clients and so you have to explain to them the story behind the shot. That's the most fun thing that's what makes me remember my own photoshoots is not the actual shot shot school, but I love the story behind the shot. And don't be afraid to share that with your with your client, then we just keep going. I just let them go through and as they're going through as they get halfway through the album, this is very important, by the way, I'm not just talking to talk as they get through halfway through the album that's when I'll actually interject. Susie don't know if you if you saw this or not but if you notice the album has this what we call lay flat design this allows us to design across two, two pages this is really cool because as we get to certain parts your day, let me find that what we can do is take some of the really cool shots from your day and go across two pages okay? From a design perspective. Okay that's really cool and I say, yeah, you know, as we get these big dramatic shots of your day waken, showcase them that way and go across there and so there's no gutter I understand that no gunner and then the other thing I want to highlight for you look how thick the pages are super thick he's going to stand the test of time, right? Because in some of my other albums they're flimsy pages, right? So I'm educating them on what goes into a good book. Do you think your bride is a bookmaker? She's, not a bookmaker? She doesn't understand the difference between a good quality album and when she gets off shutterfly for ninety nine dollars or probably nineteen, ninety nine for that matter, they don't understand the difference, you have to educate them on what that difference is I'm looking to create what happens is the album becomes the first family heir for you. This is going to sit on your coffee table. This is gonna be out that's. Why these boxes air. So cool so that your friends and family can enjoy him around the holidays. If you think about your parents where's, their wedding album. Shut up. They're gonna go it's in a box in the drawers in the attic. Exactly what I'm looking for you to do is keep this out. I want you to enjoy it. I want your friends and family to enjoy it. That's. The whole point of creating this book. Now, now they start thinking about how they have to have an album. Is this making sense at this point in the conversation? Does everybody realize I still have not talked price to them? No pricing that's so important. So now I say, look here's the thing let's, start walking through some packages, and then what I do is this is also from signature collection albums. And so this is a, uh this is a folio. Okay, holder, I know several of you actually have these, um, these air really cool. This was born because I wanted to give my clients something other than a flimsy piece of paper. With a pricing sheet on it and you can get these from like restaurant supply houses and things like that but you typically have to buy ten, fifteen, twenty at the time why didn't want twenty? I wanted something that was cool so this comes in a a ton of different styles I'll try and get you guys a code on another segment, but it comes with a bunch of different styles and leathers but ultimately I want to put this in my client's hands with pricing so now I hand them this pricing sheet this is like suede here so it's super nice super high end I'm gonna put this there in their hands and on that is going to be all the pricing for them. Sorry, guys on there's gonna be the pricing this is the pricing so I want to show you how we're gonna walk them through this pricing and it's so important the process, okay? And so bear with me because you know, I don't have our main album here, so we're gonna pretend that this is our main album, but say in our black label collection notice we're starting at the top okay black label collection it comes with a sicilian siri's album, it's a thirty page album. I then hand them one of our sicilian siri's albums it's typically a twelve by eighteen album okay, art paper, they love it. So we're starting to do a lot of art. Paper albums are paper. Uh, whatever kind of leather you want to put, make sure its distinctive make sure it's big make sure it's got impact. I put that in their hand eye, then open up the cover and so on. The inside cover of every signature album is swayed. Okay, it's got this or crushed velvet rights got this this feel to it. I might just feel that they're like, oh, my god, I've never felt anything like that. Why? Because in most albums when you open up that cover it's usually just a paper feels cheap no matter how much you pay for the album just feels cheap. This gives it that rich, polished field and so I say, yeah, so this is on every signature collection also, I then pull out a swatch kit I said, you have once you're in the signature collection line, you have forty different, uh, leathers to choose from. You could get any size album you want. You can get any leather you want and they're like, oh, wow, okay and I just like them hold onto that I said, it also comes with our heirloom box that's this wood box right so now they're seeing this and I'm like weakening laser engrave this with your name your date or we could just leave it blank we can do whatever you want but it's completely customizable and this is going to protect your box they love it they cannot believe it comes with that box. It comes with an engagement session just out of curiosity what were you guys from? I just paused at the engagement session where you guys from you from the area where well yeah, you know, we met in college where you go to college while we went to college in chicago hey, you know what we should do? I don't know how much you guys travel. We should do your engagement session in chicago that'd be really cool just so we could do something different there like really oh my god, yeah, we travel all the time so a songs we can work it around my schedule absolutely go up to chicago with you. In fact, depending on your travel schedule, I'm usually in new york, chicago, west coast now if we can coordinate our schedules, how cool would it be to do your chute in another city? Now you may be sitting there thinking how you really doing? I'm gonna tell you right now the average engagement session that travels with us spends north of two thousand dollars I just did an engagement session last week in new york city was up there for photo plus my clients came up from st louis up to new york, we did there shoot in the middle of new york city now they haven't coming to see their pictures yet obviously because it was just last week I guarantee you that client is going to spend damn near two grand you don't get a hotel room, get wardrobe airfare flight in new york city, take time off of work and then buy two eight by tens it doesn't happen, it just doesn't happen that's when this is happening in the conversation, I haven't even booked him yet. I have not even booked them yet and I'm talking about doing there shoot in new york city, I'm talking about doing there shoot in chicago. How many other photographers were talking about that during the initial console? Zero not happening. So now when they go meet with another photographer, they're already thinking about this engagement, shooting another city I'm already selling them without selling them. Are you seeing how we do this again? The reason I'm covering this is because so many of you are missing this key sales point, right? You're like, hey salome copying your pricing model I'm copying this, I'm copying this yes delivery is everything you have to know how to deliver it let's keep going it also comes with an engagement guest book then I put the engagement guest book in their hands and engagement guestbook is something we get from bay photo it's an eight by eight book we talked about this earlier it's ten images in a twenty page album so when you open up the album on the left hand side is gonna be a full color image on the right hand side is going to be a faded version of that very same image and it's going to allow for a place for people to sign right that's why the images faded much more meaningful than your typical book that you're going to get from a target that just says sign here okay, so it also comes with a bridal session and what this is it's a creative session after your wedding so on your wedding day timeline might be a little tight we might be able to we might not be able to get all these cool shots that we're looking for so this is just an extra hour, hour and half the time for us to go do something cool great I don't refer to it is trash addressed by the way, whatever reason in the midwest, the whole concept of trash address and maybe even around the united states at this point I cz just really, really negative there's a lot of negative connotation with that whole thing so we do not use that term at all we just call it a bridal session ultimately that dreidel session khun b a glamour session it could be a trash address it really could be whatever the hell they want it's just one extra session going to come with two photographers also comes with high high resolution digital negatives from your wedding day comes with up to eight hours of coverage day of slideshow and what this is is on your wedding day we're going to do a slide show off pictures from your day now I will tell you uh speaking to you guys I will tell you that I've been doing this for a number of years so when I get to the day of slideshow almost everybody knows what it is because they've either seen it through a friend I was at a wedding you did it at but in the beginning when I was trying explain what this sideshow was, no one knew what it wass so you have to be able to explain it here's we're going to we're going to pull out a screen, a projector you don't have to do anything it's after dinner we're gonna show about a hundred pictures from your day and they're like really like yeah, I think about it when you're getting ready the groom has no idea what you've been doing all day and when we're photographing, you know, you, he he has no idea what you're doing. You have no idea what he's doing your family has no idea what's going on at all, this is a way for at the end of the day for everybody to see and enjoy your pictures and they love it, they start getting giddy about it. And so this slide show is definitely something you want to look into. It also comes with our client for life program, so once a year, every year for the rest of my life, you get a free photo session. So once you guys start having kids, once you start having family reunions, things like that, you call us up, we'll do a free family session. You would be surprised how much of a pull through, right? Um, that client for life is I'm telling you, I'm blown away by it every time I see it because they're not even married yet, and they're already thinking about their family that's why that is so powerful of a pull through items she's already think about kids, ok, so and that's ok that's fine, so I'm already team myself up for this comes with a dvd slideshow, so that very slide show we did on the night of her wedding that's going to come if you want a dvd, you can have it on your phone or any anywhere like that, we're actually in the process of changing this, so we're no longer going to be offering dvd slide shows. We don't do we're not delivering dvds anymore. Everything's coming on a thumb drive there's just absolutely no reason to deliver it on dvd in fact, when we're delivering an emotive side shows on a dvd it's not even in a dvd format it's in an mp four format, so now they can copy that mp for down their their their computer or their iphone or something like that. So why are we delivering the dvd? In fact, mac computers aren't even coming with a dvd anymore reader, you have to buy extra so it's just time to let it go, man, that medium is done, let it go, move on, we delivered with personal website so this way you shoot proof or on it comes with a sticky out. If you're interested in video, we do thirty percent off video notice I never said price. I never said how much something was they know exactly how much it is they're they're looking at the same price let's remember this priceless is sitting in their hands in this folio, I don't have to say price nobody wants to hear that number in our platinum collection again I never say price this comes with our ten by ten roman series album I now take this album and I hand it to him you got to understand the difference that's starting to happen right now the first album I hand them was twelve by eighteen says big super heavy art paper custom cover now I'm handing the miss so the experience is already gone right? We're just we're going the wrong way for him that's the that's the goal it's all psychology now manning them this right I'm saying this comes to our ten by ten roma siri's album comes with the engagement session of bridal session so now is I hit this middle package I don't have to go is in depth on every single item that's for that top package explained everything in the top package comes at the roma siri's engagement session bridal session two photographers digital likeness of your day up to eight hours of coverage first ten in the top package right? I'm calling out the differences now day of sideshow website for sixty days a custom iphone album and then twenty five person off your your video now I will tell you the big difference between the two packages is going to come down to the number of hours coverage and the album that's the big difference between the two packages is what I said to you is exactly what I said to them why I've been doing this for a lot of years now I know the next questions that's going to come there looking at the price up and down going up and down and they're trying to figure out uh what's the difference between these two things well you don't have to figure it out I'm going to tell you in our gold collection I don't have it here that's when we hand them that press printed book right so now you're going from an album that's this thick okay to an album that's this thick just a little press printed book ten by ten in fact it's not it can not be too good so you're based package I don't care how much money you spend it's not about money at this point it can't be too good if the album in your base packages to good they're never going to go to the middle package so if I had to pick one spot besides getting pricing right a wrong that I see photographer screwing this up is they put too good of an album in their base package and then the mentality with your client becomes its good enough and then they stay away from that top package gold collection that that comes with a ten by ten capri siri's album boom put that album in their hand oh man when you go from the big album to the middle and then you put that kind of crappy press printed book in their hands I'll tell you what happens almost immediately she will she's almost disgusted I hand the tour in her hands and she goes like that she gets it she looks at it and she she literally will put it down nine out of ten times my bride just puts it down she doesn't want to hear what's in the gold package anymore meanwhile, what brought her in the door that price point she is so disgusted by this album right now she's not interested in hearing about it she's immediately in the middle and you know she is lusting for the signature collection album the big dog that's what she wants everything's working perfectly to plan I don't want her to want this album I want her to want the middle or the top one if this album's too good in the base package she's going to end up there you've got to make it hard for her to be there that comes with an engagement session no bridal session two photographers dvd proofing so it doesn't come with your digital negatives that's only in the middle package and higher uh eight hours of coverage personal website twenty percent off video now I know we just put a lot of information out there for you I probably you know just did a brain dump on you any questions for me let me play my client so between the three albums that you're showing are you throwing three different sets of wedding images or are they the same images from the same wedding that's a really good question it's actually three different sets of wedding images from three different completely different weddings not opposed though it's not necessarily a bad idea if you're building your portfolio and you don't have enough weddings to show the same wedding in three different books nothing wrong with that I could get behind that that's good and as you grow, just add to it now just so just in the spirit of this whole conversation as you're building your business and building your portfolio if you have a sample album ah that you build and then you go ok three months later you refresh your sample albums don't throw this album out give this album to a vendor right now that that album has a life of its own now now you send it to the vendor it's good album nothing wrong you just want to refresh your samples because that's what we do so we don't really throw out our sample albums we just repurpose them that makes sense I saw a couple other questions yeah with regards to the dvd proofing what's your thoughts on what you're going to do in the future with the dvd for the lack of dvd yeah, yeah that's actually, really good question I'm kind of stumped right now on howto how to handle this proofing we can go one of two ways we can do like we've had this conversation really lightheartedly at the moment about dvd proofing, right? Because I'm already were already saying we're not delivering dvds anymore, but now you know, we're faced with the challenge of this because without a dvd, I don't know how we're delivering it, so I'm trying to reach out to emotion media, which is the company that produces this for, to really kind of get a sense of what the future looks like for them what's their roadmap what's their blueprint, I don't have an answer right now. It is a challenge for because I don't want to keep burning dvds. The only way this thing actually works is if it's sitting in either your computer dvd player, which is how most clients would want to use it for sitting in their bedroom, putting it in an actual dvd place. So it is a it's, a burn dvd, right? So it's got what is it those t s files or whatever it is that's an actual dvd? The other thing I'm debating and I'm not there yet is you know, if your belonging toa like a shoot proof for example, you don't necessarily ever have to take that stuff down right there they're charging you by image they've got plans where your images can kind of stay up there so I'm trying to figure out and working with you proof like what's the future look like for long term proofing I mean do you do you know, a one year proofing sight form and you leave it up for one year do you do something at a light room and you just put it on your own personal site where it's sitting there kind of forever with your watermark on it so I don't really have a clear cut answer we're trying to figure that out but really really good question any other questions around this making sense clear up some things yeah all right so guys that's it now if we were having the same conversation on skype this pricing sheet would have been mailed to the client and we would have walked them through on the skype call and so it's not uncommon if we're on a skype call for us to say all right guys so it comes with this album can you see that right? So I'm going back and forth onto my mac make sure you're sitting in good light right don't sit in a dark room with you no one lamp on in the room make sure you got some really good like they're I'm opening it up for him and I'm going I'm highlighting for them as I'm going through the album, I'm going guys so here's, what I want you to notice, I don't know if can you see this right? And I'm showing them how it lays flat. I'm literally hand holding them through the process on skype as best I can, and so the skype call goes through the same process except we now email them that pdf right before the meeting. I don't email to him right when they first contact me right before the meeting. I e mail them the pdf, and then we walked him through the pdf that way and we've had a lot of times on the skype calls clients go you know what? We can't make a decision on the album yet, is it okay if we book you guys? And then when we're in town for our engagement pictures, can we see the albums then that actually happens all the time? So I'm out of town clients want to book us that's the easiest way for them, teo to kind of see all that all that stuff and it makes sense because the album's air such a tactile thing, right? It's, very hard to showcase. How cool these albums are how much qualities into the albums just by looking at a picture you really have to have this in your hands to feel the weight behind its aim for the boxes and things like that, right? You want to see touch feeling and so all I'm looking to do is make it easy for them to book me and I think by using skype is that mechanism it definitely works so the key is is get to the meeting that is where you're going to showcase your strength wendy so I have the same question about this for a family or for portrait work, so if you're not doing an in person consultation and you're doing it via phone, when is it that that client would first see your price list? Yes, great great questions so let me let me kind extrapolate on that so we're talking about, uh, seniors, families, babies, any other kind of portrait session they would never see the price list until until the meeting was scheduled so let's go through that workflow real quick because I'm not covering that another segment let's just say our family portrait, right? So it's january august first somebody contacts as for family portrait on the phone? Absolutely how is that conversation gonna go so, yeah, I don't have my family portrait is done, you know how much are you that's usually how the conversation goes, how much we immediately gets, how much? Well, our session fees to ninety nine that gives you about an hour of time and then salable typically travel to any location in the you know, kind of st louis metro area. Did you have anything in mind for your portrait session so now taylor's immediately away from price and she's having a conversation about vision, ideas, creativity? We don't want to talk about price, not because they're not gonna have to pay us money, but because that's not what sells that's, what sells us is vision. Great. Well, blah, blah. We have the conversation about vision, but how much can you send me your prices? Unfortunately, our pricing is tied two specials that our vendors are running once you decide to come in. But I can tell you that the average family spends about a thousand dollars in our studio that's the only answer you really have to give if they are objecting to that thousand dollars? Well, the reality is they're going to they're not going to be happy in your in your studio, it's just not gonna happen. There's no way for them to be happy if they're looking for a fifty dollar photographer and you just hit him with a thousand dollars they're they're done. They'll be like, thank you, and they're done. You'll never hear from them or the next level of questioning happens. Well, taylor will say minimum the average client's mons about thousand dollars. However, there's, no minimum order that's very important to drop that there's no minimum order in there, which is a true statement, by the way, there is no minimum order in our studio, because a lot of times people think, well, I have to spend a thousand dollars. Well, you don't come in and spend five hundred dollars. Now, if I'm doing my job right, you won't leave before spending a thousand dollars. That means I've produced a lot of great images and you're going to spend money. But if I'm not doing my job right, you might walk out and only get, you know, two hundred, spend two hundred dollars always tell clients my job's great, great images. Your job is to resist that's the relationship, and they laugh. We get a chuckle out of it, but ultimately that's that's the deal. Now we do their photo shoot let's say we do their photo shoot on august fifteen okay by august thirtieth. Okay, september for first week of september taylor's already got them on the calendar to come in so they're they're scheduled to come in to see their pictures. So we have to get those pictures edited. There come hell or high water. They're coming in to see those pictures. We have to get them edited on. Then, when she gets the confirmation from them that they're coming in to see their pictures that's when they get their pricing, so the first time they'll see full package pricing is two weeks before they come in to see their pictures. Let me consent. We email that to them, absolutely.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Master the Business of Photography - Workbook
Master the Business of Photography Slides
5 Tips to Finding and Booking Your Client

Ratings and Reviews

Brandon D

Sal isn't disgruntled and angry like someone below said, and he doesn't have time for people constantly whining about why their business isn't going good. He's from Brooklyn, so he can come across as harsh at first, but after watching several of his classes and even getting to meet him in person and talk a bit I can tell you he is a really nice guy who truly does want you to succeed. He was very encouraging to me after I thanked him for helping me and my business get to where it is now. Growing up, I can remember photographers grabbing us and posing how they wished. They are often in a hurry to get things right, such as at a wedding, so I am not sure why one reviewer stated he would dismiss them. Sounds like he is just looking for a reason to feel powerful. Anyway, this is a great class to get you on track with your business. Yes, its a bit wedding heavy, but the concepts are the same no matter what. Just apply them to your niche and you are good to go.


Amazing course. Sal is such a great photography educator. Terrific course. I'm not usually big on watching business courses, but this course as taught by Sal was terrific. Down to earth, entertaining, packed with real life experiences do's, don'ts and lessons learned. This courses business A to Z and Sal is very entertaining to watch/listen to. Thanks CreativeLive for getting Sal.

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I have been a long time fan of Creative Live and have sat on the fence with all of Sal's classes because I already attend Shutterfest every year and get loaded with valuable information there, so it was hard to pull the trigger on a $300 course that was filmed 5 years ago. Also, in my earlier days of hearing about Sal, I'd heard a lot of negative opinions about how he comes across. Still, I'd heard he's a marketing guru, and my background is in marketing as well, so I really wanted to see what this class was all about. Now that I've finally gotten it, I'm completely blown away. There is just SO MUCH MATERIAL in this class that its actually difficult trying to decide what to implement first! It is good stuff too. It is all about marketing, sales, and workflow. If you're looking for a class teaching you how to take better photos, this one is not it. This is the class that teaches you how to get your work where everyone is seeing it and convincing people to book you and tell their friends about you! Now as far as others have already said... this class is definitely geared toward wedding photographers. Yes there are bits of information that work for other types of photography, but it is so heavily wedding oriented that there might be a better fit out there for another type of photographer. If you do weddings though, this is an amazing class! As far as Sal's personality goes.... he's a New Yorker transplanted to St. Louis. So expect that NYC no BS type of attitude. Susan Stripling is another one of my favorites and she is similar in attitude (and also extremely talented), so if you like her, you should like this. If you have a hard time with her, you might have a hard time with this. Regardless, its stuff y'all need to hear and implement to be successful. Obviously because the class is a bit older, you may have to make small tweaks to a few things (even though he says don't jack with the recipe), but the marketing principles are solid and timeless. Shoot this course is worth it for the SEO advice alone. Just buy it already!

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