Dealing with Client Objections


Pricing and Sales for Photographers


Lesson Info

Dealing with Client Objections

This is I think the hardest and scariest part for photographers when it comes to in person sales is your you worry about that one client who's going to give you a hard time, right? And you can recognize the mile away, you know it like when they even first phone call and sometimes if they're really challenging, I'll just put it off to somebody else and it's like no, I don't want to work with you and you know, you will get no point in your business where you can start to pick and choose like that, but you know, for for sometime you're gonna have to deal with people like this on occasion and if you really just kind of dig deep down into the psychology of it, chances are they're just insecure all of us have our insecurities and we manifest those in different ways and our personalities and if you really look at the root of the problem in that person and recognized that it's there really not trying to be challenging or they're not trying to be mean, then you can help assuage their there prob...

lems in a way that's generous and giving and with a good attitude and not a defensive one you know, you don't want to put up a wall to your client and get defensive that's like the worst thing that you khun dio when you bring that wall down and look at it from their perspective and try to empathize with them and then communicate their fears back to them you know that is going to help them and dear you're going to endear yourself mohr to them you're going to solve their problem they're going to be happy and chances are they're going to refer you and they're going to want to come back because people who have challenging personalities tend to be challenging with every single business they approach okay? They're not just challenging with you if this is a a problem in their personality you know they may not recognize it they will be that way with you know the grocer with the pet store whomever they patronize they will provide those problems okay so if you are that one business that diffuses it they're going to sing your praises right no matter what it's kind of like that concept the customer is always right but to me that is not really accurate because the customer isn't always right however you can help them feel like they're okay does that make sense and if you help them feel like they're okay they're gonna love you for it and deep down all of us want to make our clients happy right way do we have and we want to be loved for what we do in respect acted and and have that external validation from our clients right? Everybody wants it everybody does so what you're going to learn this segment is what types of client objections typically arise, and I want to hear other ones that you guys have because I'm always amending this and adding on mohr and I've experienced a few in my career, however, you know, not everything. So if somebody has another, especially online folks, if you have another objection of things that people say let's here and try to solve it for you, why they happen and how to deal with them, how to recognize certain consumer personality types howto handle those personality types in the sales room is mad effect in the pre consultation as well, how your policies can help you in this department and why honesty is truly the best policy here. So, you know, we're starting to wrap things up here. This is the last day we've talked about all six piece we're going to really get into purpose on the last segment of today, so we're gonna dig deep in purpose, okay? But I can tell you these specific, you know, technical things and strategic things, however you need to wrap it all up in a nice little package for your business, so that's kind of what we're going to start doing now, and yeah, we're going to deal with issues and problems that we have. But the whole point of today's for you to really take thes six piece and incorporate them into your business in a way that works for you and your personality and how you operate so that's what I'm hoping that you get out of this today so I really think about how you can incorporate these methods and techniques in your own business and let's communicate with that and share ideas and grow together like I said, I really hate it when when photographers compete so hard against one another there's a few doctors in my town who won't even talk to me and it just makes me really sad because we could help each other so much and I wish they would so clients they are challenging to say the least you sure that's right positive I have a few more revisions here in johnson what the duck he is amazing so you know, we've all had claims that we want to strangle again I'm just kidding I don't mean that but we do have all had clients where we just want oh tell them to take a hike right? You really have to give them the benefit of the doubt, okay? They don't mean to be that way most clients are not mean okay like trying to hurt you occasionally yes, there is just a bad person out there but don't let your heart hang on that one person okay, because most the time they're not going to be that way they do want you to give them a good service and they do want to make you happy and you want to make them happy it's kind of like being in a relationship and having a fight. Okay, listen mirror empathize and resolve listen mirror empathize and resolve okay, what does that mean? I know I didn't write them down but mirror listen what does that mean? You guys know what it means to listen? Shut up it is what it means shut up and listen what is mirror mean? Yes, um stephanie say something to me that you don't like about me. Um well, can't I just make something up, okay, so I really don't like the pictures that you gave me because they were too purple. Okay, so what you're saying is that the images looked a little purple to you and it's not making you very happy. I just mirrored what she said to me. How did that make you feel? Listen to her, listen to her now I'm going to empathize. I can understand why that would frustrate you a little bit and I can see why that might make it so that you think your images might stay that way and that they wouldn't look very good in your home I can see that I'm empathizing right? I'm obviously exaggerating okay but I'm empathizing with her I'm saying yeah I can put myself in your shoes and see how you feel by the way this works for marriage to you're having problems in your marriage if I emphasize with you then you're going to feel even more heard and your walls are going to go down right this is a hard pill to swallow sometimes especially when you feel like they're in the wrong it's really hard to swallow because your walls are gonna want to go up okay is this a home and one of the great ways to practice this with your spouse or your family is just is to talk about ways that you appreciate them so we I appreciate how hard you work how full your heart is and how much you've listened here to me and made eye contact and been so involved thank you I appreciate her she can mirror that back to me and pretty much like second grade repeated to me and when you practice mirroring it helps you learn to drop your defenses when somebody does say something nasty to you okay or that you don't like so when when you empathize with them and say yeah I can see how you feel that way and even that's the hardest part is empathy oh how they feel or imagine if I was in that shooting those shoes that would feel kind of crappy so then you resolve the problem you know what please don't worry this is not something permanent weaken totally readjust the color on your images that I'll be happy to reprint them since you're not happy I mean immediately just going like oh great okay awesome great customer service this place has I mean she's just going there was no argument there was no talk you empathized with her you heard or you understood even if she is in the wrong because then even if she is and if she is wrong you can counter back with that before you resolve it or actually I probably resolve it first and then ask her may I respond oh sure of course well I do see what you're saying about the images sometimes we do this as an artistic choice to create a look to the images of course it's all aesthetic and what your opinion of what's beautiful and what my opinion a beautiful is obviously different and as the artists I thought this was a beautiful look but I can understand why it might need not might not be what you expect so you can give your side of it after you've brought their wall down okay after you've resolved it but ask for permission to respond may I respond to you they're always going to say yes but what you're doing is you're saying hey is your heart open enough to listen to my side of the story does that make sense? Is that helping you guys kind of think about how you were straight fights too with your hubby I mean marriage my husband I used this method all the time where we try to mirror each other and talk to each other about about what each other is trying to say because you get in the height of emotion and defensiveness and it's hard to let that down and see the other person's point of view but when you can put yourself in your client's shoes, you're going to do yourself huge huge service okay clients pushback in several ways ok, we don't have wall space said the client with no vision I'm going to be a little bit funny here so wait, we're gonna make fun of it somehow, right? We don't have wall space the guy said it here yesterday how did I handle it? You said well instead of doing collection, why don't we stick with one picture? I think that would be perfect over the changing table so let's revisit those when picked the one image you really want in that space he how else could I also solve it? Also you look about the future going to be in this house forever, never move up in something better and bigger heat and you know it's funny is they all try to argue that objection with me they'll say to me, oh, well, we don't want to do well, but we're not gonna be in this house forever, and I'm not sure it will work in the next house that's the objection they give, so I immediately battle that objection when they say they don't have wall space with that one. Well, you probably won't be in this house forever, and your next home is more than likely to have wall space somewhere so we can plan for a piece of furniture that it will always go over hangover and and then chances are that piece of furniture is always gonna be against a wall like a sofa or something like that. And that way, you'll know that in your new home, that peace will nicely fit over the sofa wherever the sofa I sit in your home, okay, so we don't have wall space is one of those things where you, khun khun, battle it with lots of different options. You can suggest an album or a display box, you can show a siri's that can work in a small space there's tons of ways to do like a mini canvas siri's of fourteen inch prints in a row of three in a tiny space suggest a space over a doorframe. I mean, the area over door frames is lovely, especially in a nursery maid just looks beautiful to put something small and quite there come up with a product line. We're small's the new big come up with a fine art product line where you've got like five by five canvas prints all fancied out and frames they're tiny, but there are a high and beautiful product that can easily be put in a siri's on a wall somewhere. Okay, so suggest those uncommon wall spaces and then, you know, for those of you who want to sell digital files, you can you can do that. And I know you can suggest that. And I know that that is a controversial topic. Digital files and I I do appreciate those folks out there who are adamantly against selling digital files. They have perfectly reasonable arguments for that and very good reasons. Um, and, you know, people who sell digital files have very good reasons to sell them and vice versa. The concert I mean it's just it's one of those things where you know my back in the days when when it was film, it was all about the eight by ten you know what people want to sell wall portrait, but everybody wanted gift prince, and so the big question was is, how much is your eight by ten well now how much of your digital files and do you sell the digital files that's the big thing and photographers in the day who were in the film world to begin with look att the negatives the digital files as the negative back in the day we would have never sold our actual true film negatives the bride never got that I mean it just didn't happen so their mindset is from that mentality that you're not going to give away your files your negatives okay andi think about when way back when when photography turned color when you see black and white and color there's always changes in technology and you either keep up with the times or you die simple is that my opinion on lee? There are plenty of photographers out there allison rogers has an all print model and she makes bank the girls breaking it in has an amazing business model not selling digital files she refuses to do it bless her heart she's got the most beautiful business model has three four thousand dollars sails regularly I mean but she it's her brand so it's it's doable both ways so I'm not mixing selling digital files I'm not mixing not telling them okay I just want everybody to know that everybody has an opinion everybody has a strong opinion about it it's a controversial opinion but you have to do what's right for your business all I care about is that you do it profitably and that you know why you're selling something the way you're selling it, that you're not just blindly going into it and saying, oh, yeah, this is how much I should charge, really? Why know your numbers be profitable? Understand how valuable the product you have is and what it costs you to produce it? Digital files are expensive because of that lost opportunity cost with huge costs there to have charge for I can't decide right now. This is a is an objection. So the client who was overwhelmed, I can't decide right now. Do you get that one? Yeah, happens all the time. Well, suggesting album or display box. I do that all the time when you know an album would be a great way to just put them all in a book that way you don't have to, you know, pick one, prevent this with a good pre consultation, okay, a good pre consultation where you're planning the photo the session for a specific product or socks clea around a specific product is going to help nip this problem in the bud okay? Prevented by designing for a specific place in their home that helps to curb that a lot have policies in place that require an order at the in person appointment, okay? And as a last resort we talked about that online gallery with a hefty fee that's a great way to kind of circumvent this problem as a last resort I don't do that or even suggest it it's a matter of fact it's not even in my policies like the policies that my client sign I don't even have it in there I only suggest it if they're having a hard time because I don't want them to suggest it to me my husband has to be here, said the emotional client who thought she could do this by herself. We tackled this one a little bit already but prevent this with good and well communicated policies over and over and over beat them with a stick okay, drill it into their heads here it see it, do it, hear it see it, do it sometimes multiple times okay, so you do that if you're almost like a broken record about it, your client should be annoyed with you that you're telling the policies all the time okay? They should be like our bread this that's what you want them to say when you communicate your policies again okay all decision makers must be present that's the policy make sure you communicate to them when you're making the viewing appointment okay and when you speak here, who needs to be here that's what I ask who needs to be here oh well I really want my husband there and my my aunt wants to be there she wants six meters great what's a good day when everybody could be here and we scheduled around them okay it's a great way of asking who needs to be here we are on a limited budget said the poor client who just bought a new car okay it happens and I'm kidding when I say that I'm being a little sarcastic but wear and you know it's true some people are on a limited budget and you kind of need to determine budget at the pre console that's why I explicitly lay out my pricing in advance I want there to be a little bit of that throw up factor like a lot of money you know and julia woods is the one who coined the term the throw up factor you want your clients to go just a little bit because you want that respect you want them to feel like it's worth it but at the same time sometimes the throw up factor will be so great they'll bail good riddance go thank goodness it only took an hour in my time you know what I'm saying protect your time don't push the budget just and on lee do it if you feel there's permission there to do it okay you'll know you'll feel it if you try to push the budget too heavily you will have an unhappy client there's nothing worse than going on to a used car lot and having the used car salesman beat you over the head for a sale and sit there and stand and hover over you while you wait to decide what you want to do I mean, have you ever had that you're in a clothing store and the salesgirl standing there watching you? You look through the clothes you're like okay and you walk away you don't wanna buy she thinks she's there to help you but she's actually pushing you you don't want to do that okay planning the session will remove this obstacle and you will on ly photograph for their goals saving you time and money now do I only photograph my client school's? Not really because I'm hoping for a good sale we show thirty to forty images with every single platinum session that comes for the studio okay, so I want them all to know they're going to get the same that they're all going to get good images and we're going to plan for an album I plan for an album no matter what, okay, but if if they tell me they want an album I'm going to take extra care to photograph for that album we're gonna get detail shots were going to get lots of emotion, we're going to get lifestyle stuff you know I'm saying so knowing that advance will help you can we substitute this for that said the nit picky client okay well this one you can tackle um with several ways you can tackle it with pricing create your own collection it's one of the lawyers I tackled it I don't really have that problem can we substitute this for that because they can pretty much get what they want it's important to kind of say yes but do it on your terms so do say it with a results you can live with and they're still profiting off that it's really important to give that client what they want but it'd cost to you that works in your business model give options that work in your favor so if someone wants substitution for example they want to substitute and eleven by fourteen for two eight by tens it's actually cheaper for you cost of good wise to do that right but then you'd have to retouch a second image right you were like okay, well that's fine we can go ahead and do that but as long as the eight by tens are of the same image okay makes sense okay set up your pricing to avoid this like I just said ala carte create your own collection a print credit those kinds of things the print credit model we talked about yesterday those types of models kind of helped prevent these this problem from happening we don't like the pictures oh has this happened yeah that's happen to me too twice it's happened to me twice and it sucks it's one of those ones where your heart just sinks to the floor and you go this is the one where george really messes with your mind and he has a right to because you need to fix it um I would offer a re suit, but make sure you plan this session very carefully and communicate with your client on a very deep level for the second session to avoid the same stakes and meet your client's expectations help any other objections you can think of online if you guys come up with a any suggestions or any objections that they want to talk about getting more conversation bliss hi said when will you consider that you're just over with the client? She opened to low like firing a client firing a client I'm trying to think if I actually ever fired a client, I don't think I have oh yes, I did fire a client I used to shoot for a charity called celebrating adoption where we would photograph I'm trying to help you remember the story is a long time ago, so forgive me if I don't remember the whole thing, but I learned a big lesson from this one you know what not to do anyway the client that I was photographing I photographed couple into recessions tio people who have adopted babies within the last twelve months okay, so they get a session and a four by six proof book complimentary and then they got fifteen percent off fortunate imprints so it was a really nice charity thing for people who'd adopted and I wanted to celebrate adoption, so I photographed a woman and her family and her home and she came in for the organ appointment and they couldn't decide uh but she wanted her proof book, of course, and she was hemming and hawing or make a decision I said, you know, it's okay, I can put these online, but I didn't I didn't demand a deposit back then. This is how I learned to demand deposit, and so I put the images online and I I waited and I waited and I waited for her to place an order and I want like two months later, I warned her and said, you know, I'm going toe take these down, so I needed her to order and she and she's like june and summation respond. I called her like three times and left messages were goingto take these down and I told her what time I was going to take him down, they'll be down, but by you know, it was friday at six pm or something like that I'm going to remove them, she called me at eight o'clock on friday night, after the deadline had passed, and my policy wass if you don't order, we destroy your images, you don't want him, okay? She called me at eight o'clock on friday night. I wasn't there, obviously, and I was going to be there till monday morning, and she said, oh, where we want to order a bottle? And she wanted to order, um an eight by ten, but she was insistent on getting her proof book. First, I could totally tell that this was not she'd want to order. She just wanted her stuff and wanted to get out, but she didn't want to admit that that's all she wanted. Okay, so she I called her monday, and I said, I'm sorry, you're your files have been have been destroyed, you know? They weren't, but it was a little too harsh. I realized I shouldn't have done that. She was very, very angry with me, very angry with me, and at the time I was kind of defensive and like my business, you know, you're not respecting the kind of thing. I was being a little too cocky about it, and she has been trying to remember exactly what happened, I forget the exact the exact order of things. But she was really, really upset with me and kind of slammed me all over the place. And I realize now that was not the best choice. I should have just sucked it up, swallowed it down, given her the proof book and hope she made in order because that's what, celebrating adoption, wass. They didn't have to order anything else, but I made it like she didn't. And I did send her her proof book eventually. But it was a hard learned lesson, and one where communication and dealing with people was paramount to making them happy. So I strongly encourage, you know, lessons are often hard won and those that was definitely one of my one of my bad ones.

Class Description

In order to make money as a photographer, you have to know how to price, package, and sell your work. In this 3-day course, small business owner and award-winning photographer Julia Kelleher will teach you how to create a strategic sales system — without relying on over-the-top, hard-selling sales techniques.

Julia will help you identify new product and sales opportunities, including the importance of in-person and projection sales. You will learn powerful selling techniques by watching Julia conduct an actual sales session live, right before your eyes. Julia will also give you a comprehensive pricing overview — including how to create packages that encourage your customers to spend more purely by adding the right value.

By the end of this course, you will know how to predict your sales averages, forecast growth, and go from thinking about the next single sale to thinking about the next year of sales.