Pricing and Objections
We talked about the bonus schedule. Great thing to add to your to your product menu. Um, preview, we just talked about, and I will talk about that again. This is preview is my sales presentation software, and it is something that I believe. Well, change your sales it's, another one of those overnight. If you can get your cells are awful line and meet with people in person, if you can make suggestions added bonus schedule so that you're adding on at the end in a very positive way and using a presentation software like preview that will allow you to design on the client's walls, all these things are going up your averages without really you having to do a whole lot different than what you're doing now. Yes, I want you guys to raise your prices, but, you know, you start incorporating these tools so that you can do that in a very positive way with your client. When you change the way that you do things they can't compare to, how you used to do things, and it's it's the way that I changed w...
hen I went to projection. And I used to back in the day in the film day I would get sent off the the film, get back proofs and that's the way we presented them to the clients and I sold my proofs I would allow the clients to take their proofs home and then they would come back to place their order so I was still meeting with them in person but they were spending, you know, for five hundred dollars and I remember what it was, but it was to me at the time a lot of money to take those proofs home if they decided to keep them they were already paid for and they were theirs and I think I even gave him a little bit of products credit if they kept them and then they could use the product credit towards towards prints so when I was told you have to go to projection, you have to get in front of your clients to sell if you're going to go digital fire projector I did it all in one fell swoop and followed the rules, but when I did that I was so nervous about losing that proof sail it freaked me out that's like four hundred five, five hundred dollars every single time and when I went through this the guy who I was kind of mentoring me at the time over this digital process, gary box said I promise you, if you will project if you put those images in front of people the size that they need to be shown, you're going to make that money up, and I believed it, I drank the kool aid and I started projecting, and I did make that money. So and one of the things that I, the tools that I use at the time was just my excitement, you know, when someone would call and they were used to getting proofs that's the way they got him the last time, so when they would call and I'd booked their session, I would tell them, you know, I've got this really exciting way to show your images. Now I'm so excited for you to come into the studio and view everything with me, I'm going to be able to show you large on the wall so that you can see them actual size, like you would see them in your living room and how is excited about it and that way, I could book that appointment. I'm gonna book the appointment for you about a week after your session bring you back into the studio to see everything, and because I was excited, I could get my client's excited about it to sit down with me so anything that you're presenting new and differently just explain it to your clients and how awesome this is and they're going to be one of the first people to experience it with you and you're so excited to share it with them and they're gonna you know they're going to come along for the ride they like you and that's the reason they're calling so previous men something that has definitely change our sales in the studio it's allowed us to play interior designer with the clients we really can get personally involved with them it's also a great tool because it's pricing everything for you so you enter your pricing in you tell him if your costs brace price you just tell it what you want it marked up it's gonna automatically automatically do it when wild sorbet adds a new frame or they change their prices it's automatically done in the system and then I tell it, you know my wild survey frames I mark upped but times two point two and so if they change it and it goes up a dollar, it automatically changes my pricing in the system. I don't ever have to worry about it. So the days of I mean spreadsheets or what we used to have to go through tough tto find price, sing for frames and you know if you don't go through all that ahead of time then you're sitting with your client either wasting that time trying to figure out how much this costs and measuring inches and all these things with the framing and or even with wild survey I use them for many, many years, but when I would place the order with the clients, we'll be changing colors and I'd be writing stuff down and I would forget you know what they even chose and was that the last thing they chose or was this the last thing they chose? And I don't even remember what molding and you know, I've got to figure out the pricing well, now it's just all done and this is right there, so it makes it super simple for the studio streamlines the process and it makes it much better for the clients. So, um again, preview has been super for the business and I know you guys saami stumble around and it yesterday, but that was a matter of getting on somebody else's computer and not having all my settings downloaded. They'll help you do all that great customer service and we've been talking about relationships for the last couple days and building relationships and really customizing the experiment experience for your clients dale carnegie said you can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in your product and you know that is so key and if you haven't heard of simon cynic he has a video on ted talks and ted talks is a is a very powerful platform on the internet and it's just short speeches that are done from industry all different industry leaders and simon senate has it uh talk on there that is called people don't care what you hard and now I lost it. Um well, his last name I can s I n g k and it's uh people care what you do, they care why you do it and it's a the message throughout his talk and it's you know, it's really something that has hit me in the head when I started listening to that and, you know, it's that message is that really, you know, I mean, marketing in general it all has to be about the other person what you can fix for them, what you can do for them, nobody cares about anything that you know, that we've got to sell or that we, you know, were the best photographer in town, any of that, they want to know how we're gonna enhance their lives and so working the how great leaders inspire action that sound familiar? Hmm, okay, I'm pretty sure it is well and it might be part of that speech under with the quote is people don't care what you do they care why you do it for you yes but thank you but yes it's and it's s I n g k um you know doing business in this way creating it around such a personal product and really making it so customizing personal for the client is allowing people teo to see the value and what's in it for them and that's the only way to sell anything that's the only way to sell anything all objections that you get at any time just means the client needs more information and so if it's first phone call if it's consultation call if it's the order appointment if you're getting an objection make sure you write it down and figure out how to get it into your system and into your workflow before you get to that point that's something that you know now sitting in the order appointment whether it's an event a regular session, whatever it is we're not getting objections anymore because we're handling everything before it happens so at an event things are even a little bit more streamlined and that's something that you're going to really enjoy about that process is you know you've got to have because you only have thirty minutes for a sale you have to have those clients planned and prepared and really hold their hand up until that point because when you sit down with them you've got thirty minutes they got to be plugged into something and they have to be excited about it what's in it for them, so make sure that you're handling all those objections, all those stalls, you know, anything that somebody really, it just means you haven't given me enough information to make this decision, so we've got to find those answers, and a lot of times it is something that we can actually put into our communication process before that time ever would come up, or we lead them into a question that is goingto defuse it, you know, by and just be proactive about it. And so I know a lot of people, you know, even internet world, you know, there are things that, you know, my client's always asked this I always get to the saleswoman this happens, you know, I I have people at this time of the year that I'll say every single person who's coming right now, all they want is christmas cards, they don't want to buy anything else, you know, if you've got that problem, be proactive, put your holiday cards on a bonus schedule on the allow them be purchased with another purchase, you know, do do something that you're actually, you know, avoiding that situation, whatever it is, and I'm willing to take some objections if anybody wants to type in an objection, how would you handle this? We can talk about some of those things do any of you guys get something over and over that you wanna chat about? Somebody asked me just about a basic hour session and I told them I told her my my our price and she was like, I can't swing it right now and I'm thinking in my head right now, well, let me do put you on a family day on a saturday, I have two saturdays available this year. Um, and I'm curious what your price do you bring the prices down for that? Or is that an event? Oh, on those friends of family? Yep on the friends and family day, what my plan was was to have pricing close to what my old pricing wass and still charge a session fee, but you're you're kind of planning it like an event where you're photographing every thirty minutes or it's going to be a mini session, it was gonna be smaller it's going to be one outfit so you still can accomodate those people and but you're not hurting your business, right? So but don't ever change your prices for someone? No, you know, give find an option in a solution for them, and if that option that you've created isn't right for them, then okay, so so that means we shouldn't have a friends and family discount like on the product or anything like have a friends and family discount if that's something that you've pre chosen don't make it up case by case basis, ok, but yes, and also make it be on your schedule. Don't let those people take either client time or family time away from you, predetermine the time that you're going to allow that to happen. All right, we do have okay something's coming in from the internet, of course, and just a clarification from so feed dog that you mentioned payment plans. How do you implement this? So that what do clients received the photos before or after the full payment? Everything is paid for before they get anything we do require atleast half down to begin the order they don't have to. If somebody's on a payment plan, I'm gonna help somebody and it's a small percentage of people that actually do a payment plan. But if they need a payment plan, they know that one half is is placed. Then we will start the order and they will get the you know, once it's paid off, they will get their order, so even with our regular clients people, we're paying in full at events. We're telling them it's half down and then half when the order's ready and you know what is great too if you can get it all at upfront and at once that's super it's back in the day when I started the policy of half and half I was in that cash flow place where I needed that half down teo pay for orders and you know get this stuff done and if I would have had the other half it would've been gone it would have been spent before her you know and so but because I started that way and it's always worked we've just we've kept putting into into practice I have seen people do a discount if you pay in full the day of the order that's great to, um and again that's a personal thing in my mind that's that one step for me that feels a little pushy if you pay today you know, paying cash right now you get a discount and that to me is that that one over the line but for somebody else that's going to be the right move. So um you know it's all it's all based on your personality what feels right to you and we go through more objection? Yeah, sure getting a lot doing hey jenny lee faux tox for wyoming says already have frames I just need prince you know and and that's okay way want to help you fill those frames but what we specialize in is creating something custom for your home so I would love the opportunity to be able to do to design something for you so if you'll just walk through the house in anyplace you would consider hanging portrait just snap a picture of that those walls and I'll put something together for you so I'm giving her the yes answer and telling her absolutely we would love to fill those frames for you but here's our specialty and let me do this a swell so w anderson says who's from south dakota says do you offer print releases? The question that I get all the time is will I get a release for this session so that I can print at walmart or target uh we do have to digital options and the digital packages are ten images for two thousand or thirty images for three thousand those are available on her bonus schedule so I can show you how you're going to get you khun earn up to fifty percent off of that and that is again once they spent twenty five hundred dollars there at the fifty percent off bonus level and so they can get fifty percent off of those digital files but that's the only way they can get a print release it is a yes answer but it's also yes for my business okay, another one I'm agent far said I have spent a lot of money with you before can I have a discount? Well and that something that you know you might want to turn that person into a referral friend so you let her know you know what? I love that you've been using me for so long or you but you know you've been you love me whatever um you know, any time you refer a friend to the business, I'm going to give you fifty dollars in port credit and so you khun stack those up you can use them however you want and you know, send me ten friends and you've got five hundred dollars to spend and so that's a great way to turn one of those people into uh you know, not only keep coming to you and feel like they're being rewarded for it but also bring you new business so I'm not sure if we're bro playing here or if this is a question for you from a dauber our photo who says do you accept credit cards? Do you pass through the processing fee to the client and so does anybody ever ask you that as well? If you do accept them? I always yes, I mean I highly highly recommend that you accept credit cards right now with square if you haven't been to square up dot com make sure that you go because at any one of us today can open up an account and start accepting credit cards makes it so so easy and the prices the percentages are very good. I know I've used my credit card company for years and years and so I'm not going to change. I've got a good rate with them, but I do you square when I'm on the road and I use square for donald moored on donations, we use it for a lot of things and it's it's awesome definitely accepted. I do not charge an additional fee for someone using a credit card. We absorb that cost. However I am pricing with that variable already included, so sent the person that does pay cash or check or debit card or whatever. Then we've got that little bit of extra profit in there, but I'm not gonna charge somebody on the backside. They're going to spend more money if they're using a credit card, so we definitely want them to do that. Also in some states it's illegal to charge extra for credit card, uh, usage so you might want to make sure you check that out as well and that's square up dot com dot com alright, thank you alright, keep going. Okay, well, we're going to shift to pricing now, okay, all right I told you guys earlier bare minimum bare minimum that we should consider working for is a cost based pricing method so we're gonna look at this the recommended cost a sale per item per dollar is going to be twenty five to thirty five percent and your cost of sale is going to include your media, which means your camera cards your hard drives, that kind of thing which is that's a really hard thing for us to wrap our minds around it's a hard thing for us to want to put into our pricing but that's that should be included your retouching time the print finishing that mounting text a ring lester coding needs to go in there the production of it so whether it's the, um me shooting the stacy retouching kim packaging you know, whatever it is all of that needs to be included that time contract work that you're sending out for instance, we use pwd labs a lot for retouching and that's. One thing with with the events if you want tohave you know, like for you, lauren, you don't want to touch photo shop and so you could go shoot an event just send all your files that have been ordered out to p d b d they're going to finish him off for you and get him back to you ready to go to the lab so that's about three seventy five and image tohave it finished which you build that into your cost of sale that's an easy thing to do if you're going to do that um, contract work could also include if you're hiring somebody to come and be an assistant on a shoot hiring somebody to come and shoot video, whatever it is that's going to be part of your cost frames any packaging that that goes into finishing it and delivering it any sales commission that you're paying to your sales people if you have them, those credit card fees are going to go in there that's part of that cost base cost a sale on and then any online hosting if you're using smugmug or anything like that, those fees should be associate it and plugged into your cost of sales so all of that together should equal come to about twenty five or thirty five percent cost of sales. Obviously, if we can go to the twenty five percent side or lower, we're going to be profiting more that makes sense. So to get to that twenty five percent, we're gonna look at the price of an eight by ten and I don't want to scare any of you but again cost the sale is the base minimum you should consider working for your print an eight by ten is going to cost about two dollars and twenty cents to mount it it's going to cost about another four dollars textor thirty cents that lust or coding is usually pretty cheap too I don't even have that in there but let's say we add another you know fifty cents a dollar around you know um your packaging is going to be two to five dollars and that's going to be putting it in a box adding tissue bag both sticker thank you card as you raise your prices you're going to want your pack packaging to feel more and more luxurious because as they're spending money we all know as the consumer how it feels when we walk out of certain stores with certain bags and certain packaging you know we want our clients to feel that same way that they really invested well they've got a got a lot of value here I always like to think about when you do those christmas parties where it's the steel game you know kristen go she draws the number and she gets to go pick a gift and I come next and I can either still here hers or I can go get a new gift well guess what package we all want it doesn't matter what's inside were fighting over the packaging right you know so think about that when you're packaging for your clients um and then we have to consider production wage now three seventy five is the outsource cost that's about what it is cost when I sent it to pwd, so at minimum, I've got to include that in their if I'm doing it, I better be making more than that. Okay, so again, this is base minimum. If you're looking for you let's say you want to make twenty dollars an hour, I want all of you to make a lot more than that. So let's say you want to make twenty dollars an hour and you've got thirty minutes in this eight by ten that's going to mean shooting it, editing it, showing it to the client, ordering it, packaging it let's say thirty minutes, that means you need to make ten dollars, right? So that's going to that three seventy five is going to go up to ten dollars, if we're looking at production wage, whether you're doing it, you've got staff doing it, whatever this is going outsourcing, so I'm going to show you at bare minimum. We've got thirteen, twenty five in this equation, that's with all this at the rock bottom of this curve, ok? For a twenty five percent cost of sale, we've gotta multiply this times four that's going to get us to twenty five percent cost to sail that means fifty three dollars should be your minimum that you are willing to let an eight by ten go out of your studio for and that's scary that's a scary thing when you start thinking about it but if you can think about it in black and white like this, it starts making sense and you go I'm not making the money, I gotta raise my prices, you know? And and the thing is is these days is it's hard to charge fifty dollars for an eight by ten and that's why we've got to come up with a product that is not about that eight by ten piece of paper, or even that beautifully mounted textured and and lester coded piece of paper you know, it's, it can't be about this it's very hard for me to sell this for one hundred fifty dollars that's on my menu we dio but that's because we're including other other products with it um all right, so freak, anybody out get in there we come along with me. Wait, can you explain again what production wage means production wage means it anything that it takes to produce the final print? And so with that three, seventy five that I've got in there, that really is rock bottom that's sending it out to outsource it, and I always want to make sure that's included because a lot of times we're saying, well, I'm doing it myself, so I'm not gonna include that in there that means I'm not paying myself it also means that if something happens to me and I can't get that order out and I have to outsource it, I haven't price for that profit so we've gotta at least consider that rock bottom if all else fails and there is you know, if I am incapable of doing this tomorrow and I need to outsource it I've gotta have that plugged into my my pricing yes janice to do you outsource most of you know I'm just curious and I don't know what's more most of it but we do outsource jobs like right now stacy just had a baby so stuff is going to be going to pwd that's a p w d is hu u u u c w w d and I think we've got a price for them from them at some point too, but um but they do a great job and they what they do is they are gonna let you send a test job and they're going to customize it to you they'll send back for instance for me the first time I worked with them they sent me like six or eight variations of black and white and send it back to me and said you choose your look um also even with hand painting, you know, that's something that I mean that was a big deal for me to outsource that um but they can do it if I need him to same thing they sent me back like six, eight versions of it and said kind of choose your look they're going to do it for color situation they're going to do it for grinds are going to do it for all those different things and um and of course that varies a little bit depending on what all you're having done to it they'll also even take your whole entire session and call it for you and you know if I sent him a senior session and tell him I need this down eighty images get it down to the eighty best get it back to me they'll do that so there's a lot of different things on the on the finish to the lab sort of retouch it's it's about three, three hundred three dollars and seventy five cents so that's like that production is thank you we have a couple more questions if that's alright ok say cheese would like now isn't the production in the sitting d not made by ten your your session fee is completely separate and so yes, you know there are certain ways toe figure all that we're averaging out part of the session fee I like to think about that separate because there's a lot of times when maybe you're doing free sessions for a certain event and you need teo you need to have it you still have to have your price is based on that costs based pricing bare minimum there might be um you know there's just so much so many variables to the session fees that really should be considered your your time for going t do that session in my opinion one more on this from beauty of the lake in saint pete florida with this eight by ten example do they get a discount if they order multiples on the same size of the same print since you already did the work and just have to click add one to the car that's a great option I don't have that option we do have gift print collections on our in our events schedule and I'll show that to you guys in a little bit what they could do five eight or twelve prince and it's and it's goes like one pose three poses five poses of giving them that discount for buying from the same image it's great I think I'm one of the one of the things that the reasons that it hasn't worked for me is that I really don't like seeing um you know your first eight by ten is this much your second one is this much because to me that that lessens the value of the first one go save her from the cough um thirteen twenty five times for before maybe it wasn't listening time twenty four you're a boy you should get this figured out girl boy t get to that twenty five percent cost the sale is going to be a fourth okay of your dollars okay so it's quarter remember faction bring it bring it I have a mission to your point ernie can you maybe just say again why twenty five percent well twenty five to thirty five percent is kind of that what we want to reach for so when you're figuring out your um your numbers at the end of the week at the end of the month at the end of the year you want your costs of sale toe fall in that twenty five to thirty five percent range to be profitable and so that's why? And twenty five percent is that sweet spot obviously if you can get it lower my casa sale usually ends up about eighteen percent which is really it's low but part of that is where we're in priced also. So twenty five percent is a great place to tio reach for to star in so that fifty three dollars that's where that comes from, which is how did you live in a very hostile stale like how did you get it down too? Well, raising your prices going toe make the cost of sale lower that make your percentage lower? Does that make sense? I think so not really go ahead there now. Okay, let's, make sure everyone understands. I want to go there. Wait, go their way. Well, let's say let's say our cost is thirteen dollars and twenty five cents if I'm charging one hundred dollars for that product that costs a sale percentage is going to drop right? Because the that's a constant number of the three, right? If I'm charging fifty three, I'm at twenty five percent cost of sale. Okay, I'm charging one hundred it's going to be a lesser percentage. Got it. If somebody here is asking it somebody way absolutely on dh that's. One thing that I love the questions because that is so true of somebody is asking there are a lot of people wondering. No, that won't ask. So that's good. All right, so when you, when you start looking at numbers and one thing that I want you guys to all think about is, you know, really, what do I need to make in a year? You know, that's one thing with the with the portrait events, when I started adding those into our business, you know, it's it's that guaranteed if there's a system in place, which makes it a guarantee, so with that system in place, I know I can add an additional ten thousand dollars a month by doing these events so that's what? I want you guys to do it once you sit and think about, you know I need teo I needed gross this much, which means I'm going to profit this much this is how I'm going to make it happen and put a plan a plan in place to do that you can do fifty sales at five hundred dollars and fifty sales for a lot of photographers fifty sessions is a lot to do in a year and if you're averaging five hundred dollars that's a twenty five thousand dollars gross twenty five thousand dollars is poverty level in the u s and that you know it's again it's scary to look at and black and white because especially when you're starting and you're you know you're so excited when you make five hundred dollars and you think I just made so much money, but when you look at the work involved and in the you know the drain on our lives and our families, you know there's there's just no opposition at the end of the day when you really start thinking about it, I have to be price for profit I have to make this work, I have to raise my sales averages I have to make money or I cannot do this I can't do it to my family I'm just underlined I've just written down poverty teo true story so when you when you look at raising your average doubling it to a thousand and your you put in those hundred sales which means ten portrait portrait events with ten clients you're you hit that one hundred thousand dollars and mark that is that's that's like ding ding ding for lots of photographers like that's that sweet spot that they really strive to get teo so that's why portrait events are so powerful because it literally is ten events when you look at putting it in place and doing all those right things leading your client along planning preparing at every stage, creating the right products for them you're looking at a decent salary you know kind of makes a difference we always that also media's growth it's gross so that's still that's looking at I mean usually were typically profiting about thirty to forty percent of our gross and so it's still it's still not a lot of money at the end of the day you know we work hard sex and and the majority of us completely devalue what we do so that's that's just facts all right so there's a couple of pricing models and the first is ala carte and you guys all know that what that is that's just selling everything individually, no packages are put together. Everything is done on a, you know, per product item there. Proof product sale and and that's, that's. Fine, that's. A great way to price. It takes a long time for a lot of people to be comfortable with that, to just have an ala carte menu with no packages. But allah card is great.