Step-by-Step Sales, Part 2
We left off, we were talking about the shoot, about the ridiculous slide I put up everything that you are thinking about doing while you're in a shoot and it's all whole lot, obviously, when they're so much to do when you're shooting it's hard to keep in mind, I have to sell these later. That is one of the reasons I created the handbook, because I will find myself sometimes in the middle of chaos and kind of go blank on imagination you ever had that? Yeah, you're in the thick of thinking all these things, you know, I want to come up with some inventive new look for them that they're going to love to buy. I can't think of anything I've always done that one form of another, I had physical prints or a binder clip on images and then later stuff on my phone and it's, just helpful to keep inspiration with you because you will freeze up sometimes and having something to reference can be extremely helpful simply because of all that chaos. So when I'm out of the chute, I'm thinking about a lot ...
of things in terms of being able to provide a lot of variety to my client if I want to sell a good number of images, I have tohave. A good variety of images to show them I can't just say here's the one head shot in twenty six different angles which one do you want if I'm trying to show, you know, sell a complete package, I need to be able to shoot close and medium and far back and use different processing styles and have different outfits and different locations and really mix it up as much as possible. I have noticed when you're out of a chute you have a lot of stuff like this happening where you are trying to get a good shot but you're getting this and you're getting this and you're getting that that's my shoe he took and that's my chute he's taking this is kind of how the chutes go often, but you need to be able to say I'm going to work until I get you the shot that we really want and how do I work through these issues? Part of it is simply keeping your cool the whole time no matter what is happening I mean this is familiar right? You gotta work until you finally get it said that when what you're delivering is what they had asked you for what they really wanted and you have to work through a bunch of stuff often to get there when I am trying to what I'm talking about keeping my cool this is the same shoot this sheet specifically that if you follow me on facebook, you may have seen this, I was sitting there and have my camera bag open long shooting, which, by the way, is a terrible habit that I have also repeated since then, but I have a camera bag open cause I wasn't really thinking, and he runs over and as a teasing thing, this toddler, the little guy on the left, grabs the bag and starts running, and I saw the bag lift into the air and I saw both my eighty five one two lens and my thirty five one four lens start to roll out, and I'm diving over and I slammed my knee, the ground and eye catching both of them in this absolutely bizarre display of prowess that I do not normally have in my life, I don't possess that it was a stunning to me that it caught both of them before they hit the ground, and I mean knuckles to the ground caught them before they hit the ground, and as I'm sitting there with my two lenses in my heart racing and the dollar figure in my head of what almost just happened, the mom turns ranch visiting a and I'm bleeding, I could feel the blood going down my jeans, and I was like, yeah, it is good. Because if I were to say you wouldn't believe what almost just happened or this freak matter your kids or what what is that ever going to do for anything? The truth was it was my fault but things will happen that aren't your fault you know things were going to just show up and happen I have lost gear and had gear broken and had things misplaced andi I'm going to consistently keep in mind that the experience of the shoot needs to be is positive as every other part of this process because it bleeds into the energy of where we are when we sit down to do the sale session you understand the benefit of the significance of that because I could have just been like or irritated or scared or just said wow that was a really freaky deal and instead what I want to do is keep them comfortable consistently so between the shoot I'm finished with the shoot I worked through everything was awesome I'm going to go into the presentation this is when I deliver the images I use an emoto dot com to deliver the images I do think we have a give away from them at some point during this weekend to a pro a protest way gave one away yesterday so did we humbly wonderful okay eso amazon dot com they have ah variety of templates you can use but I use them simply because it's very easy for me to upload the images, have them all set and then send them to the client. Specifically, I love to use if you saw my slideshow yesterday. I love to use the simplicity, template, there's a whole bunch of different options that give you in terms of how to show your work. But I prefer for my clients to have their focus on the images, not certainly transitions or the style of the show. So I prefer that one the simplicity template, because that makes it just about image after image after image. I want you to feel the imagery not be blown away by the amazing effects here. That's my idea of it, and then so and obviously had a motive could be used for all kinds of things, like fusion work. If you saw the fusion workshop and even basic video editing, but when they see the slide show for me, I let them know this is going to come up for a couple days. And so it comes from me. So it comes up on my web site because you can download the animus light shows that mp three for mp four file and then you transition it. You save it as a dot move file and by doing that you've given a lot more life in terms of them being able to share it for via social media on dh then I link it tio my web site, so that as this slide show gets passed around and sent places, what they see is tamara lackey, dot com forward slash the awesome family, the austen plant, the awesome client family two thousand twelve I make sure that that last part of that link is a little convoluted, so it's not something that someone would stumble upon on def, you have a client who's concerned about passwords or privacy and stuff you could make it extremely convoluted you can call the file whatever you want it could be the awesome family goes to china forty six thirty two small letter b don't move and then that way that that becomes something that I completely control because that link to the dot move file is saved on my ftp server it saved on my host, so I put it up there that I could take it down whatever I want, I don't give it to them I don't give them a dot mp for file because then when I am doing is giving them the option to watch the show into eternity and there's no sense of urgency or interests or anything because it's the same thing as hearing adele the first time you heard her, no offense, adele, is this? It is the same thing is hearing any sort of singer that you might ever hear on the radio that you thought was stunning the first time you heard them? But after you turn the radio station one hundred times and that songs on one hundred times on every radio station, it is not as compelling, is it? Even if it is the most exciting song you never heard in the world, and it really affected you the first few times you heard it, so I don't want them to have it again and again and again, I want them to get a sense of it that I want to be able to retain the ownership and then choose to put it back up when I choose to pick back up. Now, this is a note taking wonder, everyone, um, any questions about that? Yes, I'm question for myself. Do you think that effects like that impulse buy or anything like that? Like the emotion of seeing it for the first time when you come in and you might be overwhelmed with your decision making? But it's kind of that that hunger toe have it all where you you would beam or don't know how to really ask, but I'm asking, but I'm going, I'm going clarifying rephrased back to you what I think you're saying and then you tell me if it is indeed accurate but I would think if you're asking me is do I run the risk of losing out on their initial excitement and then I just want it now if they come in and sit with me versus get it for a couple days ahead of time yeah, that impulse buy where you're just so emotional and you just kind of I'll just take him all because you you can't you're you're flustered because everything looks amazing and you just kind of yeah, you just that's ok that's an actual question and I actually have a dead on answer for that, which is that most studies show significantly that when clients are flustered and overwhelmed, they do not make a decision they in fact do not say you know what? I don't know what to dio something by everything they in fact say I don't know what to do there's so much in front of me I'm going to walk away, which is why I mean they did this wonderful study. You can find this if you go online about shoppers buying jellies, a variety of jellies in a supermarket to see what would the optimal choice for them and when they gave them four choices of jelly they got to have around didn't know what they wanted when they give him like three or something that was fine, they could choose between them if they gave one or two, it wasn't enough options they want to see more it was, you know, I mean and so we go back on wednesday, talk from the work like bounce course who talked about the rule of three how three is the optimal figure that most people can materialize and focus on and keep their attention centered on the number three? Number four effectiveness plummets suddenly it's too much if I give people the slide show and they see it for a few days and they can get a sense of it and get a feel for it, fall in love with it and then it's gone, they got it and they got a field, they fell in love and then it kind of got taken away before they got too used to it. Then by the time they sit down there's been an introduction, they're not overwhelmed there, not flustered and they can make more of a clear decision and I want my clients to make a clear decision because I don't want buyers regret I don't want buyer's remorse, I want clarity inspires trust I want them to trust me, I want them to like me, I don't understand this is a transparent operation, there's nothing I'm trying to hide from you at all because I don't want this deal from you on when he was a client for life, what do I gain by having you come in, get flustered, just buy the whole thing and then later have regrets because you you quite sure about the decisions you made, I want you to have a few minutes to think about it for a couple days, sit down, go through everything, and then later say, I feel really good about that decision. I bought them all, but I did so with a clear head, and I don't have regrets, it was worth it. I even get the double thumbs up. Q. Tamra all right, the other thing I think about along the lines of somebody being overwhelmed is how many images of my giving back to them if I'm giving them several hundred images, I think it's very likely that they can't process them all, I don't really want to take their time and have it be focused on I'm overwhelmed with all these images, I'd rather give them a select number of images that I really feel we're the strongest, maybe sixty or so images and I say or so because I do not count them it's getting a field to try to pare down to a certain member number that feels okay and certainly have given more and certainly have given less but I think the effort I put into editing and paring down images translates to more clarity for them and that less that overwhelmed feeling because the more time you put into editing, the easier it is for them to be able to get a sense of what it is that they want or is mark twain put it, I think where did you say there it is? I'd have written a shorter letter but I didn't have enough time often it takes time to edit down twitter is actually been a fantastic tool for writers in terms of building clarity like how many times you sit there and say how do I get this two hundred forty characters? Many, many, many yeah there's kind of a joke around here about that yeah all right, great how do I get that to this it's the same thing it's the same premise completely with your images it is easier to give them more it is much easier to give them more it's easier to show six hundred images on your portfolio that is the easier course of action it is more difficult to narrow it down it's harder to do but it's easier for your client then to process so when I'm in the ordering session and we're sitting down they had the slide show it's been a few days later, the slide shows come down there's a question there about where when did they get the sideshow? When do they come in? What's the time frame? How do I make sure that happens? Part of how you make sure that the ordering session happens in a timely manner is you start with the expectation way back in the beginning, and then you reiterated again as you're booking the session, and then you reiterate it again when you're on the shoot your when you remind them oh yeah, we're doing that the time the session that time, the order exception that time and then and then when the site shut comes out, it comes with a note that says just a reminder we're so excited to see you this day, so they've heard it so many times, it's not like a new decision they have to make, we don't want to keep making constant decisions, and we don't want to have our clients have to keep making concert decisions. We want to have that taken care of as as claire clearly as possible. So if it's about sixty images, they've seen them for a few days. They know, in fact, that the site shows coming down, but I'll come back up after the ordering session is there? Do you see any issue with possibly? I have the staff here of additional questions from the track chat room that we wanted to get answered as best as we could. And as I've been trying to build that into our contact today, one of the questions that came up in a couple different forms was how do you get them into the sale session? Quickly? And if you take something away to get them in, does that bother them? I'm summarizing the bulk of that, the couple questions I have found that the expectation is set up front, that the slide show is going to put up there that it's less likely to have a problem. And if they say to me, point blank, why did you take the slide show down? What do you think, maggie? That I would say back to them, giving you get maggie, that, my friend, that were so you know, I want to meet with you in person to walk through them and show you how excited I am about these images and see what would work best for you. How would you actually say it, maggie? Why did you take the slide show down? Because I'd love to meet with you to walk through the images with you and see what would work yeah, I'd love to meet with you to welcome the images with you. That is what I would say that I mean, obviously you don't like it, but no, no, I do like it, except I have heard you excited that's not how your voice sounds when you're excited. I would love to meet with you. I really wanna walk through these images with you just wanted to see what would work yes, let's meet, but you do you guys have a difference? I would love to meet with you because we need to do you feel that? Do you feel like she really wants to meet with you just so excited? Or do you feel like she's, a little hesitant, nervous and she's reciting something the second time she said it? Oh, she would love teo, I would love to to I mean, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to put your passion into your voice if you're on the phone to put your passion into your nonverbal actions, if you're in person, you can have all the thoughts in the world going through your head, but if you're not expressing them, they're not getting it. I would love to have you come in and go through these with me that I took that down to get you in here, however, and you say that in the most comfortable way possible for you. I'm not saying I have to say it like I say it say it like you say it, but makes you say it with a passion, you really feel let it be convincing don't worry that they're going to think anything negative view of youth, they worry instead they're going to think you're not into this. I'd be more worried about that, okay? So as we're sitting down, we're going to see this tomorrow we're going to put you into a client, shoot out in the alley where this sit down, we're going to go through the images together, I'm gonna give you a good view of exactly how that session would go, but basically I load them up in pro select, I'll show you that exactly tomorrow, I'll load them up in press like we'll start with the sixty images or so and will simply step through them one at a time, there's no incredible, magical, crazy computation here, we're just going through the images one at a time in a way that that I think the images deserve. Have you ever had the experience where you're editing an image you're in love with it? The more you edit, the more you're in love with it? Then you switched the little view option on your computer and sit back and see it large screen. Have you ever done that? Raise your hand if you've done that every one of you do you see the massive difference between it being a small little thing in bridge and then you give it a big the big wide screen when you see it big you're like whole give that to your clients let them see it being one of the time it's very different than letting him see it as a time you little postage stamp in a large gallery as you're doing that they can get a sense for it they can get drawn to it they can have a feeling for it so we're stepping through one of the time and we're basically saying do you love it? Do you like it? Maybe we're not going to be okay with it today. Do you love it? How could you not love it? Do you like it? You don't like it, they're there if you say do you like it? You're built basically building a number of images that you can do a lot of things to compliment your main imagery with or you can put into the album it's hard for someone to look at some very few parents especially I go look at the images of their child and say, oh god, I hate that what they may say is I hate when they make that face or drives me crazy when they do that this or that, there are those things that frustrate us about people we love hopefully, you know, a lot of it up front, you're not shooting it or you're editing it out if you didn't that's in that, we're not going to anything about right right now pile if it's an image that comes up that's pretty good and they like it that that would that's not have either big wall piece or whatever. Fine that's, that's a good option we will put in the leg it pile I was wondering, do you show them the slide show again when they come in and then go through the images individually? Or do you just do the individual images? I actually personally just go to the individual image is one of the time I think there could be a lot to be said for doing the slide show simply because you can then control how they're seeing it that's a big thing, but they are seeing each image one at a time. Yeah, ok, so let's see as we're going through this process at the very end, we start with the I loved it pile what are we going to do with these again? You'll see this in a lot of detail tomorrow, so I want to be too whodunit on dh and the ones that we like I always always offer to say, ok, we can put this into now, but let me show you a sample of the palace and spreads would look, but people visualize that this is where they're seeing the products. This is where they're seeing the framing options. This is where they're able to touch the albums and touch the prince and see the canvas versus the could sure boards and really get a sense of what I'm talking about here. When I talk about framing, we sell a lot of frame pieces. I do not want to come across, though as a framing store, they have this this thing that we have set up in our studio is basically a on on a rotating circle on the bottom, and it rotates you just turn around like a postcard wheel would that you that you turn around except for the fact it's it's very consolidated short it's got four sides and you spit it and see some frame options a fewer are typically shown at one time I'm showing it to so you could see both, but for most angles you're only seeing one side of it I don't want to overwhelm them with a whole wall of framing because I don't want to be a framing store, not a framing shop I'm saying the images and that's what I care about however, I do like to up sell them on a beautifully framed piece and I want to give them several options to see quickly. This is very helpful because we used to do it on big boards, we have all our framing corners, part of that we actually drag out like boxes have framed course we have all these, the intention was to show that we could do everything unfortunately result was that what are we doing? We're doing everything what specifically do we dio specifically? We sell the imagery and we have his wonderful compliments surrounding the imagery that we can also sell to you that make everything great, and I feel really good about this on the frame pieces because I have personally seen at clients homes when they buy these friends and they go to they're going to go frame him and they never get to it that is a very common thing they wanted to or even worse a frame it terribly and they diminish the look of the print, so I want to be able to give them a piece that they're just done with its done this is the airline piece, they're non there's nothing else they have to dio if you could also see in this image the, uh, what's that called a screen that you look at images on a projector screen projector screen, it is a collapsible so we can pop it away we're not doing presentations and open up our space even more guess what's behind that living see it whiteboard love the white board and as much as you could in our new studio we gave a lot of thought again we've only been in there a few months we've given a lot of thought to how much can we not have in there at any given time? I'm really embracing the idea of less stuff and more room for creativity, imagination, relationships I love that idea and so as many things as I could not have solidly be there at any given time I love that so if you have that option when your perch using things like a presentation screen that you can put away if you're not using it or keep down if you're not using it, I think that can really helpful um all right, so as we're moving through, what are we doing at the very end when we're all said and done and again I'm going to show you this tomorrow the simple question is we have an invoice put together for them and we ask how they'd like to take care of it. We take credit card with a variety of credit cards cash check I talked yesterday about the taxi driver about how you shoot yourself in the foot to save your small transaction fees and you lose the bigger the bigger sale we vote we want people to put things on credit we want to keep credit card numbers on file this way it makes it really easy for them to buy it's like the amazon one click purchase I love that and then so they leave we collect at a very minimum before we start anything it's fifty percent up front a lot of people are choosing debate to pay in full up front which wasn't the case even like a year ago like more and more people were like you know I always take care of it now let me just get it done that's a good thing running a business to aid with cash flow creating the order thiss I phone pic was sent to be my my studio manager the other day, which was very sweet of her at the colors are a little off, but the green in that box below for instance, actually matches the greed and the tissue paper. But the point is when you're creating the order, don't put all this into making a beautiful thing and then just hand them the print or something terrible don't skimp on the packaging you don't to go over the top on packaging I actually think there's that I'm a big fan of, you know play defense with your expenditures, you can spend so much and packaging that you're killing your profit just do something nice and we do. Iko friendly. This pack of the packaging is all eco friendly. The stamps are really nice. Way to stamp your stamping, oren bossing your logo in pieces if you notice in the bottom it's just a simple box. We put them some little candies in there in a little gift certificate thing and it's a cute little box that we give to people when we give him a gift certificate. We used to deal much figure box, and we found that to be kind of too much but it's certainly nicer than simply just a piece of paper or a card or something. So make sure that you put everything together in a lovely way. And I will tell you, susan, back to the questions that can't earlier, about like, yeah, it seems like it may be easier for you now versus kind of when I talk about where I came from and how I kind of moved through this process, that to where we are now, in terms of our average sales revenue, one of the things that I didn't have together in any way in my first few years in business was packaging if if the prince for larger than eight by ten's, I had no way to contain them. And so when people would buy anything larger eight by ten I would be like wrapping it in like chop block but was that choc blocked paper that black thing what is it crash paper I'd be wrapping it in kraft paper or something and I remember this's actually humiliating I remember one time a woman bought a twenty by thirty print it was the first time we'd sold one that big and she came I was working from home and she came to my house to get it and I realized the last second as she is about to show up as I'm running around the house and putting the dog away and making sure no one was crying and picking up like laundry on the floor and all the things you do when you work from home and have kids and pets and it's chaotic I realized I had no way to handle that print other than the box it had come to me in from the lab which I thought looked terrible but I didn't know how to do it so what I did was basically put it back in the box taped it and then marked out the last name and then put like for you first there's something like just terrible and came to the door and his bark in on and I opened it up and just go hey like through the door because I haven't got a chance to clean up awful. I go also good to see you. Here you go. And I basically pushed it for the door and she was like, ok, I'm just gonna go it was awkward and it was a horrible presentation and I shut the door thinking I'm not doing that again. I immediately started researching packaging option for larger for larger pieces, so just keep those things in mind the whole way through because you don't want to have a big sale, which to me at the time, I mean, I think it's like a three hundred dollars purchase on I was just that was amazing to me, and then I and I have never seen that person again. I'm sure she was just like you suck, you know, any questions on that? All right, all for things with follow through after you give the packaging and stuff like that, we've got the follow through and this this is air. Basically, you are setting them up for the next sale. Sometimes you pull out the calendars and book your next session, or at least get them thinking about it. Other times when they're picking up a large order. You think, how can I help you with this? Sometimes not as much as I'd like this was shot by my client on her ipad version one can you tell it's even worse than this but you know, you'll go to their house and helped them put things up, and this is actually a lovely thing to do with child god, I have take us off. This is actually a lovely thing to do if you have that time built into your schedule because talk about establishing relationships very social, you're going to their home, you're sharing a drink and food or whatever the case might be, and it could be really fun, especially if they have people who are interested in shoot. They can come over and you can create this as a little of an event. That exact experience I had her neighbor came over to see the prince. We started talking that's, where you start setting up the shoot with the neighbor. If you are looking for good marking ideas, this is a fantastic marketing idea. Every time you have a great client place a good order said love to come to your home, help you hang the prints. In fact, if you would have health friends overall, bring over some wine. You know, we could just kind of show them as we put it up chat about the process I'd love to meet your friends. Do you see how that could be amazing, I just thought of that just now. Actually, no that's based on something that has organically happened for me that I didn't have any strategy behind, but I realized, wow, this is brilliant. This is a great idea, it's a wonderful would ask for referrals. Yes, I've done the going to their home and hanging it up, and it was a really great experience, but I don't think I have that's a lot of time, and I wasn't evening yeah, and I'm just wondering if it's something that you could add as like an ad on item to a priceless? Absolutely and I've seen that, like, so over x amount of dollars, we will come and hang it for you or as a line item is an extra thing, and that could be something that you outsource very easily. The problem of outsourcing, of course, is that you're not having that one on one relationship connecting, but certainly I've had my studio manager do this and it's been fun. It's a good link to the studio. I don't think it's as effective is you being there because a lot of what people buy is you but it's still, you know, a nice add on one of things that we do very commonly is we have our interns bring the larger orders to the client's home and that's also a nice, just extra thing. And if you saw my course last year on taking care of business I extolled the virtues of interns were near in chapel hill were between duke university and unc and we have commonly we have interns coming through and it could be really if you have a very clear vision for what you want them to d'oh including light items of exactly what they do if you have that builds ahead of time that goes a long way when interns don't work is the day they show up you have no idea what they're gonna dio and you're just like ok, now you're more work for me because I don't know what I want you to dio have an idea of that and they could be very useful can you offer some ideas on what did you have them do when you first started working interns? Yes, absolutely we'll certainly things like standing I used to say filing now it's scanning I want to go paperless scanning in who doesn't have a lot of paperwork around them having them sit scan and put it into evernote you mean you talked a ton about every note the other day but every note dot com like a freeway to be able to store your things virtually well you have a back up on your own computer that is a wonderful use of their time if you can't tell my big focus right now is going paperless possible so that's a verse that big in my mind having them run errands on things you want, like extra packaging items, anything you want for your environment where clients might be coming by target runs or a big one that we're constantly doing literally going to the studio and making sure thing straightened up and put away. And after she putting everything back, all the props go back and everything make sure in the fridge, greater stock with beverages chips. We've got a toilet paper roll in the bathroom and crashed on and on and on in voicing upkeep in terms of going into the system backups, they do a lot in the way of backups that's been a big job right now for a current intern? Is that she's going through and making sure all the chutes that air on the photo server also backed up to dvd? And I've already ensured that there, when I do issue, they come back and I back it up to an external drive and our photo server, and then she goes in that's our shared cloud system in our studio and then she goes on to make sure that original images and the final images that are up in the photo server are backed up onto tv dvds is well on that's that's a process that's a time sucking process that I don't want to be doing and comes out in assists on shoots, hold reflectors. You know, if you're somebody who really wants to learn to get how to get better what you're doing, one of the best ways to do that is to have yourself videotaped and watch you were gonna be doing that today. We're going to going through some of your sales session and we will be watching you on dh. You learn a lot from watching yourself. I have learned tremendous amount and this is something an intern could dio literally go out with an iphone and just tape you shooting give you wonderful instruction on how to improve. I mean, I could go on and on, but I think I already taking up six minutes on intern duties. And of course, this doesn't have to be an intern. But the lovely thing about intern is their unpaid position, and if you have a detailed list of what they can dio, it could be a wonderful resource. But you do have to know what they're going to dio, and I just told you what they should do.