Sales, Sales, Sales.

 

Sales, Sales, Sales.

 

Lesson Info

Step-by-Step Sales, Part I

We were talking yesterday we ended off yesterday with talking about half you get an email how if you get an email from somebody you want to make sure that you as much as possible get a phone call going do you think we cover that pretty well yesterday exactly why any other followed questions on that? Yeah, because a lot of times when you get an email, they just say something along the lines of I'd love that photograph recession there's really not a lot more than that you don't really get and this is why and these are my feelings and this is really what I'm hoping think about of this experience none of that comes across from inquiry, they just say, hey, can you photograph manages a cost you want to get to a situation where you're in a discussion like maggie and iran yesterday, where you're hearing a little bit more and you're helping them to crystallize this as an experience and you are separating yourself from anybody else. They may be talking to you because you are suddenly being forme...

d as a real person in their mind and they are now envisioning this experiencing have experienced happening so in their head they're going from if you're in a grocery store and you're standing four boxes of cereal to one that is just suddenly jumped off the shelf and given them an entire dazzling presentation you're suddenly a lot more interested in the one that came to life that is why you want to get them off the email as much as possible and make it a conversation here's the other thing when the pricing comes in just to help you better form this in your brain when people ask like how much for how long houses shoot wait a minute you're not getting paid for the hour you're getting paid for the value you bring to the hour if I can conduct a sheet with you in two hours where you got everything you're really hoping to get out of it and you're thrilled with the result and it was really what you wanted to get that is where worth how much compared to if you out for shooting it was way up another shooting kind of terrible job for a third shoot if you can bring a lot of value to the time you have that is worth a lot I had at a recent experience actually slightly pathetic toe actually recount this publicly but I will I'm gonna own up to how I currently still make terrible mistakes along these lines I we moved our studio from our old place our new place which is a mile away and when we got quotes in on the moving it was there was coming in about twenty five hundred dollars to move a little chef and I had the thought like you know, it wasn't really so much the money is you know, I wanted to roll my sleeves and be part of physically moving the studio I knew like a friend who I could give some money to help move, we could get a rental truck pretty easily, do the whole thing in a thousand bucks and actually stay get and be part of this, so of course, if you've ever moved it was about three times the effort we thought it would be about fifty times the stuff I thought we had and by the time we got everything done and everyone was warned to the bone and we were like, why on earth didn't we hire moving company in the first place again the value that they would have brought in for the time it would have taken? They would have done it in a third of the time they would have done it more smoothly. We wouldn't have all the stress and all the hassle and when we got there the moving truck my husband on the last run pulled the moving truck out slammed into a car everybody was fine. Unfortunately the car of the guy who's setting up our new studio server he wasn't happy about it police show up guys threatening that he wants to be arrested for not working with that I t company anymore when it's all said and done we reported it to insurance on charges like yeah except in fact that it wasn't your vehicle it was a moving companies vehicle and the only person that we would be able tio ensure they would be able to pay for the insurance part of this would be your studio manager who her insurance because she's one to read the vehicle even though she wasn't driving yet I was like there's no way I'm going to go back and have her pay for this by the way sir, if you're listening I didn't tell you that because there's no way why would I tell her I wasn't going toe put that on her and the bill that came in twenty five hundred dollars for hitting the car twenty five hundred dollars so when it was all said and then we paid about three times whenever with the extra expenses with red a storage unit because we couldn't get it all done but I'm going to get out it's the value you bring to the hour right think of it this way because when I have that story in my head and somebody say asked me why my sessions he is so much I can say because I have this I know what to do I know what to get done I know howto work and solve problems were you're not gonna be out there with me just kind of like a hanging so get really comfortable with knowing what your assets are that you're bringing to this and be able to internalize that and when you're having the dialogue is not that you have to convince them you have to convince you first then them and this is back to when I started really explaining, you know what the what? Why I care about what I d'oh most photographers don't do this they don't say this is why you were calling me should care that I photographed this again the first point of contact is a significant part of the sale a significant part of sale that often gets missed take the time up front to give potential clients an idea of what you do, how you do it and why they should care. I mean you're going to hear this all day long, but part of this about believing yourself believing we're leaving in your pricing isn't a fluffy thing it's the number one thing in sales that comes over the top the most successful sales people the biggest indicator whether you'll succeed or fail is if you believe in the product or service you're selling, the clients aren't selling or buying your four by six paper and ink they're buying you and they're buying your vision and what you're bringing so you have to believe in you you have to start there it's really hard to say I'm awesome right? Carrie if you're hiding behind the camera it's hard for them to get a sense of like your enthusiasm and by the way could you pass the mic to carry for just one second I noticed you got farther away from the mic today then you were yesterday I take notice that there was but do you see how it if kind of being reserved back here you were toe have that that shift that mindset shift where you would be able put the camera down and have them engage very personally with you you know when you submitted your submission video at the very end you had the cue to smile I wrote that too it is the whole thing and then you would and that was very endearing and that's something that if you showed to your clients have made a point of letting them know hey this is the all of who I am that alone would get but a boost in your sales do you see how that would know definitely it's just you know, putting yourself out there kind of drop spirit they see that barrier drop and so they feel like you trust them then they are more likely to trust you no that's perfect when you show your vulnerability you let people in because you're inviting them to do the same suddenly you both dropped the walls and there's a real communication and they like you and they can show you more of them and you're gonna get better photographs wonderful and there's less to hide when you're at the sales because you really put it out there okay the uh I think one of the things you want to try toe due in a little while is we're gonna have probably about twenty minutes or so we're going to have mr george very neck has come out and he's going to sell me a pen and if you see my handwriting that's a hard sell I don't I don't write much and I write terribly if you need more help believing about how streamline you could sell kind of anything in a casual situation all these points that we're talking about right here we're stepping through this process of how you sell to a client he's going to hit it in about three minutes in a very casual way that if you're not thinking about it you don't realize all these things are happening so you'll see that in a second and by the way it was a very, very spontaneous conversation we had it like three days ago we filmed it I said here some you ken and he's like ok, you dork fine s o you're going you're going to see that but realize that it's not like you're sitting there at any point in this processing ok now it's time for step three I'm going to qualify you it's just a casual thing that just is happening, so we talked before about clarity. One of the big reasons people will buy from you is if you clarify that the point between what your product and service is and what their need and security and desire is if you can find the link for them and simply clarify it, they're more likely to buy if you leave it vague and out there and it's confusing, they get overwhelmed, or they question your integrity, they wonder what you're hiding, and they're less likely to buy. So clarity, bills trust when you're qualifying the lead, you're clarifying what it is that you would do for them and what it is that they want hiding, nothing builds integrity. I believe in being extremely transparent with my clients. This is exactly what you get one you're going to get this is exactly what it costs. These are the things that you don't have to worry about, because they do not come up it's very clear, there's no point in me trying to put anything over on you, because it's going toe fight both of us in the paducah later that's, right? Just paktika, so qualifying the lead, basically, he is clarence clearing up any confusion about how this process is gonna work and confirming that they're all in it's no point going to a whole bunch of effort all the way through if you could've found out right here that this wasn't a fit so that's being very specific about what they expect setting really clear expectations for what's going to happen from here, the options that will be available to them when they're done with the shoot and you've heard it before. But let me just tell you, because there's, a lot of peace in this not every client is for you and you are not for every client there there's a lot of peace and that when you have a phone call, we're on the phone, you're qualifying the client and you're discovering, in short order that there this is not going to be something where you work together if they air scent telling you that all they want in the world is, too, while its size images, this is probably not going to be the client for you if they're coming to you. And they say I want a two hour shoot so I could pick out my favorite passport photo. This is the time we say, you know what? Passport photos or asked is down the street, I really think that's a better fit for go you do not want to be sitting down eight hours in to this experience. In a couple months and find out that they wanted and then you could say, oh my god, I'm so glad I learned that came on there are a lot of a lot of questions about that specifically and how do you communicate to the person that they're not a fit without feeling like you're literally what were rude? Yeah ok, so tell me that you want something that I'm not going, that it would not really be of value for me to provide for you or for me to do and I will respond to you ok, so tomorrow I would love tio have you photograph me and my cat? And I'm just really I'm just looking for a few snapshots that aiken send grandma, okay? I'm allergic to cats. No, I'm not I would say wonderful when you say a few snapshots to send to grandma, you already have an idea at the end of the shoot that there's just a couple of images you want for the entire shoot. Yeah, I'm just thinking maybe a three different ones maybe like four by six five by seven what where you thinking is are those sizes specific for you when you say four by six or five by seven by what I'm doing is I'm clarifying what she's saying, I'm phrasing it back to her and I'm trying to make sure I understand her clearly because there's a chance when she says, I just want a couple of shots to get to grandma that what she means is the two forty by sixty canvas pieces. I don't know, I want to clarify what she means. So when you say a couple shots, you find my grandma's birthday is coming up, and I just want to give her some things to put in little claims on her side table. Okay, so she really has the frames, or you would be building something for her collection, or what is your already picked them out himself? The frames. Okay, so the way I work is we would go out. We would be spending a couple of hours together, me, you and your cat, and what we'd be doing is doing a variety of poses, and I love the idea of changing outfits, especially on that. Yeah, and I like cakes on cats on what you know. Yeah, and and what I was writing for you, we always said and done after we invest a few hours together during the shoot, would be a combination of images in color or black and white and different color toning a lot of effort that goes into this in terms of the finishing of the products and everything, and my thought is, if, you know, right now for sure that you only want like a couple four by six is it might be just too much of a process for you because that and that is the way it works is the most comfortable providing products at that level of service you see them saying like I think that what we had charged me for that might my plants that the session fee alone is about five hundred dollars and most clients and spending about thirty, three hundred dollars when we're all said and done on dh that's because they're so much that we go through together to make sure we're giving you everything you want and often clients are getting quite a combination of products and at the end of the day and so my thought is, if you know for sure it's a couple four by six is that you want there are a couple of people I'd be happy to recommend to you that I I think would be able to give you more what you want and you don't have to kind of go into a thick, heavy process and you know right away there's just a couple things you want I see that's probably a good idea my budget for grandma was not thirty five hundred dollars yeah, I mean thank you, but I just want to tell you I do think you should love her more I just I just think about it, but does that make sense? Thank you, yeah, because what I'm doing is ensuring that you understand that I think you it would be better served in a different place I in new way and ever going to say to you you're not worth my time what did your I mean? I'm not never going to say that no clarifying you clarified for me that what I'm looking for is a lot less than what you do, right? And what if she said actually it's going to be a she is a place for two thirty by forty campuses reported by sixty campuses that would go up right there and I'm like, oh that's what you you know that could happen and I could say wonderful let's keep talking I I am the one for you thank you that's really helpful. Thank you. Good. You're welcome yes, please. I have a story about that. I kind of learned it the hard way. I had a family that when I met with them for the consulate was an extended family scenario and it was grand parents and then to the siblings and their families and they literally told me that they just wanted one eight by ten for grandma in germany and it was the whole family was in the states and I had this thought that oh, I'll take these images for them anyway, and I'm going to allow them and they're going to love them, and they're going to get more than any by ten. Certainly they're going to get more than an eight by ten because it's three different families and once they see the images will love them. Sure enough, I do the sale session, and they bought one eight by ten on I just I felt like I learned it such the hard way, I mean, they've they told me what exactly they wanted, and I kind of didn't listen to that, or I had this maybe I was overconfident or something, but I had this mentality that, oh, I'll change their minds later so that letting yeah, I mean, trust your client. But also when you said that maybe you were overconfident, you heard me say yesterday that overconfidence actually hurt sales. Having the right level of confidence is a really good measure between look, I really feel good about my work. I feel good about what I can create for you, that I love, that you felt that that's great. I would advocate for that every time, but additionally, but building clarification and might have helped you there, so why you're on the conversation, they said, justin eight by ten explaining well, this is how I like to work usually my clients have a comment this is that something that you would flat out be opposed to? Where would you be open to learning more about what else I can provide because they could sit there and say I thought I wanted eight by ten but what else do you mean? You know and then you go explain at if you had an album and you gave her you know, one physical album with a variety of images of all the different families and maybe some subgroups of the family members together in this and that they might kind of say, you know what? Let me let me check with my brother and sister and call back and say I didn't even think about that thank you we want to do that that could have been a possibility but you don't learn that unless you clarify rephrase and keep going yeah, I wonder I mean that that's why this upfront communication is one of the best time saving measures and one of the big biggest sales boosters finding out right away what this is going to take and if it's a fit that's the clarifying and pre qualifying so here we are in booking the session we qualified the person can it did clarify for me that when she met a couple shots she meant eighteen forty by sixty campus fists for her grandmother's home of her inner cat, which is fantastic I'm psyched to work with her we're going to book the sec so this is the stage where you not only make sure that you're booking a session, you're getting the calendars out together this is a reset let's pull our counters out and see what time's work here the times that are available for me. I suggest that by the way, here the times that I have available not when would you like to do this here the times that I have available give them the options that you already know are the best for your dates given what everything else is going on in your life the days that you've allotted that you're going to be doing shoots even more, preferably for me I shoot on monday, wednesdays and fridays so I wouldn't ask them what day they want it they say tuesday I know tuesday's my editing day or it's my writing day then you say and the best times are either going to be again it's for you, you and your market but I always say early morning light and evening evening like best even like so it's going to be around eight a m in the morning or eight thirty depending on where we are during the year if we're at the beach it's going to be seven thirty again, depending on the sun and four thirty or five or six thirty, depending on where we are in the summer in the evening, I tell them this day, these times, which works best for you, because if they say that if I say what works for you, they may say tuesday at noon is perfect let's go right outside in on a blacktop, and I've lost so much control over the quality of my imagery because now in battling lighting issues, so I started off by saying that then moving on to talking about here is what to expect from now. This is the very clear setting expectations we've done some of this in the qualification give them an overview. It never hurts to say, just let me run through this one more time, just so you know, what's going on, it doesn't hurt to be very specific about what the expectations are for timing of everything. This is where I would then say or my stream and you would then say, great, okay, so this session is booked on this day, you're you can expect the session to last for about this long, you'll get the images back in three weeks. After images come back look, I've been delivered to you in the slide show that would be up for a couple days this is the day we'd love to make sure we have on the calendar for you to come in to look to the images together in order your images from the session so the ordering session gets scheduled when the book when the session gets booked this is a this is a big one, this is actually sometimes even in our our studio we struggle with this sometimes every so often the pace is going things were going fine, the the session gets booked but the ordering session doesn't get booked and that's a miss that's a mistake, we still make it ideal world but I would advise to you don't make that mistake but old out right away get it on everything in the calendar so it's just very cleanly set in terms of expectations that the again the temptation is we're slammed, we're moving, we're fitting in a shoot here and there and everything doesn't go out. Ideally what you want to do is book the session the viewing time, let them know when they expect the slide show right in there and then we tell them to side she'll be up for a couple days and then we take it down for you to come in for your you're ordering session and that way again we're setting expectations when it's just said that way they don't say wait a minute a couple days only that's all I get wait we've said this expectation we clarified announcers death going on if they do come back and say well what if I don't get a chance to share that with friends and family and staff who say well after wearing session we go ahead and put it right back up again because for us that becomes a viral marketing that's a good thing but we do want to give them some desire to get in and see them again so we give them a chance to view it get a feel for it what we don't want them to come in sit down in the studio with us and having just in them it is for the first time right there say I am overwhelmed I really need to sit with these for a while I want them to have had a taste of them first so moving on we have our this is where they also sign their portrait contract we send it electronically we haven't signed it electronically the major benefit of a portrait contract is simply like any legal document you're putting all of the thoughts you guys had and communications you share down on paper so it's really clear the great great benefit of a contract is it solidifies what you both said heard and agreed tio when you don't have a contract, you don't have a written document in place it's all up for interpretation and that's you say people say, well, she lied, she said this or he said this most the time people aren't lying, they just hear things differently. They just had different assumptions, get it all on paper and have a document. And I could tell you exactly what we do clarify on our contract. Tamara, is it during this booking the session that you are indicating that the review or ordering session will be the time to purchase yes product? Yes, this is where we're gonna put everything together and make sure and then again, when we do get teo the ordering session thie expectation has been set that we say we get there, we're going to make sure and a really good question. I'm glad you asked that we make sure that they understand that the expectation is very strong, that we're going to just knock it out, we're going to dig in, we're going to go through this, you make it really fun and there would be done and I can say from past experience that when you but it drags out and it goes on and on and people go back and forth and they're not sure the thing I care about the most is it becomes less fun you're killing the joy of what could be a really fun experience, where you sit and dig in and just have fun and everything else is shut off, and you're focusing when you're going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, you start getting into an administrative nightmare of like, I just want to finish this and you as a photographer do not want twenty ordering sessions out there just ongoing because that's very stressful and it's not very efficient, that that part just hits really hits home to me. I'm having a really hard time with that, but I think it's setting expectations front and you've mentioned in the past that you say that a couple of times during the process, so it's not only that you mentioned about the review or order session during the booking, the session, where else do you during the june? And you'll see that tomorrow, when we do our shoot, we're going to do a shoot out in the alley. Andi, we're gonna have a family come in, and I'm going to photograph him with the intention of showing you guys exactly how I'm reinforcing things during a shoot, not selling I'm just saying, hey, oh my god, I just got that shot people asked what time to show images that you shot during shoot I go, yes people have in their mind, I remember that time they see a preview of it and then later when they see the finished product it's like I remember that you're kind of starting a bridge to where you're going to land when you get to the ordering session, and much of that happens with the things you're discussing during the shoot and last question that thie information about the review or ordering session is also in the contract to get much in the contract. Basically, they're signing a contract that states that basically it's an overview, what you can expect so it's an understanding that we can use the images that we shot for any sort of marketing advertising, putting on our blawg, et cetera, the only thing that we go back and double check with is if we have something for commercial use, like we're going to putting in opposing handbook, and we want to double check that everyone's ok, before we lock it down, thie general klaus based on this saying that you know you can't hold us accountable for acts of god. S o if there's a terrible storm or this or that or something crazy happens, that's not our fault andan understanding that their images will be delivered to them in a combination of color, black and white, and the styling of the artist's choice and that's important, too, because if that's not communicated later, they may say, well, why would you charge me to go back to color able to explain to them that I already made the decisions? We agreed that it would be delivered in this fashion? In addition, there's archival over try retrieval our cattle or tree will faii associated with this change now so the advantages of doing this having the portrait contract signed and looked at is that the contract and the session fee collected together is what triggers the booking of a session so we're not saying we're going to absolutely hold the state open until we have both of these things in hand. I strongly advocate for credit cards because it's just done as opposed to waiting for a check to come in the mail we're very the dances again in the portrait contract were very clear about the process we're clear about upfront about any sort of possibility of confusion which hinders what I go which hinders what you guys go what what is it have loved to know which hinders sales were being honest and straightforward because what else is the point? Anything you're trying to slip over anybody's going to bite you in the end anyway so don't even bother or streamlining all of our calendars for these upcoming dates they're pretty crucial that we don't want to miss and we're setting up really specific expectations for the delivery of products and services yeah, so we booked this session any other questions about that? We do not book a session and make sure it's held off on the calendar if we haven't collected the session fee the session fees secures us a couple of things one before I had session fees collected up front the amount of cancellations I had was ridiculous people didn't really value it that much they weren't really paying for it they're going to get the show for the appointment or not I found that they valued it more when they had a nonrefundable session fee that that didn't mean we couldn't transfer the date if someone gets sick or something we could move it to another date absolutely there'd be no additional charge for that but the session fee secured that the session would it would happen and it did big time and for me from just simply running a business from a cash flow perspective I have more money in the bank sooner and have a constant revenue stream coming in which is a really positive thing to have is a small business and then I was committed to it they were committed to it it's just a really whatever your session he is it's a great win all the way around I was going to ask do you send them anything else? You send the contract electronically? Do you send them any kind of styling guide or what's aware any of anything like that, like way than anything else along with it, I know a lot of photographers who do who swear by sending all that all the marketing and booklets and great things like that we don't and again what you're going to hear today is I'm going to be very straightforward about how I exactly do it and what works for me and my hope is that you're taking that information and say, ok, how can I get the essence of what she's saying and also add in what feels natural and good for me? And I love to dio that's what you're in result that's what your outcome should be, it shouldn't be I'm going to be king clearly, tamara lackey are going to be completely any other instructor ever hear it's a great what information worked? How can I take that, bring it back into my business and modified my business accordingly? I do not do that. I do not see any problem with doing that. I think that sounds really fine. Hey, it just isn't something that we do all right, now you are prepping for the session on prepping for this session is a really cool thing again. How do we all do this differently? Prepping for decision for the session for a lot of people is a pre consultation meeting I have heard photographers say if you don't meet with them ahead of the shoot you you're shooting yourself in the foot for the sale guess what I don't do we're all different we'll have different paths to success we have to make our process work for what fits personally I personally prefer the pre consultation to be by the phone by phone or skype and let me tell you why for me this is what I like to dio first of all, I want to make sure no matter what we're having a conversation some communication this varies based on whether or not I have photographed the family before whether I know the person I'm photographing if I've never met him before and I don't know them from anywhere it's a longer, more detailed conversation if I'm photographing again for the second, third, fourth, fifth time it's like all right let's run through this really quickly make sure we're on the same page anything new I need to know etcetera if it's somebody that I know personally that I've had interchanges with what we're going to do a shoot for the first time it tends to be longer than the kind of brush up one but shorter than the long formal because I already know a lot about them and now I'm just getting clarification of what I need for the session and making sure we discussed a few things so it's a mix of a few things the pre consultation is you again by phone, in person, on skype everyone to do it of you giving expectations clearly, assuming the role of expert in terms of guiding the situation and the guidance that you're going to give is an overview of what they can expect in general about how this is going to flow, what your demeanor will be like, what your expectation is of the family of the wife of the husband of the uncle, of the other wife of the other husband, whatever the situation is, so you're gonna have what I think is really helpful is a couple do's and don'ts about what to expect. I'm going to talk this through tomorrow, I'm going to do a session prep with the client, so you're gonna hear me speak to this exactly, but obviously one of the major things I say is this is not the time to be raising moral human beings. We're going to have fun with this, we'll talk about this in a lot of details you'll hear me kind of say exactly how I would normally to somebody, but I'm going into a session for the first time, ideas about what to and what not to wear and this is where I think that you need to make sure you are growing a pair I say that be really confident in saying this is ok, this would look terrible you know, if somebody says to you you know why we're already to get everyone sounds good this person's in this dress there in that thing he's going to be wearing denim cutoff overalls with a fluffy red tie but just just how he is and I'm thinking I want to do a family portrait and putting them all together he's going to stand out it's not gonna look good I'm gonna be very clear about the fact that honestly I really, really would advise against it and because this may seem like if you want to have him put that on for some images fine, please have something else to wear because I have seen it play out almost every time I can't even think of one exception hasn't played out where when people kind of say we're going to do it and I just can't say ok, we'll do what you need to d'oh and and we look at the images and they say that doesn't look very good you are the expert on the visual imagery if you know it's gonna look like crap say it don't be too polite here and miss the boat on having delivering really good looking images I'm not saying don't let people be individuals and do their thing work that in if they are dead set on this or that outfit or this or that shirt or this or that hat work it in but make sure you have the vision for how the overall look is going toe going to really stand apart is that is that clear? Ok, you're going to talk to you about expectations about how long this session will last for me it lasts a couple hours you know sometimes and I want a half sometimes three hours sometimes much longer I've had one that went seven hours so set the expectation for how long this is going to last yes there's a destination shoot and the it was a full family and we were did several occasions and lot of outfit changes and it paid off I'm not unhappy about it but I do believe it's going that in session's along I know a lot of people like forty five minutes or we cap in an hour you have to do it how you want to do it but I personally find that when you put a hard cap on something you're basically putting a hard cap on the creativity you need to make whatever is gonna happen happen when I say I don't do reshoots I never have to do a reshoot what I mean is I will wait until we get what we need if we've got a cycle through our set out a tantrum or you know move locations or keep moving the energy then let's keep doing this I don't want to have some sort of external thing telling me it's time to move on now I want to move on when I feel like it's time that we're done when I got what we needed this is also where you are securing what they want, what they really really want what else did by the way and I'm gonna talk about that one second but what else are you doing by spending this time together by phone or skype for in person or whatever you're building a relationship you're building relationship you are all for all intents and first purposes bonding and you are building a collaborative effort right here this is when you're saying I think that my son will do this okay great why? Well because this is his personality ok, I've seen that this is what I think we should do with that were basically teaming up to make this a success. Yes when do you ask about budget? About dollars that that's in the initial phone call we're giving an overview of what exactly I personally have never asked the question what is your budget? It's it's not me would feel uncomfortable would be weird to me so again and anything is going to uncomfortable in weird to me I eliminate what I will say is this is an overview this is about what people plan to spend and then they can tell me so I was not my budget more like ok all right I get the sense this let's keep talking okay yeah you welcome um so when we're talking about what people really really want sometimes is very simple like hey I just want a session where I'm in the picture too got it that is not unusual other times people say you know and I don't think I've ever had a chute where I've looked good I'm not photogenic terrible what do you mean well uh I just I just don't look in pictures tell me more and then you ends up being something where they feel like they're smile looks fake or they feel like they look heavier on this and they do in that or they feel like their nose looks long or their one I always expected than the other or you start hearing from people this litany of internal dialogue that often isn't visually here parent but if you know what they're worried about you could make sure you shoot accordingly and that's where I love this part this is the part where you're like ok good I know what you really want let me address it the big thing for me and part of the biggest reasons why I like to have this by the phone or skype and not making a physical meeting is because even though I want to give him an overview of what they can expect in terms of end result in terms of products I do not want this to be a product demo for me this is where you're going to hear different photographers tell you different things I have heard great photographers who have great sales averages say the pre consultation meeting should be where you show them all your products and get them set and ready to go I've heard that I'm I applaud that it works for them I really dio for me I feel like I don't want a product demo right now I want emotional engagement I want to give them an overview here some things we sell this is what it looks like if you have questions you can see this and that could be just all visuals on a website a link whatever you have I want it to be about how do I get to know you better and how do I find out what you really want because if I'm emotionally connected to you and I'm delivering on what you genuinely need not you don't need paper you need a need to be filled if I can fill that need the paper comes effortlessly it's it's significant so I don't want this meeting to be let me have you see all the products that we sell I wanted to be how do I make you happy I had a shoot we do we do volunteer for the emily k foundation in durham which is a fantastic organization started by coach k he and my good friend steve wojciechowski are heading up the olympics that's called team next weekend hey go team usa but they do a fantastic event that we've been a part of the last couple of years where we come in and we set up a private portrait booth and people come in and we take ten minutes with them and produce these photographs and it's been kind of a win win because it's a way to bring people into this event it's a fundraiser, this fantastic organization that helps kids in inner city durham dream big and and in the end result from that effort is actually some wonderful sales that we get afterwards in that situation where there's a lot going on, this woman walked up to me in the very beginning we're just setting up for the evening and she said I would like a photograph of myself and my mother and my daughter and she said, we're not gonna be here very long we do this right now, so she told me what she wanted and I said, okay, and I go, who are they jettisoned she's pulling them over? And then she said, like really quickly and quietly, my mother doesn't have long to live and then we went in to the booth and so what she said was I want to photograph what does she really want the memory she wanted the capture. She wanted the three of them together before. There wasn't that much more time for it. And that was crucial because what did they say? And what do they mean? What are they telling you? I want this, but what do they really want underneath that? You know, when the when the mom says to me, I just want a photograph of me in a picture she's not saying I want one with five people, not four people she's saying, I want my children to remember I was an active purpose family because I'm the only one taking their pictures it's really, really important to me to show us as a family. So as we sat down that they first set to go down a little bit, just kind of formally like this, and I said, all right, already closer, okay, this and that. And then I was like, just giggling and playing some jokes and just teasing them with their dresses, and the resulting images were lovely there, face to face and she's holding her granddaughter and her mom snuggled up are the daughters snuggle up to our mom, and it was ten minutes, but that's what she really wanted, she didn't just want their likenesses captured, she wanted the way they relate to each other to show that connection the three of them all together and when she came in to pick up the images which by the way she color black or white cropped in cropped out a whole bunch of them she said to me she hasn't had very many good days we didn't have a lot of time and I'm so pleased we did its we did this it was an emotional thing and I I had that sense of like I want to run up and bear hug her but this is for seconds and she's picking up her prince and I was just like this is the best part of photography this is it you have to find out what they really want because after that the paper is secondary I want this to be emotional engagement not product demo can I say something about please on this part the prep for the session in the pre consultation huge takeaway for me this is a piece that's missing in my process I've hired a studio manager to work a few hours and she's fantastic and she can definitely handle client interaction is this something that you give to a studio manager because it feels the whole pre consultation peace with the client I don't might my senior managers a lot for us she's fantastic she's really got on the initial calls and things like this part is there I'm eating their personal for the shoot yeah absolutely okay yeah there's a lot that I think you can have another person dio I personally think this is the critical piece that you need to have in your brain and in your heart when you're going into a shoot before this class I was thinking of giving this away but it seems very yeah now I feel like this is very and later for the session yeah it's very significant thank you. That was a really core part question so yesterday when we were all playing for the booking the session is that a conversation that you personally have would you have started that it's both both she does some ideas, some the initial calls yeah like obviously when I'm here she's doing all the all right so um all right, so then we get to the actual shoot we've prepped were set and listen that luckily we just did so much work that when we get to the shoot that's the easy part all we do is this this is where you go out think about taking great photographs but also pour all your energy into finding innovative fresh poses that don't look posed what constantly keeping your eyes open for fantastic candid moments while brushing back hair and wiping away it's not staying ever cognizant of using great lighting even as it shifts and changes bring in phil lighting and room lighting is needed while you're scanning for most interesting backgrounds of four grounds shooting flattering angles but also mixing it up and composing and framing as impactful as possible with as much variety as possible while engaging your subjects individually based on there specific personality types that you've been told about as well as what you've surmised taking care to represent families is a one as a collective grouping individuals who belong together being short adjuster settings to keep any collection of multiple individuals in the same plane of focus avoiding glass claire and erin color casting or any sort of under over exposure adjusting your eyes so shutter speed aperture exposure meaning white balance as you go well course keeping in mind everything they wanted from the shoot the things they told you, the things they didn't referencing a list either in your head around a piece of paper on your phone of everything you want to get so you don't miss out on any configurations that they might want it comes down to showing them all of the options for what you've captured. Why you're consistently responding to the energy of the unique dynamic that is each shoot as you create an experience that is exciting relax fun, upbeat, interesting and of course les we not forget comfortable for all that's the easy part that hits home camera uh wow, this is a hard job isn't no what are we doing way really should get paid for this? Yeah about michael can you make that available? Is a pio yes, yes, yes, yes, this will be in the download.

Class Description

People love to buy ... but people hate to be sold to. If this is true for you, too, why would you ever want to be perceived as a salesperson? Most of us don't.


This course not only covers the nuts and bolts of achieving great sales but goes far beyond, with the intention of priming you to consistently sell your work for what it's truly worth - and to create even better relationships with clients who will appreciate a better experience. If you own your own small business, you are in a 100% sales commission job. Tamara Lackey has worked in a 100%-commission based sales role for 15 years, achieving remarkable success in sales before she ever picked up a camera professionally. 

Tamara will show you exactly how she maintains a consistently high sales average in multiple genres, sharing how to conquer fear of criticism and self-doubt to make the entire process significantly more enjoyable and she will showcase detailed evaluations of each in-studio audience member's sales sessions to show what works, what doesn't, and how you may be killing your sales!