Prep Clients for Purchase
Prepping them to purchase. One of the main things at a pre-session consult is getting them introduced to the products that we offer. I want them to see what we have on the walls, I want them to see the albums. I rally want them to see the higher ticket items so that way, in their head, the first time they're sitting in my studio, they can visualize their own pictures in an album, or they can see their pictures on the wall. I'm not necessarily showing them five by sevens and eight by tens and the lower ticket items, because those aren't as important to me to sell, as things that they'll pick up as gifts for family and friends. I want them to have that album in their lap and be looking through it. And they're just sample images at the studio, but I want them to visualize, ooh, I can't wait 'til my pictures are in this. And again, an album might cost $1, for them to purchase, and we haven't necessarily gone over the sales and the pricing yet. But they have it in their head, like they see ...
this book full of these beautiful images and just the psychology of them wanting that, or seeing those big framed prints on the wall. I'm not putting an 11 by 14 on the wall in my studio, I'm putting a 20 by 30. So I want them to see those large, framed images. That way, those are just the things that are creeping into their mind where they can, you know, they can visualize their own images in there. So when it comes time for them to come purchase products after the session, they already think, ooh, I want to get to planning that album or figure out what I want in that framed collage, and things like that that are the higher ticket item. So it's kind of getting them introduced to those and just comfortable with the products in general, because there isn't any sales happening yet, it's just a little bit of a psychological game of getting them used to it. And again, showing them what I want them to buy and what I want them to remember. Just like I said, you know, handing them that album. Well, this is our 12 by 12 inch album that has 30 spreads, or 30 images. You know, that way they're seeing the big one, and anything, we do offer ones that are smaller and have less images, but why not start from the top, because then they're having to, you know, essentially settle for something less. And a lot of times when the kids see them, you know, they're gonna pressure their parents a little bit, too. It's like, but Mom, I really want this one. And you know, I'm thinking great. It's not really my deal, but I'm just offering the products and I'm taking the pictures, so I want them to get as much as possible, because it's my business, after all, and that's why I offer what I do. I create that image in their mind of what they need, even though we haven't even taken a single photo. They don't have any idea what their photos are gonna look like, but they see all the ones on the wall. Again, those are images I picked out, they're my favorite photos from sessions. If I'm gonna take 800 photos in a session, and we're gonna narrow it down to four dozen for them to view, I might only really love, you know, two that I'm gonna put on the wall of the studio to show off, because that's what I want everybody, and slowly you go from this wide selection of images down to your favorites. And if those people love the same favorites that I love, now we're talking, because we're gonna be able to do something that's fun, that we're both going to enjoy. And as someone who is creating imagery, you know, there's nothing more satisfying than when they love the stuff that you love. And there's probably a lot of sessions, for any of you guys who do have studios. Even shooting for magazines, I'll submit, I know recently on a shoot, I submit 40 images of a shoot for a magazine, and I'm hoping the photo editor picks, you know, I'm doing a little extra re-touching. I'm saying, like, oh, these are the raw images, but I might be selectively making one look better than the rest, hoping that's the one they pick. And I do the same thing with seniors, too. Placing certain images within, you know, doing a little extra work to really pump them up so that way they pick the ones I like. And it's always a little bit disappointing. I mean I love selling any of the images, but when they pick something really like, oh, kind of on the fence about it, and they pick that one, sometimes I'm wondering, you know, why. But a lot of times you have to remember it has nothing to do with the picture itself and more to do with, you know, they might have really liked their hair in that one or things like that. And another thing important about the pre-session consult is to learn those things. I'll ask people, you know, a lot of people have a favorite side. And they don't necessarily want to tell you. So I just straight up ask, because you can generally tell when someone starts to look one way or the other. And I want to know that ahead of time, because I want to take the most photos that they're gonna love. So if they don't like one eye, or if they don't like how their hair looks from this side, I want to know that, because as a photographer I'm trying to create as many images as possible for them to purchase and for them to love. And the only way to do that is by me being fully educated about what they like. And again, they don't always want to come out and say it, because they might be embarrassed or shy, or you know, they are down-playing how important it is, but you gotta go with that type of thing because you really want to know. A little bit more about the products. You know, what do you offer and why. You're not the Cheesecake Factory. And what I mean by that is, we've all eaten at a Cheesecake Factory, and you all need, the first time you ever go there you need 35 minutes to look through the whole menu, and then you still don't even know what you looked at. And with my studio, I don't want to be that. I want to have a very select amount of products. I use White House custom color for all my printing. They offer hundreds of different products, and I could certainly, you know, it's so easy to order them from them, I could offer everything. But I don't want to do that. I offer framed prints, framed collages and albums. And then eight by tens and five by sevens. That's it. My whole price list was in that little senior magazine and it's one page. It's very simple. I kind of equate it from like the Cheesecake Factory to your high-end steakhouse, where the menu is just on the front side of one piece of paper, and that's it. Just nicely laid out, not an overwhelming amount of options, and it's all things that they specialize in. Kind of like I want it to be things that I want to show in my studio. I don't want to have mugs with people's faces on them and all that. Some people do, that's great. But I want it to be the high-end products that I enjoy looking at, and that's what I want to sell to my clients. So it also keeps those options less overwhelming and when it comes time to doing the sale, they're not sitting in the studio for three hours because they're digging through the price menu. So that's just something. I sell the products that speak to me and my target market, you know. Who are you going after? What type of client? What do you think they want in their home? What type of pictures do you think they want? So those are the products. It's not necessarily about you, it's about who you are targeting and the people you want to sell to.