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Start and Grow Your Photography Business

Lesson 20 of 27

10 Key Steps to Selling without Selling Part 2

Kevin Kubota

Start and Grow Your Photography Business

Kevin Kubota

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Lesson Info

20. 10 Key Steps to Selling without Selling Part 2

Lesson Info

10 Key Steps to Selling without Selling Part 2

Remember we built our package earlier, and we flip flopped things from having your cheapo on the top. Put the best one on the top because you want to sell top down. Not bottom up. You're gonna sell, top down. That doesn't mean take you're top off, it means you start at the top and you work your way down. Now here's my other story how I got worked, why this got reinforced to me. I was at a oh, a clothing store (laughs) of course, this was in San Carlos not too far from here. I walked by this mens clothing store, walked inside, and the guy his name was Freddy. I love this guy, 'cause he worked me. And he comes up and he's like hi, how are you da da dah, would you like to see some cool shirts and sanana? And I said no, no thanks, I'm good just walk, just looking around. And then he comes up to me a second, I just unpacked this beautiful jacket, you've gotta try it on. I just took it outta the box, it's amazing. I'm like, sure. Put it on, holy smokes this feels good. This (inhales) beautif...

ul fabric, I'm like, gosh how much is this? He's like 2500. Ah thanks Freddy, here ya go, put it back. He's like, oh wait wait wait, I remember I have this other one pretty close to this, check this out. He grabs this other one, puts it on me. Oh that's, that's still pretty nice, what is that? He's like this one's 15. I'm like, put it on the side, I'll think about it. (audience member laughs) Go on again, same thing, beautiful shirt. Try these shirts on. How much is that? 350. For a frickin shirt? Come on! Alright, how 'bout these? He pulls this one off, this one's only 195. Well that's a lot cheaper than 350, well I'll try that one on. Try it on. Shoes, belts, hair clips, everything again. I didn't buy the hair clips this time. But literally I walked outta there with a jacket, sweater, a shirt, shoes, no belt, no hair clip, he worked me. But I felt good, I loved every purchase. But I realized the way he did it was he put me in the absolute best thing first and he didn't feel bad about it. And I had to tell him, show me something cheaper. I'll step it down, and then he got to something that was still expensive, but I felt like well, it's quite a bit cheaper than the first thing so maybe I'll think about that one and ended up buying middle range when if it were up to me, I probably woulda started with the 49 dollar shirt and you know, worked up from there maybe. So it was a really awesome experience and I've actually intentionally gone back to see Freddy whenever I'm in town even though I know he's gonna work me but, and I try to, I try to play my game every time and work him back, but it, and really he wins. He's a pretty amazing guy. But I learned a really good lesson from him was start at the top and do not be ashamed of it. He was never hesitant about putting that $3500 jacket on me. Like he woulda bought that if he was in my shoes, why shouldn't I, you know? And did Mrs. Kubota administer discipline for that? (laughs) She did. Yes, Mrs. Kubota actually forbidded me to go in there on a few occasions. She said you're not going in there this time, I don't care what you say, you're not going in there. But she was actually there that time. Her and my cousin were sitting there watching the whole thing, just shaking their heads. Going, he's getting worked. So what Freddy does, starts at the top and lets me work him down. That's the interesting part of this. If you start at the top, present your best deal, your best offer, say my package is 10,000 bucks. Now the customer has to come back and say why should I spend that? I can't afford that, what do you have that's less? You know, then you say oh, my next package is 8,000 bucks. And you wait, and they have to then convince you to move down again. Whereas if you start at the bottom, my packages start at 1000 bucks. Great, I'll take it. Here's my check. You're like um, uh, wait a minute, I have a 2000 dollar package, do you wanna hear about that one? No, I'm good with the 1000 dollar package. Well but, but it's got so much good stuff in it. Let me tell you about the 2000 dollar package. And then I have a 3000 and a and a 5000 and a 7000. No, I'm good. So you've gotta do all the work to get them up to where they need to be versus letting them do the work to go down. And what happens when you let them do the work and you start at the top, you may end up, you probably won't sell the top package very often, but you'll end up like here. Versus if you start at the bottom and they work it up and you work them up, you'll probably maybe end up here. So your average becomes higher. Never fails. Next tip. Slide shows satisfy. And this could be weddings, portraits, you know seniors, pets of course, that's all portraiture. May not work as well for commercial fashion work. We don't have a chance to bring them in and do a little slide show. But I've found that slide shows easily, when I started doing them, increased my sales two to 300%. Just by presenting them larger than life, and you're also showing a complete story. And I started to think about this. Remember the days in the proof books, remember those things? I used to shoot hazablad and have the five by five proof books and I'd present that to the client. And I remember, I remember this very distinctly, I'd watch their faces. I present this proof book to them and I'm like I can't wait until they get to the good images back in the middle or somewhere like that. And they start flipping through, and they'll get to a picture of them and they'll be like oh, who's that in the background? I didn't even invite them to the wedding. Honey do you know who that was? Like oh, ew. And like, go through and they're like oh my God, the flowers look dead in that one. And they're starting to pick, nitpick at little tiny things already. And I'm like wait a minute, there's a whole, I'm going there, there's, this is a beautiful story you're not seeing the whole story that I captured here, the moments are amazing. But that was what they were doing, that's what they did when they had a chance to flip one at a time they would nitpick each image until they're ready to look at the next one. So when I started doing slide shows I realized they have one point five seconds up to one point seven five seconds to sit with each image and watch it go so they can't nitpick it. But what they're getting is the whole story. So when the slide show's done, and this is how we do our slide shows in our studio, we set up the slide show, we give them drinks of course, lots of cocktails, get 'em nice and drunk, you know. Something to eat, some cheese, whatever. Lights are low, candles, smelly stuff everything. We have a projection system, cozy chair. We bring 'em in, we set up the slide show, we close the door and we leave. And it's like 45 minutes long for their wedding because that's all the images, right? And music and everything like that, and we let them enjoy it. And inevitably when it's done, 'cause I have a timer set so I know exactly when to come back into the room, I walk back in and they're like on the couch making out, or they're crying, you know there's tissue box and they're... So they got the whole story, they're engaged. They're now boom, they're happy. They're satisfied and your first impression needs to be satisfied. But if they're nitpicking it one at a time, their first impression is not necessarily satisfied. So slide show, or one other option if you don't do slide shows, you can't do slide shows, is just to have, what I used to do sometimes is have one of my favorite images printed up big, I did this is for a portrait session once. For her son, I have this one image of her son that I just loved, so I printed it up big on my inkjet printer so I could have a little 13 by 19 or something, had a nice little frame on it, had that ready when she walked in the door and I said check this out. She's like, oh my baby, oooohhhhh. You know, and then so she's already happy, now let's sit down and look at the rest of the stuff. And then what I did from that and I ended up incorporating this into my sales on occasion as well, was having something ready made, a big print, before they even walked in the door and what I would do was say take this home and sit with it for a week and then let me know if you wanna buy it I'll run your card. If you don't I'll come pick it up, you can drop it off, and no harm done. And give me a guess how many times that print was kept? I'd say nine outta 10. Sometimes they would say, I love it so much I want a bigger one of that same one. And I always do those on my inkjet so it costs me almost nothing. You know I had these nice just kinda museum black frames that you can get for four bucks or whatever. So it has a decent presentation and it's cheap and there's really no loss if they return it to you. And I'll say if you wanna return it, return it and I'll just put it on my wall 'cause I love this image and they're like nonono, I'm gonna put it on my wall. Plus that whole time they keep going back to that image because they, that's what they first saw and fell in love with it, so they keep going back to that. Yeah. In their mind. In their mind. And you know, it's that same, if you wanna call it a trick, it's not a trick, but it's a technique that some car smellsit, smellsman (laughs). Oops, Freudian slip, car salesman will do. And I've had this done to me and I know many of my friends have too, where you go to test drive a car and they'll actually tell you go take it home. Bring it back tomorrow. You're like what? You want me to take this car home that I haven't bought and bring it home tomorrow? Yeah, 'cause they know you take it home you put it in your driveway, you show your kids, and they're like yay knew car Daddy, love it, love it. You know you drive around, maybe go to dinner with your wife in it and you come back the next, you're not gonna bring it back. You're, you're sold. You already made it part of you, you know? So it's pretty powerful. Alright, next one. Suggest the sale. There is a reason why the infamous McDonald's says, or we know, we think they say would you like fries with that shake? You ever go to Starbucks or one of those nice little coffee shops and they always ask you do you want a muffin, do you wanna try a bagel, anything else with your coffee? We've all had that experience, right? Sometimes you buy, sometimes you don't. But if you average out how many additional bagel sales they do in a year because of just asking people if they want one, it'd be maybe in the billions, I don't know. Millions for sure. And it's, it absolutely takes no effort other than saying how 'bout a nice hot bagel with your coffee? And I've fallen prey to this myself many many times I've gone in for a coffee and end up walking out with coffee and a muffin because they happen to sell it. And it's not like, do you want anything else? That's the key thing. You can't just say do you want anything else? No, you gotta say how 'bout a nice hot steamy muffin fresh from my mothers oven with nuts and rich goodies oozing out the side. Mmm, no I don't want that. So suggest the add-ons. And here's an example of what you could do for a wedding. Before they come in, could be a portrait session, doesn't have to be a wedding, could be any session. Before they come in to see the images, you put together a nice little collection of suggested images. It could be one of your packages or it could be something you just a la carte put together and create a package. And you say this is what I think we should get for your wall. This is what I'd get for your wall, this is what I'd get for your wall, this is a little smaller, these are some smaller prints, put them all together here, I'm suggesting it, it's 37.50, what do you think? 'Kay, of course you'd sell it a little more emotionally than that, but the idea being you have this ready, you suggest this when they walk in the door so they now have to work back to say geez, that's a lot more than we though we were gonna spend. Um, can we maybe take off just a couple of these things and bring it down? Sure, let's bring it down to or something like that for take a couple things off. Alright? That's a lot easier than just starting from ground zero and working your way up piece by piece by piece. The only hard part, the reason why not everybody does this is it's hard for us to get the confidence to throw that out there first and because we perceive that they're looking at us going you're crazy. You're a jerk, how could you make me, want me to buy that much stuff. But that's not true, that's not what people perceive. 'Kay. So we can't be prejudging what they're thinking. Alright, here's a little follow up to that. So this is from a study on customer service and suggestive selling. So this is from this company called Mystery Customer in Australia. And they said that they found when offering a specific item for the shopper to consider, two out of three of the shoppers took it. In other words if I say to you would you like a muffin with your coffee? Would you like one of our fresh out of the oven muffins with your coffee? Two out of three people actually take it. Versus if they say do you want anything else? People would say no. That's a small but very powerful, that's two out of three versus zero people take that. So think about what you can offer versus the suggestive sale like the first thing and we talked about before, but also little add-ons. When they're ready, when they made their purchase decision, they already bought a package, they got their wedding package, whatever. How 'bout saying oh, a little parent book would be so cute. I have these little tiny Asuka books, they're like this big, there's like five images, your favorite images, they're kinda sweet. Little leather cover, they're beautiful just to throw in your purse. I can make these up for you guys you know from the images we already picked up. Be a hundred bucks each or something like that, whatever they are. What do you think? Could you, do you throw one of these in your purse? Would you carry this around? It's a suggestion. Are they gonna think you're a jerk for suggesting that? I don't think so. How many of those are you gonna sell? Probably two out of three times you will add on one of those little mini albums and that's an extra probably about an 80 buck profit for you to sell a hundred dollar thing. And it's small 'cause they just picked up you know, two, three thousand dollars worth of stuff. Add another hundred bucks, no big deal. But that, over the course of the year that's gonna add up to a lot for you. Alright. Some other little things on that consistency. Clear guidelines. This is more for employees but even for yourself. Saying that every single portrait client, when they leave I'm gonna offer them this little mini album. That's my rule for myself. I'm gonna be consistent and ask if they wanna buy this every single time. So come up with some nice little add-on that puts a little extra cash in your pocket that you can add on to every session when you close. Something nice and easy. Could be a you know, one of those, I don't know whatever they are. Something I would say it should be you know, depending on how big a package you're selling or whatever product you're selling, it should probably be about what do we have here, less than 20% of the original price of what you're selling them. 'Kay, it should be relevant. So in other words they're buying an album, you're not gonna say, oh by the way would you like to buy some house slippers? To go with your album? That'd be great you know, you can walk around in the house in your cute little bunny slippers that we have that are, that has my logo on the bunny slippers. No, so make it relevant obviously, selling them something that they would like 'cause they've already bought something similar. Price sensitive, we talked about that, and timely. Meaning to be just before or while the customer is placing an order. Okay, so it's not as effective if you call back a week later and say hey, by the way would you like one more thing? You know, it's no. Right when they're ready to sign the check. Alright. Here's the next one. You are the expert. This is the confidence part. If I were to present my package to you and I'm you know, sitting with you and um my my top package is 3100 dollars, but I do have another one that's 2500 dollars. If that's what you want? You know. It's so different then I can present the same thing like, package that I think you should have is 3500 dollars. That's the one that I would buy. That's the one that has everything that I think is special in it. This is our, this is our primo ideal package. It shows you the best of what I can do and displays it in the best way. Very different, right? I'm exaggerating of course, a little bit. But there are subtle ways through body language, which is very important. A little side note on that body language is a very powerful thing to study and I've got a resource, a book in the resources section that you guys can check out. I highly suggest studying a little bit about body language and how it's used in sales and communication because it's very powerful. Very very powerful. Then, after you've confidently presented your offer, you shut up. How long do you shut up? Until they speak. Huh? Until they speak. 'Til they speak. There's a saying in sales you may have heard before that says after you present your offer, the first person to speak loses. So if you say my package is 3500 dollars, and they're sitting there staring at me like this. Um, but I also have a 2500 dollar package (laughs). And then I'm thinking, oh shit she's about ready to walk out the door, and she's thinking only 3500, why's it so cheap? You know she's like, okay so I've got a credit card. I could probably write a check. She's thinking like how am I gonna, I mean I could call mom, but I'm gonna pay for this package no problem, I just need to get the money. She's trying to figure it out and I'm already guessing that she doesn't wanna buy it. So I gave her a chance to tell me, then she may say, I can't afford 3500 dollars. Alright, let's look at the next one down then. 'Kay, make sense? And that, that is really really hard for people to do, to just present the offer and shut up. You know. Let them tell you what they need to tell you. Don't assume they're gonna tell you something else.

Class Description

It’s important to plant the seeds to grow your photography business the right way. Whether you are transitioning from a hobbyist to a professional, or have already launched your new business and don’t know what to do next, Kevin Kubota will show you the key and essential steps to getting your business growing in the right direction. You’ll learn who you are as a photographer and how to position, brand, and market yourself to the perfect clientele. 

Kevin will show you:
  • How best to brand yourself to attract clientele that hire you for you 
  • Pricing and packaging strategies to maximize your sales 
  • How to perfect your sales techniques without being pushy 
It’s time to start or build up a photography business that will allow you to be creative and make money at the same time. Kevin will help you achieve that goal.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Branding Statement

Contract Do's & Dont's

Evaluate your Business

Keyword Exercise

Points of Contact

Sample Portrait Session Contract

Startup Checklist

Photography Pricing Calculator

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Lauren Scott

Super great class. I've been in business full-time for 5 years, and I'm just now starting to get my "act together" I have spent so much time shooting, it has taken away from the business aspect and actually identifying myself as a brand, this was a good way to get the basics, learn, lots of good info. NOT boring at all, he is super funny and super personable, not pretentious and speaks to you in a way thats easy to understand... sometimes I feel like entrepreneurs come off a bit "nose-in-the-air" with all these terms myself as a creative cannot understand... but not with Kevin, down to earth funny guy! I also emailed him with a few questions and he was so kind to email be back right away! Thanks Kevin and thanks creative live! Bring him back!

KIS Photography

This was an amazing class to be a part of! I knew it would be good, from watching Kevin Kubota's previous Creative Live classes, and this course far exceeded my expectations! Kevin is a fantastic teacher, giving sound advice, presented clearly, with a down to earth, caring & humorous touch! I've watched it over on the replay, picking up on more things each time. This class will help me to get my photography business off on the right start, and I am looking forward to implementing all of his fantastic advice! Thank you Kevin & Creative Live!