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Start and Grow Your Photography Business

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Student Hot Seat: Mock Sales Presentation

Kevin Kubota

Start and Grow Your Photography Business

Kevin Kubota

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Lesson Info

21. Student Hot Seat: Mock Sales Presentation

Lesson Info

Student Hot Seat: Mock Sales Presentation

Alright, so just to kind of let you guys know, I asked Yanina to kind of take some notes on what we're talking about. She's not really a wedding photographer. I'm really not a wedding photographer. At all? Yes. So she doesn't have a lot of experience so she's gonna be taking what she learned and kind of trying it out. I also asked her to kind of scribble some notes, did you get a chance to do that on some mock packages? Yes. Okay, kind of creates them on the fly, very simple packages so that she can present them. And Jim is a groom who is getting married, he actually is getting married very soon. So he's an actual, Thank you. A real customer. So let's do this. I got my questions. Okay, you and your questions come over here, you're gonna need to walk in to the door. Okay, great. You're gonna say hello first, you're not already there. Okay? I'm gonna come over here and take some notes on this whole thing. Sounds good. And I'm pouring vodka. You can do what...

ever you'd like. I'm chilling champagne. Gonna act it out and tell us what you're doing, what the environments like, everything else. I'm describing the environment? Yes. Well, I think I've rented the Four Seasons ballroom, no. It's in my studio. It's very modern, clean lines. I have Eric Stae on the speakers. I love Sate, I think he's very romantic and very clean music not distracting. I have champagne chilled, nice bubbly in the fridge, Trumsburg , local California champagne that I love it. Love going back out there. Some truffles. Okay. (doorbell sound) Hello, Yanina. Hi Jim, hi! Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you too! So good meeting you. Likewise. And your bride, she. Uh, she's in jail. (audience laughs) but she will be out by the time we get married. Oh my, okay. I'm kidding, she's at work. (everyone laughs) She trusted you to make all the important decisions? She did, and I've got full capabilities. I do a little photography, so she's taking the dress and the cake, I get to do the photographer. Fantastic, all right. Have you seen my website? I did see your website. That's why we're here, we like your work. Fantastic. How big will your wedding be? We'll have 75 people. 75 people, perfect. All right, I was thinking, I was talking to Vera on the phone and I think for the kind of things that she wants, the products that she's looking for, I have an amazing package, it's my most popular package. It's $7,500 and it includes my most beautiful handmade products to capture your beautiful day. Okay. Tell me more about it. All right. What's included? Well, it includes a complimentary deluxe engagement session okay. with a 16 x 24 metal print for your walls. Okay. It includes a 12 x 12 deluxe photo book, printed. It's beautiful, handmade, printed on premium paper, photographic paper, not pressed printed, you're a photographer, you know what that is. Yep. It's made here in the U-S of A, so supporting local businesses. I include a fantastic little thing for the digital age, it's a photo app. Okay. So you can walk around and always have your beautiful wedding photos on your telephone or on your iPad or whatever you have. You can share it with friends and family so everybody can look at you whenever they want to. "Oh, look at how beautiful we were, "how happy we were." I include my two parent albums in this package and a special web gallery that is only available to you and to share with family and friends where you get additional prints and products at 25% off my a la carte pricing. Okay, cool. I guess my biggest question is how many hours? Oh absolutely. How long are you going to spend on us? I'm gonna spend eight hours with an assistant. We cover, obviously we'll get to know you during the engagement session so you'll feel comfortable with me already and I have a fantastic assistant, Francois, so I love working with a man because we can cover the girls separately, the boys separately during the wedding. We cover basically the ceremony and the reception. Okay. Do you have any flexibility. Do you have other plans? Absolutely not. That day's dedicated totally to you? Okay, but other packages? Do you have other packages? Yes, absolutely. Were you looking to? I'm wondering if you, are you flexible on your packages? Can I pick and choose from certain things. No, you know my packages are created based on what the vendors are offering, based on the amount of work that go into them. You can look at my, I believe I emailed you my a la carte list. Yes, you did. Absolutely, if there is something that comparable and you say, "We're interested in a wedding album, "but we would like just prints. "Beautiful prints, 8 x 12 prints "in a beautiful portfolio box." Absolutely. Because the prices are comparable on certain products, we can switch them out. If we wanted to, could we get just the digital? Is that a possibility? Absolutely. If that's all you're interested in, but, as a photographer you know that the cost of products is not where the majority of the work goes, the work still goes into my working on the images, this is my work, I'm a professional, I don't release an image until its perfect in my eyes. Every single piece of hair will be retouched, everything will be adjusted properly. The images are just as beautiful, whether they're digital or whether they're a printed product. Okay. As a photographer, I can't really do my own retouching. Oh, but I do! Absolutely. Not a single image goes out without it. Okay. Do you follow, when you're on the or actually, I'm gonna ask about this? Who owns the photos? I own the copyright of the photos, but. I can use them for. Are there any restrictions I might have for using the photos? You're not allowed to use them for commercial use, this is personal use license. But absolutely. You have those photos there. Okay, cool. How long after the wedding will I get it? Is it like a week or a couple days? (laughter) I wish. I will give you a sneak peek within a couple of days of a favorite image that jumps out at my as I edit. I do edit very fast. Okay. You will have a gallery to look at and we can have a discussion about how we further want to package the products and which images you want within three weeks. That's pretty good. Is there any refund or cancellation policy, if we like, if I get cold feet a couple days before the wedding? (laughter) The deposit that you pay for my time, is the deposit for me to hold that day. Okay. that's not refundable. Because I could have taken that other job. But the rest of it, obviously, if you don't end up going through the marriage. If you don't end up liking your pictures. If you don't want an album in the end, if the bride decided that she looks horrible that day, it's my services for the day are covered. Okay. The other way around. What happens if you gt sick? Absolutely, I have back-ups. I have back-up photographers. Francois, who I work with, he's a photographer himself, so when he shoots his own weddings too, so he's fantastic. I absolutely. Okay, let's say if I, how much was the package, the first one that you said? $7,500. $7,500, we're sort of thinking, maybe somewhere around, $5,000, do you have something around there? Sure, absolutely. That's your budget. I have a package that's $5,500. It is very similar. It has, also complimentary engagement session, but you get an 8 x 12 print, not a big wall print, but it's still beautifully matted print, it's gorgeous. You still get the app, because, hey, you have to remember those prints on the app, custom designed just for you. The book will be a 10 x 10 book. It's still photographic paper, it's still very premium, still handmade, still the same album company. The web gallery, that I give you for your friends and family will be 10% off my a la cart pricing. That sounds pretty good, still above my budget. What if we did, since I can stay at my budget, what if we did $5,000 and you just shot the wedding alone, without an assistant, is that a possibility? That, unfortunately, is not a possibility because of the amount of work involved in a wedding, I absolutely have to have somebody there backing up. Sometimes we need to be in two places at once and I haven't mastered that trick yet. What if we didn't process the photographs? Is digital pretty good now-a-days or is that? Of course digital is too good. You want to process them. That is not my process. Okay. I don't just release raw images. It would be like, in the days of film, I come from the days of film, it'd be like throwing my film at my clients and saying, "You do, you go to the dark room and you develop the film and you print the images." The photos I take are my image, sometimes, when I'm taking a photo, I know how I envision the final product, so I know what I'm shooting for, you won't know. First of all, I'm shooting raw, Okay. Which will not look good if you just look at it, straight out of card. You have to process it, you have to adjust it, white balance, the contrast. You have to take it into some professional software, like Photoshop and Light Room. You have additional plug-ins that I love to use, that I've invested in. I have an image in my head, of how I want the final photograph to look like, so I will not just release half-baked goods. It would be like going to a store and saying, "Hey, can I have some flour instead of that cake?" Okay, that's pretty good. That makes a lot of sense. If we were to do it at $5,500, it sounds like could I pay over a couple years? No. Let's see. You will get your final images released to you, when the final payment has processed. There are payment plans that you can pay through the day of your wedding, or until Vera gets out of jail, or work. (laughs) You can pay that off. I, obviously, take credit cards. I do not release product until, obviously, I've been paid for the work that I've done. Okay well, that sounds pretty good. I think I'll buy it. Fantastic, how would you like to pay for it? Credit card or check? That's a great question. I think I'll do a credit card or PayPal, do you have PayPal? I do have PayPal, absolutely I offer it, and we can do it right now. I can do it right through my phone, right here. Sounds good. Through the magic of the internet. I'm sold. Alright, fantastic. (audience applauds) Great job, great job you guys. I'm ready to buy. All right, she did so many things well in that, let's just go through real quick, some of the notes I took on slight improvements, or changes that might have worked differently. I mean, Jim is a good customer, asked some pretty silly questions, but not bad, right? One thing that she could've done a little more right at the beginning was, maybe she was just truncating for time, but to ask more questions about the wedding, about the bride, about the experience, to get him engaged and to feel like she really cared to know the details of the wedding, before she started selling, she wants to build a little more relationship. But I understand we didn't have a lot of time, so again. I'm not picking on you, just same thing. She started taking notes on when he did start to tell her about that, which is really good, really important to take written notes so that they think you actually are caring about what they're telling you. When she started to present the package, he asked about what you're packages are, she was great, she put the first one out there, lot of confidence, the top package. You could also maybe, we haven't talked about this, but maybe calling it a collection, rather than a package. Package tends to sound like one of those cheap-o deal things we use the term package when we're talking about it generically, but in a sales process, for us personally, we would always call them collections or whatever, cause it sounds more like a high-end art piece. She started to talk about the stuff in the collection, the package, but she also then, threw the price out pretty quick. I would have liked her to really sell that what was in there, talk about everything in it first. "Oh my God, you're gonna have the most beautiful album." And, to then pull out and show him, what he's getting. Obviously we don't have one here, but you could have maybe pretended, you know, "Let me show you this album. "This is my latest, favorite album. "Oh my God, you gotta see this thing." Boom. "Look at this, look how beautiful the page, "the print quality, the satin paper, blah, blah, blah, "this is the album that comes in this collection. "Oh, you're gonna love this, "and you're gonna get one of those beautiful wall prints." Or whatever it is So you have to have the product to show him what he's gonna get. You can't just tell him, you're gonna get a beautiful album. What? To them, to a guy especially that means nothing. He doesn't know what a beautiful album looks like. But when a guy can touch this nice, leather book. Leather sells to guys, I don't know why. But for some reason they like the leather. They're gonna see the quality, touch the quality, that's selling it before she even has to throw the price out there, so that's what could've helped is to let him touch and see product, before the price comes out. Okay? Show examples, not just tell about them. I really loved that she used a lot of good adjectives. "You're beautiful images are gonna come on this app. "You're gonna get to share these beautiful images "every day and they're wonderful." Really good use of emotional beautiful words to push up the value of those images she's gonna do. Asking about their needs, first, before presenting the package. One of the things that I find is good, instead of saying, "Here's my package." Saying, "Tell me about your wedding. "How many hours do you need? "Where is it gonna be? "How many people? "Is it one of those five people on the beach in Hawaii "or is it 300 people in the crystal ballroom?" That will determine what you sell them. If I'm over here, "My top package is this." And he's like, "Well, I'm actually planning "in a vineyard in France, so I'm gonna need." And you're like, "Oh, in that case, "I gotta whole 'nother package for you, "that's gonna be a lot better." I would ask first, everything I could find out about their needs and what that also does is it tells the customer that you're doing something special for them, you're not just saying, "Here's what I offer, pick one." It's like, "What do you need? "That's what you need? "I got it. "Here's the package, "here's the collection we're gonna go with." Then, later on, there are some little back and forth. He asked about, "Can we modify the package?" I thought I heard her say, "No, my vendors put these together, this is the way, "this is the collection, you can't modify it." Then, you kinda went into, "We could do an a la carte kind of thing." It wasn't really clear if you're offering him that he could customize or not really customize a package. That's up to you. We would always make sure that the customer knew. We would custom create. If none of my collections work, we would custom create whatever they need and that's very important. We're all about what you need. This is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Especially with weddings and portraits as well. You can absolutely create something special for them and a lot of times if we didn't know, we didn't have a collection to match what they want and we don't wanna be on the spot to come up with something and figure out if there's a discount on that. We'd say, "Tell me what you need." We'd write it down and I would write it down and say, "I'm gonna put a special collection together for you, "based on this information." You may take a few minutes and work on it or you may call them back later or whatever. (mumbles under breath) She kept it very, very positive. One of the things you always say is, "You never say no." You never say no. You find a way to say yes if, yes but, yes and. If he says, "Can you do this?" She was like, "No." He was like, "Can I buy the digital?" He's gonna say, "Can I buy the images?" "You can for $12,000." Or, "You can for this, or yes, "we don't exactly sell the digital images." It's just instead of saying, "No." They never wanna just hear, "No." It's yes, but, it's gonna cost you. "Yes, we can do that, it's gonna be a little extra, "it's gonna be harder but we can do it, "we can figure it out." What you're telling them, basically, with a no. They're not gonna pay $12, for whatever this extra thing is, but you're not saying they can't. You're just saying, "Yeah, I can do it, it's gonna be hard." Then, finally, the payment thing was great. She finally got around to the credit card. One thing I thought of is also, when he said, "I can't really afford that top package." Which was good, then she let him work her down to the next package. Which is good. But she also could've thrown out there, "Well, tell me what your hesitation is "with the top package." Don't let it go quite so easily. He might say, "I only have a budget of $5,000." Then you might say, "Well, "You feel like the things that I showed you in there "are things that you'd love to have, "that your bride would love to have." He'd say, "Yeah." "Then maybe we figure a way to work it." "We do offer payment plans." One of the things we also did is we allowed them to sign a credit card authorization, so that you could charge in two payments. We could say, you can pay this much before the wedding, you sign an authorization, we can run your card 30 days later, so it comes on your next statement. You actually kinda break it up a little bit, to run the balance. That's up to you, if you wanna do that. "If there anything that we can do, "to make it easier for you to afford this package "that you really want, that I feel like, "this is the best package for you "and I feel like it's what you want. "How can I make that happen?" Don't let them off the hook quite that easy. I'm not saying you argue with them, but show concern. "I feel like you really want this package. "How can I help you make that happen?" He's like, "I just can't pay that much. "I just can't, period, boom, end of story." Fine, here's the next one, which is good. She let him walk her down. Good, yeah? It is ever appropriate to ask about the percentage of the photography budget relative to the total event? Because I think sometimes if people think like, "Well, gosh, I'm spending x on food and that's just gone, "but this lasts forever." Yeah, you can totally ask that. I can't say that we did it on a regular basis, but I don't see any reason not to and I think, to your point, that could be really good because they would actually verbalize and see for themselves a lot of times how little they're putting on their photography for something that's gonna be the most important at the end of the day. That's what really remains after all this other. The rentals. Absolutely, yeah. I think it'd be totally fine to ask them, "So what's your total budget? "Do you mind me asking what your total budget is "and what you budgeted for photography "versus the other things?" Just them saying that might make them realize, "Wow, we should actually spend more on photography "and less on beer." (audience laughs) I also have stories loaded up and ready to tell. We kinda put her on the spot, but for example, one of the common objections is, do we wanna see each other before the wedding? I don't know if you guys shoot weddings and deal with that. I was a huge proponent of seeing each other before the wedding because I feel like I get so much better images that way. They were more relaxed, it was more fun. I did a better job. But, they're traditionally opposed to it, for some reason, it's getting better these days, but not so much in the old days, I'd always have to have a story queued up or a spiel to tell them why it's important. I'd tell them the story, which is all true, but I had a bride, just last year, who, they were very traditional, they'd didn't wanna see each other before the ceremony, when I went to shoot, I photographed her in the dressing room and she was so dang nervous that she was literally ready to throw up. She was just pacing the room, grabbing her stomach, nervous, nervous, nervous. She said, literally, to me, "I wish my Billy was here." I don't know if his name was Billy or not. But, "I wish my fiancee was here. "He makes me feel so much more relaxed." She said that, she paced back and forth in the dressing room. After the wedding was done, she was a mess walking down the aisle, she was so nervous, she was. The wedding was done, when she came to pick up her pictures and we were talking about the wedding and they saw their slideshow. She confessed, she says, "I should've taken your advice and seen him before, "because I would have been so much more relaxed. "I would have enjoyed it more. "I don't know why, "it's just a tradition my mom said we can't break "and I should've taken your advice." I saved that story. I tell it to every bride that didn't wanna do it. She even said, "I'll even sign, write a letter "and tell this. "You can tell people and have them call me "if they wanna hear about this because this is good. "This is true." There was another funny story along that line too. I totally lost it now. Anyway, that's one of my stories that I share, when I need to, along those lines. Have those things to combat the objections, if you need to. All right?

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!