Do you have a hard time differentiating yourself from the price anchors of other mediocre photographers? Have you considered taking the Starbucks approach to your products? In this two part series by Spencer Lum, of the Ground Glass Blog, he takes you through the psychology and sales techniques to increase your sales. Check out part two below.
Often times the biggest reason a photographer lost a job is because another photographer offered a much lower price. These are called price anchors and are a huge obstacle to overcome when booking a job. People will undoubtedly shop around for photography to get the best deal as we do in most situations. Inexperienced clients will treat photography as if it is a common commodity found at the local market. In these situations price seems to become the common denominator that wins bookings with clients and a leading reason why many photographers devalue their work. It it critical for you to have clear and concise reasons why you value your work at a higher price than Joe Schmo Photography down the street.
"Probing" is a term I always remember when selling anything. Open ended questions early in the conversation will give you ammo for later in the pitch. Probing questions like "have you ever hired a photographer before" and "do you have a clear idea of what you are looking for" and "have you shopped around for other photographers and if so what did you like or dislike about them?" These are all great questions to ask that get the client talking about what it is they are looking for and allow you to unearth any concerns they may have early in the conversation. If you don't unearth these concerns, it's likely they might not share them. When this happens, its likely they won't make a decision on the spot and will keep shopping elsewhere.
Remember that if you are doing most of the talking in your sales pitch then you are most likely doing it wrong, no matter how great it is. Probe probe probe early in the conversation and then listen and encourage them to keep talking. You must then quickly address the concerns with a practical solution that meets their needs. This will alleviate any stress they have if you can offer solutions that address these concerns.
Increase Your Sales
In my experience, and explained very well in these videos by Spencer, it is critical to 1.) Educate your clients on the differences of what your products offer through value shifting, and 2.) Be upfront about the pricing from the beginning to get into the follow up questions more quickly to unearth any concerns. It's important to address these concerns in order to offer alternative solutions that will meet their needs.
Remember that consumers are willing to pay a higher price for a superior product if you can differentiate your products and services with shifting the conversation to the value of your services and not just the price compared to other photographers. Changing the conversation from price to the value they are getting from having you shoot the wedding will help book clients who are on the fence. The value however, is up to you on what makes your products have more value than Joe Schmo down the road. Focus on value added services and not just awesome photos.
Also remember the example Spencer gives us about Starbucks and apply that mentality to the services that you offer that will differentiate yourself from the competition and elevate your brand to a luxury experience.