In the competitive world of photography, closing a high percentage of your sales meetings is crucial for success. However, many photographers make common mistakes that hinder their chances of sealing the deal. To help you improve your sales approach and increase your conversion rate, here are five key rules to follow. By implementing these strategies, you'll be equipped to establish strong connections with clients, effectively communicate value, and ultimately close every sale.
Note: This education is directly from our free 1 hour masterclass called “3 Steps to $100K More.” If you’re interested in learning more about amplifying your business with more leads, more revenue per client, and higher sales conversions, we encourage you to register here.
Rule 1: Get in Person or Zoom!
Don't make the mistake of simply responding to leads with a generic price list. Clients often lack the expertise to understand what they truly need and value in a complete photography experience. They perceive all good photographs as equal and resort to making decisions solely based on price.
Instead, prioritize personal interaction with clients. Engage them through phone calls, Zoom meetings, or in-person discussions. This allows you to connect with your clients, show them that you understand their priorities, and add value to their overall experience.
Rule 2: Contact Them ASAP
Research by Insidesales.com reveals that contacting a lead within the first five minutes increases the likelihood of reaching them by a staggering 900% compared to waiting for an hour. Additionally, their study found that reaching out within the first hour makes the lead 10 times more likely to qualify compared to contacting them in the second hour. Beyond just a few hours, the chances of qualifying the lead drop significantly, approaching nearly 0%.
While these specific numbers may vary in the photography industry, our own experience confirms that the probability of securing a client decreases with every hour that passes before initial contact.
Rule 3: Stop Feature Selling
It's crucial to break the habit of "feature selling." This involves focusing on the technical aspects of your photography, such as the equipment you use, lighting techniques, image processing, and other details that clients generally don't care about.
What clients truly care about are the results you can deliver. In general, they are not interested in the specific methods you employ to achieve those results. Of course, there are exceptions to this, especially if the clients are photographers themselves.
Moreover, consider this perspective: you are selling a luxury product. Going back to our Honda versus Bentley analogy that we discussed in the last article, if you were buying a Honda, you might inquire about its features. However, when you step into a Bentley dealership, you wouldn't ask about "premium sound" or "genuine leather," would you? Why?
The reason is that, for luxury products, such features are expected and considered standard. When meeting with a potential client, there are far more valuable aspects you can discuss to prepare for closing the sale. Avoid selling features, and focus on other compelling factors instead.
Rule 4: Stop Diving Into The Details
During the initial consultation, focus on stories, connection and emotion rather than the details and logistics of the shoot. Photographs evoke strong feelings and capture meaningful moments in life, making it an emotion-driven decision. Since our product is emotional, our conversations should stay within the limbic system, the part of the brain that governs our emotional state.
A common mistake photographers make is delving into unnecessary details during the initial client consultation. What happens then? The clients' minds shift to the neocortex, where they start scrutinizing every detail and attempting to solve problems before making a purchase. Consequently, when you present the price, they may respond with: "I need time to think about it."
When this happens, it's not because your product isn't good or you failed to establish value; it's because you unintentionally prepared them to respond that way. By focusing on nuts and bolts, you shift the clients’ thoughts into the part of the brain where they seek time to analyze everything.
To keep your clients in an emotional state, ask open-ended questions that revolve around stories and emotions, aimed at understanding what your clients truly value.
Rule 5: Never Present the Price Before Establishing Value
Throughout the sales process, our job is to be the client's advocate and genuinely help them make the best decisions for them. When this is done correctly, you’re creating value through the sales process and making the sale without being "salsey."
As we teach in our photography business training, here’s a high-level, simplified overview of the sales process:
- Begin by building rapport and creating trust
- Work to identify the customer’s needs and values
- Develop a value proposition that best fits their needs
It’s only after these steps do we close by making the ask. This is where we present the right package and price. But we fail as sales people when we cut this process short and present the price before we’ve built trust, understood the client's values, or presented an appropriate solution.
Mastering the art of closing sales in photography requires a thoughtful approach. By prioritizing personal interaction with clients through phone calls, Zoom meetings, or face-to-face discussions, you can establish trust and demonstrate your understanding of their needs. Timing is also critical, as reaching out to leads promptly significantly increases the chances of qualifying them. Moreover, avoiding feature selling and diving into unnecessary details allows you to keep the conversation focused on emotions and connections. Lastly, remember to present the price only after establishing value and building trust with your clients. By following these five key rules, you'll be well-equipped to close every sale and achieve success in the competitive world of photography.
We hope that this article was helpful to you and your photography business. We know it was a lot of information, so we hope you save it for later reference. Also, to learn more and see the video presentation of this information, see our full one-hour free masterclass on ways to add $100K more to your photography business.