If you are looking for ways to become a stronger sales person in your business, then you are in the right place! But why talk about consultations in your photography business?
Understanding sales and consultations, along with how to approach them with confidence is going to help your photography business become more successful. But if you currently feel like you’d rather do almost anything else in your business than be on a sales call or the word sales kind of makes you queasy, you’re not alone.
When I tell you I was SO bad at this, I’m not overstating it. Starting out in my business, I made every sales and marketing mistake in the book. I honestly wondered if I was cut out to do this because the idea of getting on a consultation or explaining my pricing to someone made me feel sick.
So I want to share a few TIPS for better sales and consultations in your photography business from someone who went from being truly awkward and awful to charging luxury pricing.
If I can learn this, so can you! This is just like learning your camera settings. You can learn the skills to be a better sales person and feel confident selling as a photographer.
Some of these tips will be focused on the consultation call or meeting you may have before booking, and some of this is just universal sales tips that can apply to multiple areas of your business.
WHY do we have consultations in a photography business?
We make this scarier than it really needs to be. We think we have to have special tactics, be pushy, or be “sales people”. That’s not true. We just need to have a few key things in place to be successful during a consultation.
The consultation breaks down into 3 Steps; the before, during and after. So don’t think that JUST the meeting itself is the only area to focus on refining.
Before the meeting:
👉 They have found you
👉 Decided to reach out
👉 Have established that they like your work
👉 Know they need photographs of something
BUT…they probably have a few hesitations or questions surrounding hiring you or working with a pro photographer. The purpose of a consultation is to show them the ways they can work with you and make it EASY. You also are establishing TRUST.
So…let’s dive into the 5 tips for better consultations.
TIP 1: Make it an Easy “YES”
If you feel like you’re having a hard time getting people to commit to a photography consultation at all, make it EASY. I have a schedule inside Honeybook where they can grab a time quickly and easily. Tell them how long it’s going to take and lower the level of commitment to a 15-20 min call and ensure they have all the details!
Pattern interrupt: be different, send a video, text them, be willing to re-evaluate your emails and your process. Be willing to do something different to stand out!
TIP 2: Ask the Right Questions During The Consultation
Your job during the meeting is to show them the ways to work with you and get to know them. Ask questions that will tell you what they care about most.
Listen for what they want most in the images, what they’re worried about or concerned about in their images.
For weddings clients that might be: What images are you most looking forward to having in 10 years?
For portrait clients this could be: If you could get one perfect image from our session together, what would that image have? How would it make you feel?
When you are asking the right questions you are trying to:
- Identify what they want most
- Help you see what their worries or concerns might be
Then take this information and cater your conversation to be around that thing. For example, if capturing reception dancing is not a high priority for them, you can leave that part out and focus on what they care about most!
TIP 3: Don’t Talk About Something You Could Easily Show
This is an OLD sales rule, but it’s SO so true. When you’re sharing about timelines or locations, point them out in your work! Flip through your gallery and let the client see what you’re referencing.
BONUS: This will also lead to more print and album sales in your business. Want to learn more about selling albums as a photographer? Check out this video.
TIP 4: Tell Them the Next Steps As You Close The Meeting
Your clients are going to look to you for guidance through the next steps in the process. Share with them how they book with you, how to pay their retainer and once they pay, share what your process is after that. This is a great way to close out the consultation.
TIP 5: Give Them a Date Hold
Offer to hold their date for a certain timeframe; 48 or 72 hours. This is so they can review the pricing and book later but the deadline is set so that they have to make a decision.
I tell them “After this point, it’s first come first serve”. This nudges them closer to making an actual decision.
If your meetings and sales calls aren’t working well right now, grab my guide, try something new, and be willing to be different.
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Steps To Starting Your Photography Business Part One
Steps to Starting your Photography Business Part Two
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