Sales up-skilling and product diversity will drive more business and boost profits. The more sales that happen, the more it becomes clear that building relationships and having some kind of connection, however fleeting, are big factors. Simple things like learning someone’s name and not forgetting it next time around, or following up with a piece of news or link to a website that they find important to their search sound basic things, but are fundamentals to establishing a meaningful connection. It illustrates care and attention and sets you apart from the competition.
If you are slightly further down the line with your business and there are some regular customers, and a more settled pattern to the work schedule, then perhaps it is time to consider new sales tactics and new products. Both will re-energise your approach and your relationships with already-friendly customers looking for inspiration – and make you more money.
Whatever stage you are at, these points below might help move you forward or re-learn some old techniques:
Emails can be soulless and one-dimensional – how many drop into your inbox each day versus how many time the phone rings?
EMAIL GOOD, TELEPHONE BETTER
Receiving and sending emails works to a certain point, but a conversation in person or on the phone is more efficient and real. You can get to a tipping point far quicker and crucially ask the right questions depending on the conversation flow. Emails can be soulless and one-dimensional – how many drop into your inbox each day versus how many time the phone rings?
DECLARE COSTS CONFIDENTLY
If at any point cost becomes a vague reference point or roughly estimated, the value of the sale will decrease. Even if you are going to negotiate on a final price, at least make the first mention of price clear and concise. This instils confidence in both parties and engenders respect from the customer.
The value of a business relationship entails being able to understand a customer’s need and then offering a viable solution. Good salespeople are excellent listeners, contrary to perceived wisdom, so using your expertise to identify what is required for a particular situation is very valuable. You’ve two ears and one month, try to use them in that ratio if you can.
Many sales are made on an emotional level, with the buyer finding a connection with the photographer and striking up a good rapport. Similarly, weaving in a working, relevant example in to the conversation makes a greater impact on the customer psyche. It oozes customer confidence.
You’ve two ears and one month, try to use them in that ratio…
Expanding the product line when ready is a bridge many photographers find difficult to cross. The line between digital orders and physical products highlights a different challenge and skill-set – to confidently produce high quality products like canvasses that look as good in a studio as they do online, implies greater service. It’s relatively simple to showcase an expanded portfolio of products for sale via your website, linking up with the right print partner makes fulfilment straightforward too.
EVERYONE IS A PHOTOGRAPHER THESE DAYS
The hardest thing to get over is the difference between your skills and that of an everyday smartphone camera user. Presenting your photography in a professional style, be that face-to-face, in your studio or via a slick looking web site helps set you apart from your competitors. Showing off how good the images look and the skills required to get to that standard takes an eye for design and finish, one that can justify your price tag.
The challenge is to present yourself as more than a photographer, and showing the work behind a job that includes editing, framing, material sourcing, curating, presenting and ultimately delivery a high quality product in a time sensitive manner. By showing the full compliment of skills you are lining yourself up as a one-stop consultant, capable of many services and justifying a greater fee.