Catherine Connor shares with us her vision for creating the perfect environment for maximising photography sales for your business
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a professional photographer is witnessing the reactions your images receive from the clients you serve. Understanding how your clients feel about the range of images captured by you is vastly important as it may have an influencing factor on how you shoot and what you shoot. We encourage all photographers to follow our ‘shoot to sell’ method whilst never losing sight of the purpose of the shoot. This is all about gaining a clear understanding of the value of your images and the impact they make on the consumer.
You will learn so much from studying how clients of all types engage with your images; listen carefully to what they say about each image using the information to develop the business. What you will discover is that the images you prefer are not often the same images that they prefer; Mums and Dads see the pictures you have photographed through the eyes of parents, not aspiring photographers. You must give time to studying your client’s tribal habits and reactions – none of us can afford to stop studying our clients and learning from them. The trick is to know them better than they know themselves!
10 tips to overcoming the barriers to successful photographic sales:
Create a sales script of every service and item you retail, consider each product’s features, benefits and outcomes through the eyes of the consumer. Two influencing factors that will shape the language that you use are:
a) emotional features and benefits
b) physical features and benefits
Become very clear and concise when you speak about each and every item you sell.
Create an expectation – no surprises. One of the biggest barriers to selling effectively is the misunderstood expectation. Make it your mission to define your retail expectation with every client you photograph. Your clients, from the first point of contact, should clearly understand what they are more than likely going to buy, spend and why. This is about creating a retail department within your photographic business.
Your consumer is bombarded daily with adverts, campaigns and retail strategies all with the same objective: to ‘sell.’ Be clear and concise, make sure your clients feel comfortable about your pricing structure. Have a simple, transparent and understandable price guide. This may be an overwhelming task for many. It may be tempting to simply copy what others are doing; we would not advise this method. Do the maths!
- How much is each service costing the business?
- How much does the product cost?
- Consider your overheads
- Evaluate the perceived value of the product – the size, standard and finish will have an impact.
Price your products. Price tag all your sample frames, canvases and albums; clients feel more comfortable and reassured if products are priced. If you are a little frightened of your pricing, price everything clearly it makes it so much simpler for you and the client. Be brave, do your sums and believe in your value.
Shoot with an objective in mind. Be purposeful before you even start the shoot, this is all about that expectation word again! Before you start, you must consider the final destination. What rooms within the home are you shooting for? What shapes are you filling? Photograph each scene with a frame or album in mind.
Showcase your retail lines more visually on your website. This is your time to shine as a photographer. Photograph your range beautifully, just as a commercial photographer would do.
Show your prices on your website via a simple price guide. Give your clients an indication of what people normally spend.
Rave about your product lines consistently via social platforms; share all your beautiful album designs more frequently – we don’t see this enough in our industry. Be a pioneer.
Feel comfortable with your prices, be confident and understand the structure of the price guide – if you don’t your clients never will. Before you start a viewing, gain a sense from the range of images you have taken and from the pre-shoot conversations you have had with the client and have an idea of what you think they might. This preparation can have a remarkable impact on your confidence.
Show your products and share your product lines as many times as possible from consultation, shoot through to sales. People buy what they see. And lastly, you must love your products! If you love them, your clients will love them too.
Retailing is far from easy; if you still feel unsure visit the Aspire Photography Training blog for further ideas and suggestion. Or alternatively join us online on one of our informative and inspirational webinars.