With photography turning into a side gig, most new photographers just give out digital files because they don’t want to appear ‘sales-y’. Many photographers want to run and hide when it comes time to discuss pricing, contracts, and the rest of the business.
I’m lucky. I’m outgoing, and have always had jobs in retail sales and so selling my photography comes super easy to me.
Selling and up-selling as a service to your client:
At my former job, I quickly learned how to up-sell, how to talk about pricing, how to merchandise my little corner of the store and how to read the numbers on the monthly profit & loss report. The higher my sales, the more payroll hours I was granted. Which meant that I got granted more employees. It was a no-brainer.
Also, I’m naturally lazy, so I figured out how to do the least amount of work for the most amount of money per customer.
So, the ‘selling’ part of running a photography business just comes naturally, thanks to all of my past retail experience.
You probably would rather get a root canal than have to actually ask for a sale, right?
Selling as a service for your clients:
Most creatives just want to create, create, create and have our work magically sell itself. You feel like a used car salesman at best and a greedy, ungrateful human at worst. You want customers to see your prices & what you offer and just give you extra money on their own.
It doesn’t happen that way and ‘sales’ doesn’t have to feel dirty and greedy.
There is a better way. A better way for you and a much better way for your customers.
After all, just remember, your customers came to you for a reason. What was that reason?
Why did they hire you? What do they need? What do they want? What do you think they should want?
In this week’s Feisty Photographer Friday series, I talk about an EPIC sales fail from a contractor that I hired.
I tell you how he failed me because he sucked at sales. When I told him this, he said “No! I just want to do a good job and I’m not here to sell you. I’m not a salesman and don’t want to be pushy.” I said, “but selling me is what I needed most!”
I want you to RETHINK the sales process. I promise that it will change every single interaction with your clients, it will increase your sales, and your clients will be THANKING you.
Stop Fearing Sales & Up-Selling!
Photographers and creatives naturally keep themselves small by not wanting to toot our own horns (marketing) and also not charging enough (sales!). I’m here to change that.
We creatives have the same right to a decent income as any engineer. We all deserve to have money for vacations, retirement, food, and clothes. There is nothing at all wrong with wanting to make a good living with our art. It is a mindset shift.
It’s not selling out. It’s just selling.
Sales isn’t a dirty word and you aren’t being greedy when you come from a place of honestly wanting to help your customers.
How can your art help your clients? What are you doing FOR them? That’s the key.
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Think of the last time you went into, say, a Target store. Did they apologize for all the crap you put in your cart? NOPE.
Target just made it super easy for you to go in there for one thing and to leave with a thousand things.
That’s exactly how the sales process works. My clients come to me wanting to buy X and then I show them all of these amazing, shiny, new, fancy things (like metal prints!!) that they just can’t live without and didn’t even know they were missing.
Thats all that sales really is! Selling isn’t a dirty word and the more you solve problems for your clients, the more fun it gets, and the less it feels like work.
Selling is solving problems. End of story.
When I hired a contractor to rebuild a brick chimney that was falling apart, the actual problem he was solving was that my home owner’s insurance was trying to cancel my policy.
Dig deeper, and you quickly learn that I don’t use the fireplace because it is unsafe.
Dig a tiny bit deeper than that and you learn that I’ve been wanting to switch the fireplace to a gas insert instead of wood burning.
All it takes is a tiny bit of LISTENING and then brainstorming ways to solve the problem in a BETTER way. That’s all that up-selling boils down to.
I hear you, and I raise you this other thing that’s better.
When I hired a contractor to repair the brick chimney, the next step should have been to bring me into the modern era with a gas insert for a fireplace. It’s what everyone has these days. Who burns wood???
–>> Think that through.
More problems to solve. I’d have to have cut wood delivered or go and find it myself, haul it into my home, find space for the wood, clean out the ashes, worry about buildup in the chimney, get a chimney sweep occasionally, and the biggest problem: worry about burning my home to the ground! Also, there is no need for a brick chimney with gas. All I need is to vent 2 feet of pipe.
Should my contractor have up-sold me on one instead of just replacing my brick chimney?
I would have been an easy sale. Would I have paid more? Yep. However, I also would have had a working fireplace for the first time in decades.
Do you see how this works?? I just outlined the EXACT sales pitch needed to up-sell a customer on a gas insert.
What can you help your clients with? What do you think is really cool? Offer something unique and interesting to your next client and see how the sales session goes. Share in the comments!
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