If you’ve recently setup time to meet a client face to face, you'll want to make sure you bring these 5 things to along with you to help close the sale.
1) Bring a slideshow. You can quickly and easily create a nice slideshow using software such as Animoto before your sales session. Let your client know that they don’t need to focus on selecting their favorites as they watch… this is purely for their enjoyment. It’s also always helpful to have a box of tissues close by just in case. You can sit with them and watch how they respond to the images as they come across the screen... or you might choose to give them some private time as well. I know my biggest fear was seeing how they respond in person. But there is really nothing quite like having seeing your clients reaction to your finished product in front of you. It really inspired me to keep doing what I do.
2) Bring mockups. Bring some black foam board and have it pre-cut into standard portrait sizes ranging from 8x10 to 24x36. Take a walk around your client’s home with them to see what sizes would be best suited to various wall spaces. They’ll soon realize just how small 8x10s are and will more than likely opt to order larger size prints. Leave the mockups blank so that they can just focus on the size.
3) Bring samples. The best tip I ever learned in sales is to show what you want to sell. Seriously! Do you want to sell big expensive albums or large canvases... then you have to invest in samples to show to the client. And along with those big samples you'll want smaller samples so clients can see the difference. For a while I was just selling 8x10's or 11x14 canvases. When I started hanging large canvases with beautiful frames at my meeting client space I noticed clients started purchases them. They would say "I want one just like that!". It's because tend to place more value on something that is physically in front of them as opposed to viewing something in a catalog. This is also true when it comes to marketing your wedding photography. When I first started my wedding photography business I would usually create a sample of my 10x10 20 page album to show the client while having pricing for larger albums on my price list. First of all I was on a budget and secondly I didn't realize that purchasing samples was all a part of marketing my wedding photography business. I wondered why no one ever ordered the more expensive albums. When I ordered a larger size album with twice as many pages and started showing that to clients... guess what? They wanted that too! It’s a very simple concept but totally works. They can’t want something they can’t see. And yes, I know it’s tempting to want to order the minimal page sample, etc… when you are just starting your photography business because you are on a budget, etc…
Another thing you could do is consider investing in a sample album with all the bells an whistles... custom covers, names and date embossed, etc... and when they ask for the price of the album give them the price including the add ons. Then you can either use those add on as incentives... for example purchase "x" amount of images and get one free album upgrade. Or if they have less to spend on the album you can just remove the embossing/engraving from the cost... but it's still a win for you because you are selling the larger album. And perhaps this the upgrade will help you seal the deal... for example, "book your wedding date with me today and get a free upgrade ("$x" value).
4) Bring printed proofs. Yes, proofs do cost money but it’s possible to get proofs for an affordable price and you’ll more than likely make that money back anyway. It’s a great tool for upselling. Try out a 5x7 print as opposed to a 4x6.
Have your client to create two stacks, one stack of proofs that they absolutely love and one with a stack of those they could do without. Now pick a print from the pile of proofs they love and choose one for the main wall in their home. You can then pick other prints, canvases and gift images. If there are prints left over, you can offer to incorporate them into a custom album.
5) Bring a gift. While your client might be expecting to hand over money when they show up to your meeting, what if they were greeted with a gift instead? When I lived in Japan, it was customary to bring along a small gift every time you visited someone’s house. I always thought that was such a nice gesture! And the gift doesn’t have to be large. It could be a small box of chocolates, cookies or a bottle of wine. You can even have these gifts customized with your logo but I prefer to simply wrap the gift in some pretty paper and place it in a gift bag.
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