The secret to any successful business is a steady flow of customers. You’ve done some marketing to get the phone ringing (or email inquiries flowing). Great! Now that you have people inquiring about your services, what do you do to turn them into customers? How many of these inquiries turn into sales meetings? How many sales meetings turn into customers? There are many things you can (and should) be doing, to maximize your booking rate. Here are a few of my recommendations.
Conduct Phone Screens
Do you get on the phone with every sales inquiry that comes into your business? This tactic serves two important purposes. First it allows you to sell yourself by making a human connection with the potential customer, which you can’t effectively do by sending an email. This is almost guaranteed to increase the number of people that will want to meet with you. Second, it allows you to prescreen them to ensure that it is worth taking the time to conduct an in person consultation. A short phone call can save you hours of wasted time meeting with people that are not a good match, giving you the time to focus on the sales leads that are your ideal customers.
3 Keys to Successful Portrait Sales
In order to have successful portrait sales, you must do in person sales. I know, I know, no one loves this idea at first. It's not as easy as emailing a link, but the tremendous increase you'll see in profits and client satisfaction is well worth the time. The key to successful portrait sales is a 3 step process that starts before you schedule the session. All three sessions should be scheduled at the same time, so it locks that time in for both you and the client.
The process begins with an in-person planning session. The purpose of this session is to educate your client on how to get the most from their session, discuss clothing, location and activity options, and most importantly, get a sense for what finished products they are interested in. By going over the product options you offer and seeing what they are interested in, this gives the client time to consider the price and imagine the piece in their home. Think of it as “planting the seeds for the sale.”
In my previous article we strategized that maximizing profits beats reducing costs.
But a lot of photographers have tunnel vision when it comes to how much their average wedding is worth to them.
One of the things that trips us up are the standard “rules” for determining how much of your sales should go to photography marketing. You’ve probably heard them. I know I’ve heard it said often to earmark 5%. That is, if you want to gross $100,000, for example, that 5% of that ($5000) should go to your marketing.
I think there’s a better way to figure this stuff out.
This week is the official launch of my brand new book: Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer's Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More. Of course, I couldn't be more excited! This project is the culmination of many, many months of hard work. I have tried to pack this book with all my experience, all my best tips, tricks, successes and failures. If you are starting a photography business or want to an inside seat as to how a successful photography business is run, you've got to get this book. To celebrate the launch, we are giving away a couple copies this week.