We have talked about pricing on this podcast before and frankly we will probably talk about it again ha! It’s a big subject and one that comes will lots of emotions attached. In fact, I recorded an entire episode on the 3 most common fears when it comes to raising your prices just a few short episodes ago. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that one, visit www.seniorologie.com/ep-73 and I will also link it in the show notes.
When it comes to pricing objections the very first one we need to overcome is the one we have ourselves! Before we can get our clients to be confident in our services and our pricing for those services, we have to be confident. We have to believe in ourselves and the pricing we have set for our photography experience. Without overcoming the fear of sharing pricing and without sharing that pricing with confidence, chances are we are going to see a lot more objections from clients about pricing.
The absolute best way that I can suggest you overcome your own fear and objections with pricing is to know your numbers. When you price from a place of knowledge, knowing your numbers and what you need to charge in order to make a profit and not from a place of pricing yourself based on the photographer down the street or pricing yourself with numbers pulled out of thin air with no rhyme or reason to them, you will overcome the fear and be much more confident sharing your pricing with your clients.
If you need help with pricing, I have a free training called Are you profitable? that walks you through the steps to determining if you are currently profitable or if you are as profitable as you would like to be in your photography business. This training will show you your numbers in black and white! Once you see them, you may be surprised at how much you are making or not making and will be able to overcome the fear of raising your pricing if you need to to make a profit in your senior photography business.
To register for this free training, visit www.seniorologie.com/profitableregister.
Now that we have established the first step in overcoming pricing objections is to overcome your own fear associated with pricing yourself, let’s talk about pricing objections from clients.
Let me ask you….when was the last time you heard any version of the following:
“I would love to book a senior session with you but your prices are out of my budget”
“You are just too expensive”
“Is there a cheaper option”
“I just can’t afford you”
Hearing this is never fun! Let’s face it by the time you talk pricing you are already invested and hoping this person becomes a client. You got their inquiry, they seem like such a great fit, they tell you how much they love your work (which let’s face it is always great to hear), you want them to book you and then it’s time to talk money. You tell them your pricing and secretly hope and pray that they will say OK!! But instead, it gets quiet. Maybe they say, “ great I will get back to you” but then they never do. And you assume it’s all because of pricing!
After going through this a few times, you start to doubt yourself and you start to think, maybe I should just lower my prices! But as much as it feels like pricing is to blame, it doesn’t necessarily mean your prices are too high or even that the person can’t afford your prices.
And my advice before we go any further is…do not lower your prices!!
So what are the reasons someone doesn’t book after you have given them your prices??
I have had clients that own multiple houses, drive range rovers and carry Louis Vuitton bags…clearly they have money somewhere but they don’t value photography the way they value those expensive items. The fact is that there is a big difference between someone being able to afford something, actually having the money to spend on that something and them choosing to spend it on that something.
And on the flip side of this, I have had clients who probably did not really have the extra money to spend on a senior portrait experience but they end up buying the highest package because they valued what I gave them! They wanted to experience so bad that they were willing to spend whatever it took to get it.
So how do we overcome this reason?? Look at how well you are demonstrating the value of your services. Instead of focusing on the price, focus on the value of what you offer. Sell them on the experience, what is included, the feeling they get by having this experience for their senior year of high school, tell them why you are different, share your passion for what you do and connect on an emotional level before you share the price.
Make sure that everything from your brand voice to your brand messaging supports your price level. Your brand and your offers should very much align with your pricing. If you are priced lower you don’t need to offer as much but if you are priced as a luxury boutique senior experience, make sure that everything feels luxurious from your website to the way you treat clients to what you offer inside your senior experience and everything in between.
The truth is that people buy from people. You may have an excellent product, your photos may be amazing but if you are not connecting to people before they decide they need a senior photographer you are missing out on potential clients and pricing becomes the only deciding factor for hiring you or not hiring you.
People want to feel seen and heard. Let me share a story with you…
I needed a specific pair of shoes that were on the expensive side but were comfortable and because I was going to be second shooting a wedding, these shoes would allow me to stand on my feet all day, look stylish and be comfortable. There was only one store in town that carried these shoes. So I went directly to the store right when they opened. Walked in, grabbed the display shoe and carried it to the counter where the sales person was sitting…on the phone. I thought well maybe she is talking to another customer so I will wait. And wait. And wait. She clearly saw me, she saw that I had a display shoe in my hand that clearly indicated I needed to get my size to try on yet she still talked. It became pretty clear she was not in fact talking to another customer but on a personal phone call. I felt completely invisible and not at all important enough to her to end her call and help me. She was the only sales person in the store and I was the only customer in the store. And yet she still continued to talk. I waited at least five minutes right in front of her with the shoe in my hand and finally realized I was not seen or heard. There was zero connection to this person, to this store so I put the shoe down on the counter right in front of her and walked out. It was almost a pretty woman moment where I wanted to scream, you work on commission right? Big Mistake, Huge, I have to go shopping now!
The moral of the story is that if a person does not feel connected, does not feel seen or heard, it will be impossible to sell your services to them at any price!! People want to buy from those they feel connected to.
So how do we connect with potential clients so they hire use for that connection rather than the price?
The first step is to determine your ideal client and figure out what they are specifically looking for, what pain points they have, and speak directly to them via your website copy, your social media and more.
The second step is to show your face! You have to show the person behind the business so there is someone to connect to!! People connect to other people not a logo or a person they never see!! Show up for your potential clients, let them get to know you and allow that connection to happen.
The third step is to listen! Listen to your clients, listen to your potential clients and respond! Listen to what they are telling you in their actions, in their questions, in their comments and make adjustments if needed.
And lastly, get on the phone! It is so hard to make a personal connection to someone via a email. It is easy for a potential client to ignore an email. But if you can get them on the phone, talk to them, ask them questions, listen to what they want, you will be able to connect with them on a deeper level.
Ok, so what does this mean. Well clients are not photographers. They don’t know what we know. They don’t understand the ins and outs of running a photography business. They only know what they are told. So if everyone they know is getting digital photos included in a low price, then that’s all they know. And if that is not what you are offering then they may think what you have is not what they need. Until you tell them differently!
Communication is key for everything we do in our businesses especially when it comes to pricing and what you offer!
Potential clients need to be told and educated on what you offer and why you offer it. So if you are offering prints and products and not just including digitals in a one price package then you have to communicate to potential clients why you do this!
I am sure you are going to raise your hand when I ask, have you ever heard:
“I just want the digitals”
“Another photographer offers just the digitals included in the price, why don’t you?”
“Can’t I just get the digitals?”
They are asking this because it’s all they have heard! Most clients don’t even know what they will do with the digitals or why they want them so badly. They just ask because it’s all they have heard about. So it is your job to educate your potential clients on what you offer and why you offer it and how it can be so much better than what they think they need!
This can apply to digitals or it can apply to something inside your experience they don’t think they need. I remember when I first started offering hair and makeup, I was met with objections because no one else was doing it. My potential clients weren’t familiar with this as a part of an experience. So they immediately said, “we don’t need that. So can we take that out of the price.” At first, I allowed it because I didn’t know how to handle the objection. But then I learned that if I educated the client on why this was part of my experience, how it could make the experience that much better and even shared a story of a client who thought they didn’t need it but discovered they did in fact need it, I started getting this objection less and less and today never hear this at all!
The same can be said of digitals versus products. I used to only offer digitals like a lot of photographers out there. So when I switched to in person sales and offering prints and products, I was met with the objection, “I just need the digitals.” But the problem is that digitals very rarely get used. They are often collecting digital dust on the client’s computer. Sure they may post a few of their favorites on Instagram but after that they don’t do much. And I don’t know about you but all that effort, hard work to create beautiful photos just doesn’t feel appreciated at that point. And I want my clients to be able to enjoy their photos long after that post of one or two on instagram. So by talking about why I offer prints and products, sharing my own experiences with digitals (and yes, I am a photographer who has tons of digitals just sitting on a computer collecting digital dust) and really communicating the value of having actual products, I see this objection less and less.
The better we can get at communicating what we offer and why we offer it, the less we will see objections to what we offer.Use every resource at your disposal, social media, your website, emails, guides, etc to communicate to your potential clients and get ahead of the objection before it even happens.
An objection is simply a question, a concern or an uncertainty that a potential client has and once we deal with the objection, once we address the concern, once we answer the question, we can move forward. Instead of thinking about objections as this awful thing that is going to make you sweat, panic and not know what to say, think of them as opportunities to share what you do and why you do it. Think of objections as opportunities to help your client make the very best decision possible.
I believe in being prepared so when you are met with an objection you know exactly how to handle it. So my challenge for you today is to make yourself a cheat sheet, an objection cheat sheet….write down the most common objections you have heard from clients and then write down how to answer that question or concern. That way when you are met with that objection in the future, you can pull out your cheat sheet and know exactly what to say.
I would love to see your cheat sheet! You can email it to me at email@example.com and I will review it and make some suggestions!!
I am not someone that believes that an objection is a time to be super sales-y or pushy. That is not who I am as a person and it makes me feel icky. So I don’t respond to objections in a high pressure way. I never want my clients to feel pressured into booking me but instead I want them to feel comfortable booking me. So I try to answer from a place of being in their shoes. I understand that it is an investment and not one to be taken lightly. I want clients who value my work, what I offer and are comfortable making the investment.
The truth of the matter is there will always be objections and frankly some people are just not going to be your clients. But that is ok!! There are a ton of potential clients out there and an objection to your pricing or something you are offering is not an automatic no!! It is simply a chance for you to help that potential client make the best decision for them and for you! You want clients who value you, your photography and the experience you offer. In the long run, those are going to be your best clients and best experiences for both yourself and your client.
If you want help handling objections, setting up a system to deal with objections and creating a cheat sheet of scripts for what to say when you do get objections, The Seniorologie Semester is available to help you with this and so many other aspects of running a successful senior photography business. The six month program starts in January but is enrolling now with only one spot left!! This program is specifically designed to help you become the go-to senior photographer in your area with lessons on everything from marketing to pricing to model teams to websites that convert and everything in between! I will give you my proven roadmap on running a successful senior photography business, access to all my templates including sales objection scripts, email templates, social media templates, magazine, guides and more. You get complete access to me during the six months to help you with anything in your business, 2 group coaching calls per month, 3 individual coaching calls and a two day in person retreat in Charleston, SC. This program has helped so many photographers raise their prices so they make a profit, handle clients that have objections, create successful models teams, build websites that convert visitors to booked clients and book more seniors! It could do that for you too!!
Dm me on Instagram @seniorologie and let’s chat! I will answer any and all of your questions and help you determine if this program is a good fit for you and your business!
If you liked this episode, let me know! I want to hear from you! You can share your favorite piece of advice from this episode on social and tag me, email me any questions you have on how to handle a specific objection, or share a review on your favorite podcast platform! You can also join my free Facebook community to further this discussion with myself and other senior photographers. Simply go to www.facebook.com/seniorologiecommunity, answer a few questions and I will add you to the group!
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of the seniorologie podcast and I can’t wait to meet you right back here next week for an all new episode.
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