When it comes to ordering sessions and in-person sales (IPS), I’ve heard all of the excuses from photographers. People say they don’t want to be pushy, they aren’t good sales people, whatever it is. But today, I want to share why you don’t have to be a pushy sales person to have a successful ordering session. We’re going to talk all about the art of the sale – and I can’t wait to get started.
My grandfather was a used car salesman. I used to watch him and my parents sell cars all throughout my childhood. I know the stereotype of a cars salesman is the pushy, over-the-top, sleazy guy. But my grandfather was anything but that. He treated his customers like friends, with respect and honesty. It wasn’t about the sales – it was about helping their clients.
Watching my grandfather has helped me reframe how I think about sales with my own clients. For me, it’s been about reframing what these ordering sessions are really about. If we approach our ordering sessions as a chance to help our clients decide what they need or want or will use, instead of just a money-making appointment, we’ve already started to flip the script.
I believe there are 3 key elements you need to make an ordering appointment successful when working with senior clients and their families.
This is honestly the best thing we can do in every aspect of our business, not just when it comes to sales… Educate your client from the beginning. When it comes to products and sales, this means showing the process, products, and outcomes as much as you possibly can – even before they book. Emotions are powerful and speak to your clients, so think about what these products truly mean for your clients (especially the parents!). Consider writing blogs about your products, create videos for social media – or photos, and write emails about your products. All of these can be consumed before your client ever sits down to order.
This education phase is about informing clients about what you offer – and WHY it’s a great thing for them. Again, it’s about preparing your clients before they ever come in the door for the appointment. I like to ask my clients what they’re interested in on their questionnaire so you can help prepare for those items. You can also prepare a reminder email and a link that contains your products again. You can also have your clients create a buying guide. This is a form that clients can use to make a list of anyone else who may want photos of the senior. There’s lots of ways to prepare and get your clients in this mindset, as you can see!
You need to have a set system in place that you follow for every single ordering appointment. This system includes how you show the images to your clients, samples on hand to show your clients, a pricing guide to hand to your clients to review, order forms to take their order and a way to collect payment. For all of my order appointments, I use an app that allows me to show my clients their photos in the form of a slideshow first. Then, they can scroll through the images and rate them. I always show samples of popular products and have a pricing menu available. During the appointment, I take the time to talk with my clients and decide how they want to use the images and what products make sense.
Having these three things in place will allow you to conduct a successful ordering appointment that is not sales-y but rather helpful and gives your clients a great experience. They will feel like you guided them and informed them rather than sell to them!
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