Photography Marketing And Selling Secret #14 – How To Present Your Prices On The Telephone

It's NOT The Price That Matters, It's How You Present The Price That Makes All The Difference!

It’s NOT The Price That Matters, It’s How You Present The Price That Makes All The Difference!

Photography Marketing and Selling are very closely related and intertwined in your photography business.  Unless you master them both – you fail.

But most photographers think that the PHOTOGRAPHY is the most important part of their business. But the fact of the matter is that if you suck at photography marketing and selling, then no matter how great your photography is, you will starve. Sad yes – but so true.

And one of the most important areas of your business is the telephone. And in the Western Hemisphere, how you handle the question of your prices is one of the most important areas of the telephone (and E-mail, too, but I’ll talk about that in a later article.)

First, two important Telephone Sales Laws:

Telephone Law #1: If you volunteer your prices before you are asked, it says two things: First ….you’re worth it, and second, you’re proud of those fees.

Telephone Law #2: It’s not the actual prices you charge that matter – its’ how you present them to a prospect that determines your level of success.

Now, I know, usually the first question you and I get on the phone is “How much do you charge.” So you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to “volunteer” your fees, if that is the first question.

Well, what you do first is to use the “Redirection Question” – which goes like this: “I’ll be happy to discuss our fees, but may I ask you a few questions first, so I know exactly what it is you’re looking for?”  This question will almost always get a “yes” response from the caller, as it makes perfect sense that you need to ask a few questions before you can actually give her an accurate estimate of what the investment will be for her.

Then you ask questions – which have been designed to put her onto the right-side of the brain (the emotional side) as I have talked about in other articles.

Then, before she asks again, once you have found out what is most important to her about her photography, who she’s thinking of having photographed, how she heard about you, etc. –  you use the “Volunteer Statement” to give her an estimate of what she can plan on investing. Now, the EXACT wording of the Volunteer Statement is extremely important. You MUST memorize it – word for word.

Here it is, based on years of research, study, testing and using this Volunteer Statement in my own photography business:

“Before we go any further, let me give you an indication of how much you can plan on investing. Is that okay?” (Wait for her to say “yes”.)

“Most people in your situation can usually plan on investing between X and Y and get a larger one for themselves, and a few smaller ones for gifts. Does that fit within your budget?”

Then SHUT UP – don’t say anything more. Wait for her to respond.

You may be wondering about the “X” and the “Y” above.

What you do is calculate the absolute LEAST amount she could get out of your studio – honestly – with an 8×10 and a couple of 4×5′s. This is the “X” you say.

Then add a couple of hundred to the “X” and this becomes your “Y” above.

So you are being totally honest with her, based on the fact that, to 99% of all callers, an 8×10 is a “larger one” and the 4×5′s are “smaller ones.”  Truthfully.

Now, don’t underestimate the amazing power of this memorized statement – it’s truly stunning! But it has to be said WORD FOR WORD – exactly as stated above.

One of the many “Keys” to this, is you have used a “ball-park figure” instead of a very specific amount of investment, and you have not mentioned any sizes or finishes, or any other numbers – as we know that numbers kill sales – because they are left-brain logical and analytical and we know that people invest in photography services for right-brain EMOTIONAL reasons.

If you will use this Volunteer Statement on every call you receive, you will see a terrific increase in your profits with your photography business. People who otherwise would have “kept shopping” will end up hiring YOU and working with YOU – and that’s a win-win. You win, yes, but the client is the real winner – as she gets the chance to have beautiful, emotional photography of those she loves – created by YOU in a way that no one else could do.

In my next article, I’ll explain exactly how to present your fees to a prospective client when she is in your studio, in person.

Hope this has been helpful.

All the best,

Charles J. Lewis, M. Photog., Cr.

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