Photography Marketing & Selling Secret #30: 8 Photo Sales Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Profits

Selling is NOT a bad word, & it is NOT pressure, trickery or manipulation. To be successful in your photography business, you must use these 8 proven selling tips.

Selling is NOT a bad word, & it is NOT pressure, trickery or manipulation. To be successful in your photography business, you must use these 8 proven selling tips.

Photography marketing is an important part of success in photography – of course.  But once your marketing starts working, and people are contacting you, how do you handle that inquiry?  If you mess this up, you LOSE that person, which your photography marketing worked so hard to get to contact you in the first place!

Let’s talk about 8 major “secrets” – which almost no photographers know about – that are based on the human psychology of selling.  Be absolutely certain you and everyone who works with you, are using these techniques with every single prospect or client who calls you on the telephone, or who is in your photo business in person trying to decide to hire you.

First, however, please realize this:  Good selling is NOT pressure, trickery or manipulation of any kind. Good selling is simply finding out what people want, and helping them to get it.  So if feel selling is a bad thing – you MUST stop thinking like that right now, and begin to discover ……how GOOD SELLING will help both you and your clients/prospects!

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #1 Talk less and listen more.

If you aren’t reminded of how important this is, you might forget it, and slowly start talking too much – both on the telephone and in person.  This truly is one of the most amazing secrets which almost no one understands.

People like people who listen to them, opposed to people who just talk and talk.  Also, talking too much tends to result in “sales resistance.”  So LISTEN.  Now, the next secret, of course, goes hand in hand with this one.

PHOTO SECRET #2:   Ask questions, and shut up and listen to the answers.

What you want to “say” to a prospect or client, is that you care about them.  The way you “say” this, is to ask a very carefully crafted, open question, and then shut up, and listen attentively to the answer.  Then, you immediately ask another open-ended question and listen to the answer.

If you and your staff will just do this, you will be amazed at the amazing sales and success you have.  But this is so “easy” that many people forget about it, and don’t use it.

So the secret is to know what questions to ask.  To ask those questions which will help your prospect or client “work it through in her mind” and decide to select you to create her images, or select the wall portrait you are suggesting.

The next two secrets are my two favorite, most powerful questions.

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #3:   Use the “Qualifying Question.”

This one is so powerful.  And so revealing.  Whenever someone is “waffling” or hesitating in any way to do what you are recommending, simply use this question.

“If you don’t mind me asking, how important are these photographs to you?”

The answer to that question will tell you volumes about this person, and how much she values what you do.

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #4:   Use the “Magic Question.”

I call this the “Magic Question” because it truly is magical.  As I’m sure you know, the magic question goes like this:  “If you don’t mind me asking, what’s most important to you about _____________?”  (You fill in the blank with whatever it is you are talking about.)

This is amazing.  If you and everyone who works with you are not using this question with EVERY client or prospect, you are leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

(I STRONGLY SUGGEST you have a “Sales Training and Reminder” session with your staff this week.  Do it now!  And talk about the 8 secrets we’re talking about here – just to remind everyone about them.)

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #5:  The first image is the lasting image.

This is one of the all-time most powerful “secrets” of human psychology and sales!  People are enormously impacted by the FIRST THING you show them.  If you show them their images on a computer screen, then that’s the first impression, and anything “larger” than that computer screen will seem really “large” to them.

But if you show them their images by projecting into a 40X50 frame over a sofa, then anything smaller will seem actually quite small to them!

So if you haven’t already, make it a LAW – A RULE – that you will NEVER show ANYONE their images without projecting them into a 40×50 or 40×60 frame over a sofa in your photo business, or in their home.  Do this, and watch your sales go through the roof.

And, as I’m sure you all know, by projecting into canvas in that frame over the sofa, you will “help your clients become happily involved” with a bunch more of your canvas portraits!  (Lots more money for no more work!)

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #6:   You sell what you show.  Absolutely.

Be sure you’re only showing what you want to sell.  If you want to sell wall portraits (which are extremely profitable and very valuable to your clients, too) then be sure you’re ONLY showing wall portraits in your studio.  Nothing smaller than a 24×30.  Nothing!

And no matting around the portraits.  Fine oil paintings and portraits are not matted.  Water colors and charcoals are sometimes matted.  But not fine portraiture.

In our studio, we have two 40×50′s, one 32×50, one 30×40, one 40×40 and one 24×30 – all on canvas – displayed in our client areas.  This clearly sends a message to our clients that we specialize in fine wall portraits of appropriate sizes, and that we believe in their value.

Watch how this very quietly affects your client’s buying decisions!  It’s truly amazing and exciting!

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #7:   A big decision is made up of a series of small decisions.

This secret is very easy to miss.  It’s one of those things that if someone doesn’t keep reminding you of it, you tend to forget it.  But it’s so powerful.

People don’t decide to invest in a $5000 wedding photography package, or a $3000 wall portrait all at once, in an instant.  If it were that easy, everyone would be a photographer.  It needs to follow a plan of a series of small decisions which lead up to their having invested in that wall portrait, or hired you to photograph their wedding.

This is were “TRIAL CLOSES” are so important.  A Trial Close is a question, the answer to which indicates where the person is in the buying process.  It’s a simple question, and it reveals so much.

You want to use many Trial Closes in every sales situation you have.  My favorite Trial Close is, “How do you feel about that?”  Then, you simply shut up, and wait for the answer.

Another of my favorite Trial Closes is, “Don’t you agree?”

Another is, “How’s that sound?”

See how if you use these simple questions THROUGHOUT YOUR presentation or sales session, or telephone call, etc. – can you see how these questions ask for a simple agreement or feedback on a simple, small decision.  Then, as you continue to move forward, your prospect or client is making one small decision after another, until, she has finally decided to go ahead and invest in what you are recommending.

The bottom line:  if you’re not asking lots of Trial Close questions, you are probably not going to get the level of sales you are wishing for.

PHOTO SELLING SECRET #8:   People invest in photography for emotional reasons, not logical reasons and not price reasons, either.

This is one of the most powerful “secrets” you must constantly remind yourself and your staff about.  Investing in photography is EMOTIONAL!!!  That’s why it’s so important for you and your staff to be genuinely enthusiastic, excited, and positive each and every time you are speaking with a client or prospect.

Enthusiasm is the second most powerful positive human emotion.  (Love is the first.)  So by being enthusiastic, and talking IN TERMS OF EMOTIONAL FEELINGS, rather than talking about money, sizes, finishes, etc. you will be MUCH more successful with each and every one of your sales.

Now, have a staff training meeting with your staff, and talk about these 8 powerful secrets, so you and they can be at your very best – and bring in lots and lots of money – doing what you love to do!

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One Response to Photography Marketing & Selling Secret #30: 8 Photo Sales Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Profits

  1. October 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I’ve just got my new iPad today and I’m so impressed. I even shelled out on the following video study course to help me get the most out of it – I used to be a PC nut but I am a complete convert now. Adore your blog regards Thad Austell

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