As we all know, the present time is full of difficulties and challenges.
Many events are postponed or cancelled.
However, you - as a photographer - have the opportunity to explore new opportunities and possibilities.
Believe it or not, It’s a good time to level-up your brand and studio visibility on the internet and to integrate IPS methods (virtually, of course ;) ) into your business.
We, at nPhoto, have prepared some tips and advice on how to do just that and provide you some additional income in these troubling times.
How to Prepare Yourself for "In Person Sales”:
1. Make a list of your clients.
Run through the entire gamut of your contacts. Include those who haven't ordered any photo products from you, but also those who have.
Note as many customers as possible.
Those who haven't ordered, now is a great time to give them an offer. Those who have, an upsell opportunity awaits. More on this below.
Artwork by Forma Photography
2. Contact your clients
...and invite them to a "virtual meeting” on Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, WhatsApp or Zoom.
Call them and/or Video Chat
By calling them you're able create a connection that is not possible via email.
Video calling gets you as close to the real thing, meeting in person, as possible - aim for that.
Show them that you care about them. Tell them that you were browsing through the photos that you took in the past and found theirs. Build a story around it.
3. Prepare a comfortable, friendly environment.
Emulate your studio and brand as much as possible even virtual and through and phone calls or video calls.
Be sure to make everything friendly and comfortable for your clients. Now more than ever, show patience and understanding with your clients.
Always be sure to keep print products visible and within reach!
4. Prepare yourself for the meeting.
Consider making a short presentation with their photos and showing it to them using a screen-share.
5. Educate your clients.
Email them your price list before the meeting, explain exactly what you're planning to do with them and how long it'll take (if in doubt, over-estimate the duration).
An example of this may be something like:
"Thank you for taking the time to connect with me. We're going to spend about two hours here. We're going to have some fun, we're going to enjoy your beautiful memories and relive the moments we captured on camera, and then I'm going to offer solutions so can be sure those precious memories remain in your hands for generations. Are you ready?..."
(Describe a happy, relaxing EXPERIENCE. Stay away from making it sound like a sale, or sales meeting)
Also, being clear about the plan like this will assure your clients that you value their time.
Go on, then, and show them your price list and explain what is included in it
6. Explore the needs of your clients and discuss them.
7. Let the products speak for themselves.
Video conferencing gives you an opportunity to show the products to your clients.
Put on your best 'showperson' mask and really work and show off your products.
DON'T push them on your clients, but instead highlight the quality, their benefits, and all they have to offer.
Your clients will love them after seeing them.
Remember, most clients don't have any experience with high-quality print products. More than ever, be patient and understanding. Don't worry about repeating yourself, or feeling like you're saying something 'obvious'.
Be clear, persistent, consistent, and really explain the benefits and 'why' plainly and in a relatable way..
8. Don’t talk too much. You should speak for 20% of the meeting and listen for 80%.
9. Address any concerns with solutions
-"If I order something I would have to pick it from your place, right?” -”No, the product can be delivered to your place.”
-"I don’t think it’s a good time to order anything. It’s better to save money right now and order something later.” -”This is a temporary situation. Now we have more time than ever to pick the photos that you love. Will you have this much time in the future?"
PRO TIP: If such clients persist with 'now is not the time to spend,' that would be a great time to offer up a voucher and touch back when things clear up to say - in a better way - things have cleared up a bit now, how about a nice print product with that voucher?
10. Update your website/Facebook page.
After the meeting (and before), your clients will surely check your social media and website.
11. Prepare special offers
Consider offering vouchers for future photo shoots.
What Might an Example Conversation be Like?
Photographer: Would you like to share your most significant moments and cherished memories with your loved ones and preserve them in a way that will last generations?
Client: Absolutely! How can I do that?
Photographer: With printed products. Here let me show you a few....
Client:(after seeing a product or two)That's a great idea! I never thought about printing my photos, I only had them on my computer ... I thought that maybe later I would make a photo product from it ...
Photographer: I understand, but we always think 'later I'll do it'. You know, now is the best time to do something like this as we are looking for things to do as we're stuck inside with our family all day, everyday. What better to connect and distract your family than your happy family memories?
Customer: Maybe you're right. Let's choose the best photos. But I can't afford such a big, expensive album.
Photographer: I have an idea. Let's choose only the 5 best photos and I will show you something. (Photographer shows a sample of the Folio box and describes it, gives the price)
Client: Looks great! But I don't like this color so much ...
Photographer: You can have any color as a cover, look here (shows fabric samples or sends customer in PDF format)
Client: That’s amazing! I love it! Would it be possible to have an album made in the same color?
Photographer: Absolutely! And, not only that, you can have your very own personalized album with your names and any dates...
Client: You've convinced me. Let’s do it!
- Be active online. You're not alone with these kind of problems.
- Contact your fellow photographers and speak about possible solutions that work for them.
- This is not a permanent situation. Soon it will be all over and your business has to fire up again in full swing.
For more about what you can do in these unusual times to help your business, see: "Coronavirus: How to Survive as a Professional Photographer."
Let us know in the comments below what you've been doing to stay in touch with your clients in these times of isolation and social distancing.