I wasn’t always able to sell digitals the way I sell products. In fact, the word digital scared me. I had put so much work into learning how to sell products and testing my approaches that I hadn’t even thought about how to sell digitals. Through learning how to sell products, I learned how to build value for the products I was offering. The albums and wall galleries were family heirlooms that served as a valuable daily reminder of what is most important to people. Having something in your home you can look up at every day and feel better about the troubles you’re facing is priceless. I could sell that all day long to my clients because I understood the value of it.
Our goal this month is to round out your sales system with clever and desirable upsell options to entice your clients to get the most out of their experience with you (and to get you the most profit). A quick note about terms: In the strictest sense, upselling means selling the client a higher-priced product than the one they were considering. The terms cross-selling and add-on sales describe selling the client additional items beyond the one they were considering. It’s become commonplace to use the word upselling for all methods of achieving a higher sale. For the purposes of this article, we use the broader meaning of upselling.
For successful sales, you have to create a system that makes getting to your target sale easy and fun. This month, we focus on the role of your price list in making your target sale the easiest way for the client to buy from you. It is not just a list of every product you offer, but a systematic approach of presenting different items and offers that your clients can’t resist.
You read that title right. All other things equal, marketing is the reason I see most businesses fail. They ether don’t do it at all or, quite frankly, they suck at it. And no, running a Facebook Ad is not marketing. There are time-worn strategies that go into marketing. You don’t just do something and magic happens. You need a plan. You then must execute that plan. You then evaluate the results, make adjustments and re-execute your plan. Rinse and repeat.
For a long time I despised marketing because I did not have a strategy for our B2B video and photo company. Anything that I had tried, like posting on Facebook and Instagram or email marketing, did not seem to work for me. These strategies work when done well, but I did not figure them out and was getting frustrated. A mentor told me to look at my best clients—the 80/20 rule—and figure out the commonality between all of them. Were they all the same type of business? Did they all have the same product or service? Did they all find us through Google?
In-person sales (IPS) offers the number-one way to make real money as a photographer in today’s digital world. But lots of photographers still resist this proven strategy. Most people who refuse to implement IPS are terrified of it. That’s understandable. The idea of sales has such a negative connotation, especially for artists who already suffer from the “Am I good enough?” complex. Those photographers are expected to sit in front of their clients, confidently make eye contact and ask for thousands of dollars? Forget about it.
What exactly does it take to be a good salesperson? You can’t just be an artist. You have to know how to sell too. So, the million-dollar question is: How can you become a better salesperson? After many sales sessions, I’ve identified things that can hurt or help any sales session, and have compiled five key tips to help any photographer become better at sales.
For the past three months in The Business Corner, we’ve been building your price list from the ground up. While it would appear that we now have a price list, there is more consideration that goes into price list design than simply listing every product you offer. What we have now is a list of items to sell, which we are now going to curate into a functional price list that sells for you.
In last month’s Business Corner, we discussed controlling one of the two types of expenses in your business: general expenses, also known as overhead. This month, we examine the other form of spending, cost of sale. Cost of sale includes all money you spend serving a client.
In last month’s Business Corner, we asked you to daydream about your ideal studio and lifestyle. This month, we’re going to take these dreams and turn them into an actionable plan. In order to do so, your vision for your dream studio must be clear. We’re going to start with your end goal, and then build a plan to get you there.