The Five Senses: How They Impact Sales with Leonardo Volturo
Are you struggling with in-person sales? Is your client experience lacking? In this month’s article, I walk you through the experience we’ve created for our studio by focusing on the five senses, and go over the key elements needed when creating a sales room that’s built for profit.
When our couples come in, the very first thing they see after sitting down is what is in front of them on our coffee table. Here we feature our top-of-the-line albums along with our handmade wood album boxes. The idea behind this is to allow them to visualize how they could display their wedding album in their home.
Here, our goal is to show exactly what it could look like for them in their home. It’s something they’ve never seen before that creates that “gotta have it” mentality.
Large images on the walls
It’s hard for people to visualize how a certain size picture will look in their home. They may think they don’t have enough space or that a smaller size is much larger than it is until they actually see it in person. Conversely, they may think a certain size will be too large for their space, which is why we’ve set up clusters of common large sizes, such as a 20×30 acrylic over a 15×30 acrylic with a 24×36 metal on either side, showing what can be showcased over a standard size couch. Since we set up this display, it’s become the most popular way our couples choose to showcase their artwork. This offers a great balance to showcase both their engagement and wedding imagery. This setup also opens the door to planning for their wedding sale during their engagement sale.
We lit our sales area with the Hue Wi-Fi LED system from Philips. This allows you to control brightness, mix colors and create a custom lighting setup that can all be controlled from the Hue app on your mobile device. Being able to create your own colors and control color temperature helps when showcasing your products and dialing in the perfect lighting for your space.
When clients sit down to view their slideshow from their engagement session or wedding, we remotely turn off the lights to create a more immersive experience. This very simple touch easily impresses our clients. They perceive us as high-tech and ultramodern, which helps convey the message of our overall brand. We learned very early that it’s all about the experience, so we feel it’s our job to always have something unique and interesting to separate ourselves from the pack.
What does your sales room smell like? Have you even thought about it? This is one very important element that is often overlooked. Maybe you had something funky for lunch or you work from home and just finished cooking a fish dinner for your family. Having clients come into your space and immediately be hit with a terrible smell is a sure way to sales that stink.
So avoid eating or cooking close to any meeting—unless it’s fresh-baked cookies, of course! Our studio uses a Scentsy wax scent warmer with Vanilla Cookie Crunch made by Better Homes and Gardens, available at Walmart. After greeting our clients, one of the first things they comment on is the aroma. Our clients enjoy it so much that we’ve started giving them as gifts as part of our client experience.
Music plays a major role in setting the mood. Having a family in to view their wedding images? Heavy metal may not be the way to go. Know your audience, and program your music accordingly. One playlist most likely won’t work for all genres of photography. For our wedding couples, we’ve curated Spotify playlists with artists like Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Train and Goo Goo Dolls to set the mood for a relaxing and emotionally connected meeting. We play the commercial-free music wirelessly via Bluetooth speakers.
Some photographers may think it’s not worth the investment to have samples of everything you offer for your business. But there really is no substitute for putting a product in the hands of your clients. Let them feel the weight, texture and quality, and immediately everything becomes real and more valuable. The sense of touch comes across most significantly when we show couples our wedding albums. They’re able to feel the weight, the textures of the Italian leathers, the velvet liners and the quality of the pages. Immediately they see the worth and know our books are built to last.
Something else we did recently was relocate our acrylic blocks. Originally we had them next to our TV, which was about 8 feet away from where our clients sit. Our block sales weren’t very good, so we decided to move them to the coffee table right in front of them. Now, every person who sits down picks up the blocks and comments on how great they are, and we sell one in nearly every sales session.
Are you offering your clients anything beyond water? Are you offering them anything at all? Think of a high-end boutique or salon that serves customers wine and champagne. We are trying to create a similar experience, and want to be perceived as a luxury brand. So when our clients come in for an initial meeting or engagement preview, we offer them beer, wine, soda and water. For our wedding previews, we have champagne poured and ready to go before our clients arrive.
Beyond the literal taste you’re leaving in their mouths, this is really about the figurative taste you are leaving with the experience you’ve created for your brand. Remember that you need to show it to sell it. Stimulate the senses. What taste are you leaving, and are your clients coming back for more?