Artist. Creative professional. Visual designer. Business owner. These are probably the first terms that come to mind when someone asks you for your job description as a photographer. I’m guessing, however, that salesperson might not be at the top of the list, even though it is a big part of what you do every time you meet face-to-face with a new client.
This week, we sat down with Steve Saporito to discuss how photographers can hone their sales acumen and steer clients into buying albums for their images. Steve runs Intuition to Succeed, an online mentoring program that focuses on developing in-person sales skills for photographers.
What do you do?
My focus is to empower wedding and portrait photographers to move past the blocks they have about their businesses with clear, actionable systems that have been tried, proven, and replicated in any location. The focus is to build value in the photographic experience for the client and to create desire for our products and services.
How do you define in-person sales?
Fundamentally, an in-person sale [design consultation] is about discovering who the client really is and what they want. From there, it is up us to help our clients design the perfect artwork for them. It is not about what we want; it is about finding the perfect solution for them, and [that] needs to be the most exciting part of their photographic experience. Remember that a client has made themselves vulnerable to us and will be nervous about seeing themselves for the first time [in photos], so it is important to have someone who can coach them on all the things they need to focus on and consider so that they are better educated on how to buy photography.
The important distinction here is to determine what the client places value on as opposed to what we value. These values may be very different in many cases, and [this] is usually the reason why clients do not buy, even though we believe that we have given them an incredible shoot.
What is your #1 piece of advice for in-person sales for photographers?
Never focus on the money. Focus on adding as much value to the client’s experience as you possibly can. The money is a result of the value that you have given to your client. When you focus on understanding what the client values and then ensure that you are giving it to them, the money will come.
Any other tips you’d like to share?
In the client’s mind, the in-person sale is the most important part of their photographic experience. It’s our job to use our professional experience to pull it all together to exceed expectations. They borrow confidence from us that they are making the right decisions, and they feed off of our energy and attitude toward the sale. Some assistance and honest encouragement makes a huge difference to a client’s confidence and ability to make decisions about their artwork that they will be proud to display in their home and the perception of the value of the service that they have received.
Also, projection sales software is pivotal, like Fundy’s Gallery Designer software. Many I have trained have tried various sales software, but switching to a system that allows you to project to true to size is monumental. The combination of using a projector and the software that can show a client their wall art at-scale is imperative. That alone has been a fundamental game changer to higher average sales, no matter what the country or economic situation.
Do you have advice specifically for introverts or ”non-salesy-types?”
The setup and planning of your design consolation space is important. Having the set up right so that it subliminally sells for you adds to the client’s experience and makes it easy for clients to want what you have to offer.
Thank you, Steve, for this incredibly valuable information! We know that every photographer can benefit from all the tips you have shared with us.
Interested in learning more about Steve Saporito and his techniques to increase your selling skills? You can find him on his site at intuitiontosucceed.academy/us/.
If you’re interested in learning more about all the ways Lush and Fundy can help you put beautiful albums in your clients’ hands, you can visit us here: www.lushalbums.com/how-to-get-started/