I have two strong ideals in relation to my Portrait business. 1: Don’t take more than you need. 2: Listen. I would rather discount and or gift with sale than to take as much as I can, this is why I know I have a 100% referral rate. In fact its not only an ideal it’s a RULE. I would rather do a 2 Thousand dollar sale than push it to a 4 Thousand sale and have clients leave feeling pressured and coerced. You see, to me I know if I create a sense of community and connection with my client base I not only have a happy client, I get all her friends and repeat business. Recently I was asked in a workshop what my sales cancellation rate was? I realised I didn’t have one as I have not cancelled an order in the last 2 years in fact as I looked thru my Stats I realised I had in fact had post sales upgrades. My answer to this question was simply “I do not have a cancellation rate as I do not let my client leave that viewing presentation until they are 100% happy with their purchase.” and secondly . . . If you Connect and listen during the shoot then connect and Listen during the sale. So many people teach you how to counter objections and I TELL YOU THIS pushy sales do not work on me!! and if they do manage to back me into a corner and get me to spend I do not recommend their service to my friends. If your after sales are cancelling on the phone, then I believe they are being pushed in the sales room because a call back cancellation tells me that they felt like they couldn’t say no in person which means you were not listening.
I want to create desire with my product not try to flog it after its been made and try to counter objections. I want to ask what my client wants and then CREATE it for them, and then I want to show them and have them WANT to purchase every image. From the moment I first meet my client my goal is to make the product THEY have told me they want. OK this is not easy and it’s not always fool proof but this is my mission and this is simply about listening, asking the right questions and listen some more. You know in the old days the local portrait photographer made friends with families in the community, he photographed the 21st, the engagement the wedding the first baby and the annual family update shot. What are you doing to get repeat business? Are your clients coming back for more? are they recommending you to their friends?
Todays shoot was a fabulous experience as I photographed these gorgeous girls 5 years ago, the girls were 10 and 14 then and now are the most amazing young women 15 & 19 all grown up with of course their beautiful Mum who hasn’t aged a day. How lucky to be given the honour to capture peoples special relationships and to be trusted and respected to be found again after all this time and be allowed to do it again. Seeing the girls and how they have grown is just a joy, best of all their first shot has been on my favourites list for 5 years it hangs large on my studio wall and is one of my most requested images.