We all hate pushy sales people, right? We hang up on them on the phone. We cross the street to avoid them. Our brains have been trained to avoid them at all costs. We can sniff out a scammy salesperson a mile off. I’ve even started avoiding my nearest shopping centre because there’s always a sales person grabbing people at the entrance.
However, as a photographer you hopefully want to book more clients and sell more photography at higher prices. You want to sell. But you worry you’ll seem like that pushy, slimy scum bucket that people would rather jump into a ditch of nettles to avoid rather than speak with.
So what do most photographers do? They do the opposite. They keep their prospects and clients at arm’s length.
Just last week I had been sitting in the home of a wedding couple I was trying to book for over an hour, when they said…
“…Wow, you’re so much more helpful than the other photographers we’ve been dealing with. They just showed us a few albums and give us the prices and their gone in 10-15 minutes.”
I hear this kind of thing all the time. Most photographers are so scared of feeling like a sales person that they barely speak with their prospects and clients at all. This is doing them a disservice. I ask lots of questions to find out what my prospect is looking for and to show I care. Once I know what they’re looking for I explain how they can get what they want and how I can help.
“Selling is finding out what people want and then helping them to get it.” – Zig Ziglar
Personally, I call selling ‘Customer service before they’ve bought’. If you think of selling as helping people rather than bullying people then you’ll be much more successful at it. Plus, it won’t make you feel dirty inside!