I live in a low income city (Peterborough in the UK). So I know better than most that high end portrait photography clients don’t often fall in your lap.
It’s very rare for someone to contact me and say…
“Hi Dan, I’d like 2 or 3 big framed portraits of my family, plus a bunch of smaller ones. When are you free?”
Just like you I get emails and calls that say “Hi, I wondered how much you charge for family photographs as I can’t see your prices on your website.”
Now, my prices are 3 or 4 times higher than my competition, so if I just put prices on my website no-one will call because a website isn’t the best environment for helping people see the value of what you do.
So what do I do when someone calls asking for prices?
The first thing I do is get them off the subject of price by saying “Sure, I’ll be happy to chat about the prices, but do you mind if I ask you a few questions first so I can find out what you’d like?”
Boom, that’s a perfectly reasonable question because I can’t give prices if I don’t know what they want. Now I’m asking the questions and in control of the conversation.
I’ll ask them about their family and what’s important to them about the photographs and a whole bunch of other searching questions. This helps me build rapport and excitement with the client, but also demonstrates that there’s more to a photography session than just pressing a shutter button. I’m going to be capturing images that show their family’s true character and at its best.
As they answer my questions I’ll refer to relevant services within my business that explain the benefits of choosing me over other photographers.
Once I’ve built up a good rapport and enthusiasm with the person I’ll bring up the price. I’ll say…
“Your family sounds great and I think you’ll be fantastic to photograph. Let me give you an idea of how much you can plan on investing in the portraits. Most people fall somewhere between x (half my sales average) and y (my average), does that fit within your budget?”
I will then overcome any price objections they may have and try and get them to take the next little step, which is to meet me at their home to chat things through in a little more detail.
Since it’s a nice easy decision to have me pop to them most people say yes.
At their home I can build an even strong rapport and show them the quality of my products and ask even more questions.
I’m showing them beautifully framed wall portraits at a decent size so they can see the value of what I specialise in. This helps get them off the idea of digital files and at no point do I talk about digital files. I’m constantly talking about artwork for their walls. I even have an amazing piece of software called ProSelect that enables me to show them their photographs on the walls of their home, to scale, and with my supplier’s frames around them.
All the while they’re subliminally getting more and more committed, educated and excited about working with me.
Do you see how I’m gently nudging people towards working with me by asking questions and demonstrating my professionalism. This is so much more effective than plonking my prices on my website or emailing them packages because I’m building the value in my service first, and then I slowly get into the detail of the prices.
So, someone who initially only thought they spend £150 on a shoot and burn photographer ends up getting excited about wall portraits and investing many hundreds of pounds, or even £1000+.
If you want to discover more about the whole marketing and sales systems I use for portraits and wedding photography then try out our membership site for a whole month free of charge. If you find it’s not right for you then you can email us any time within the first 60 days and you won’t pay a penny! That’s right, even after the first month you still have an extra 30 days to get the money back on the first month. You really can’t lose.