How to Close a Photography Deal
The best part of the internet being at our disposal these days is that we can have access to so many different individuals that can be of service to us. Conversely, with so many options in front of everyone’s face, it does make it a bit more difficult to “seal the deal” with a potential client if you are a service provider. Thus you have to find a way to properly engage a customer’s interest in all facets so that it will become easier to close a deal with them. This challenge is faced by all service providers including photographers. In the following paragraphs, we will break down how to close a photography deal.
The Entire Process Matters
Many times people feel that they can utilize one proponent of their business to try and attract potential customers. However, there is not going to be a high percentage of potential clients becoming actual paid clients with that method. There are so many aspects you can highlight and tactics you can put to usage that can help sway a customer’s decision. To put it into simple terms you must, “learn to sell” your product. It must be made known that doesn’t mean you have to become pushy but you must become skilled in the art of persuasion and reading people’s emotions. Once you are able to tap into those secrets, it will become a very beneficial factor for your business and you should start to see results immediately.
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Confidence is Key
Even as a photographer you will need to tap into your salesman techniques and qualities to seal the deal. One of the biggest qualities a salesman can have is confidence. If you walk into any room with a prospective client and they can sense the desperation or urgency and begin to feel like they are being coerced you will not have many successful deals. However, if you are able to show how much you believe in your product and service and display that confidence it can work wonders for you. Your first impression can make or break your relationship with that client, which is why you need to show them from the beginning that you are confident, not cocky, eager to work with them but not desperate…even if you are on the inside.
Visualize with the Prospective Client
Photography is all about the pictures from the outside looking in and those that are seeking a photographer, need help visualizing. You may often have a vision in your head of how your services will help a client, but they may not be able to clearly see it for themselves due to their unfamiliarity with your work. Obviously, they can look through your portfolio and see what you have done before and may be able to utilize prior work as a reference. Nonetheless, there will be times that you will need to verbally and physically take the clients on a journey for what you can do to make their vision come true.
Be Sure To Thoroughly Explain
A sure-fire way to end up having trouble closing a deal is to not be crystal clear with a potential client from the beginning. You have to imagine, as a client, that the last place you want to find out about a certain fee or policy is as you are about to sign off on a contract to close a deal. There is absolutely no reason why you should wait until asked to deliver such information to the client.
Explain all that is entailed in your service and contract, even the parts that may not be favorable because they deserve to know. If you choose to wait until the end to introduce these concepts then you risk having all your work prior going to waste. Also remember that just because you are being honest and open, does not mean that you do not still sell your product in as favorable of a manner as you can. Showing your passion for the craft and service can show a potential clients seeing how much you care and can sway their emotions in your favor. Honesty, openness, and authenticity are the key.
It is important for you to engage in conversation with your potential clients about where they are in their process. For example, some clients may be trying to gauge prices and services thus you may be one of a few photographers they are in contact with. You will want to see how they are feeling so far throughout their search and based on their response it will be easy to see where they stand. Further, you need to know how serious someone is about using your services as some may just be browsing. The way to find this answer out is to ask when they will require your services and if there is nothing set in stone as far as dates and times then you have your answer.
Sometimes Plan A is not feasible so you end up having to revert to Plan B. You can fall into this situation in instances where a client may have expressed high interest in your services but cannot afford them. Though not always ideal, this opens up the possibility for both parties to negotiate because you do not want them to walk away without being able to experience your services.
This is when you have to get creative and be flexible with your original outline for pricing and packaging. The key is to hear out exactly what the client needs and adjust to that. As previously mentioned, your packages are probably set to come with certain add-ons or features but in negotiation maybe you have them pick what they need. Then based on what they need, you give a price that hopefully, they can work with. Make sure you give them breakdowns on why you have priced your services at those levels so that they have a better understanding of what they are potentially paying for.
Another piece of the plan that can help you seal the deal is following up with the client after you’ve met initially. Just like was mentioned above, clients are sometimes at different points in their search for a photographer or may want time to think about the deals you’ve offered them. Thus, they will require some space away to be able to weigh those options and make a proper decision. However, what doesn’t hurt is to give a follow-up call a couple of days later to check in on the client’s decision-making process. This can make you stand out as most companies will give the client the information and wait for them to call back. By following up, you can show the client that you are serious about how much you would like to work with them. You can even follow up time and time again depending on the length of time the client needs to make a decision and if they are ok with it, of course.
The catch to this technique is that you do not want to be overbearing but also do not want to be too lax about it either. Your conversations with the client should be encouraging while still selling your product in the best way you can. Do not slander other companies or photographers as that will more than likely make you sound desperate and unprofessional.
Remain Organized, Be Prepared
Once a client verbally agrees to work with you the task is not over until you have them sign the appropriate paperwork, receive a down payment, and get the job done, of course. Through all this, you have to remain organized and prepared to work. It would be a very bad look if, after all the time and effort expended to get the client to choose you, you are not prepared to get to work right away. The client shouldn’t have to wait on anything from your end if at all, you should only be waiting on the client. The last thing you want is for a client to notice you aren’t well-prepared or ready and they pull out of their verbal commitment before you close the deal.