How to sell photography face to face.
Sell your photography face to face they said …
Do you sell face to face? it can be a bit scary at the start but that’s where the money is made– not on the internet. We live in an anonymous world these days, everything is done by email, or chat, or text message or What’sApp or something else. It pushes us away from human contact and I reckon that there are fundamental communication skills being lost in the process. People are less comfortable talking face to face because of the convenience of remote contact but you know what, face to face is where the money is made. Would you buy a car you had never seen or driven? How much interaction can you have with an automated message, how do you read the emotions of a recorded voice message — you can’t … you can’t do any of those things.
Don’t get me wrong, the technology is awesome, it blows me away what you can do nowadays, all I’m saying is don’t rely on it to make you a fortune in this game because it won’t.
Check out the ‘Roadmap to Success’ for an overview of the business of photography.
If you want to sell your photography, never put your photos online.
If you put your photos online for people to see, they will steal them, even if you’ve watermarked them, and if they don’t steal them, they will review them a thousand times until they decide they don’t want them — they get bored when they look at them over and over again, I know I’m going to have my critics and I would love them to prove me wrong.
You have to maintain some mystery and some desire, some anticipation — and you can do all of that when you show them their photos straight away after the shoot because that’s when they are most excited. Face to face sales allows for human interaction.
You’re going to get clients who want to shoot themselves down when they see their photos but that’s a self confidence thing, something a lot of us suffer from and you can find some strategies to deal with this here — but how are you going to address that if they are looking at their photos online?
Read between the lines.
You can’t … they will justify their misguided opinion of themselves, but when you’re in the same room as them you can read their body language, you can see the change in their facial expressions and you can reason with them. Remember that when someone says something like, ‘oh God, look how big my arms are!’ they are not asking you to look at how big their arms are, they are asking you tell them that they are not big, how can you do that with an online gallery where they will stare at the same photo endlessly until they justify themselves out of buying it. When someone says ‘On no, I look so much like my Mum’ — you say ‘well she must be a beautiful woman because she has a beautiful daughter’
People want reassurance and you can give them that when you are telling them to their face.
When you take the personal contact out of a sales presentation you are losing the massive advantage of emotional purchases and you know what the most frequently experienced one is? Validation — So many people walk the tightrope when making purchasing decisions, they swing between ‘Wow, these are the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen of myself’ and ‘I don’t deserve this’ and when you provide the voice of reason and reassurance, you can see massive shifts in their perception.
Human connection wins every time, we need that face to face experience.
When you are face to face you can become their friend and confidante, when they are looking at images in an online gallery, they only have the devil on their shoulder saying ‘ I told you that they would be awful — what were you thinking?’ Developing a thorough understanding of human interactions will never be a disadvantage so do some work on this. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had sales session end up in tears of joy.
One of the most wonderful things you can ever experience is hearing someone concede that they are indeed beautiful and to see them shed that protective skin they’ve been wearing for a long time. That is not possible unless you are face to face, sales are more likely when you bring back the human connection and show compassion, your sales will skyrocket . Next week I’m going to talk about how to give people all the information they need on the first phone call without overwhelming them so stay tuned for that one and please share this with your friends — see you then.