This is a guest blog by Sarah Petty, a marketing whiz, who grew her photography studio to one of the most successful in the country in only five years. She eats, sleeps and breathes marketing. You can now learn from her and many other talented photographers at The Joy Of Marketing.
Clients have needs too.
Would you go into a hair salon and sit down in the chair and let them go to town? Of course you wouldn’t! The stylist typically asks you many questions. “Did you like what we did last time?,” “Do you like the color?,” “What length do you want?,” Do you want layers?” And what do you do? You tell him/her in as much detail as you can, exactly what you want! Sometimes, you even bring photographs or magazine clippings.
So, now you are a photographer and you had someone call and want portraits of their children. They come in, you photograph them and then a few weeks later you are in the sales room fielding objections like crazy. “I was hoping for two vertical images,” “I don’t hang photographs on my walls,” “I really wanted the two kids together and you only photographed them separately.” All three of these objections could have been eliminated had you simply ASKED THE CLIENT WHAT THEY WANTED!
If you ask, people will tell you their needs.
One of the most important elements of having a successful sales session is to conduct a needs analysis in the very beginning. Like in the haircutting example, people want to tell you what they want because they want you to please them. They called you for a reason and it is your job to extract that reason from them.
So where do you start? Well, for me, I do everything in my power not to have a session without having an in-person consultation. That is where I can ask all of the right questions and discover what the client wants. Sometimes, the client doesn’t even know what they want until I help uncover it. Sometimes they come in wanting one thing and they leave with clarity after discovering that they really wanted something else. Many times, until they see it, they have no idea that they even want it. Whenever I get the objection “I really can’t come in because of my schedule or because I live far away,” I tell them that others have tried that but what they found was that they would come in on the day of their session, see something on the wall that they love yet they are dressed in the wrong clothing. That usually gets them in because they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to have something they love!
For me, I would rather do fewer sessions where I can spend more time with my clients finding out what they want and then creating it for them. It makes the sales presentation go so smoothly and it helps increase sales averages. In turn, this means you work fewer hours and have an increased quality of life!
Because the sales process is SO incredibly important to running a successful small business, we have created an event at thejoyofmarketing.com called 10 10 10. This is a free, online event on October 10, 2010 from 10 am – 10 pm CST where you can learn from 10 industry leaders about how to increase your sales. The topics will start at the first phone call, through the in-person consultation, how to shoot to sell, managing the sales presentation and follow up after the sale to create loyalty and generate referrals. Here is a list of the speakers: Julia Woods, Jessica Claire, Joy Bianchi Brown and Jules Bianchi, Sandy Puc, Kia Bondurant, Scott and Adina Hayne, Tim and Beverly Walden, Kevin Kubota, Ron Nichols and Sarah Petty.
Register for the event.
We will also be trying to generate enough money to provide clean drinking water for 1010 people so be sure to check back at our thermometer and grab some free speaker resources while you are there!
Sarah is giving ONE recording of this event to a lucky Tiffinbox reader. This is what you need to do to win. 1) Tweet the following message: “I’ll be listening to @SarahPetty and 9 other speakers for FREE on 10/10/10 about SELLING. http://tjom.cc/a/322 #Tiffinbox #101010” 2) Comment below and include your Twitter handle in your message. Tell me WHY and HOW the Salessummit on October 10, 2010 will help your business. If you post anonymously, you can’t win. You need to be using a valid email address as well. And yes, there is an affiliate link associated with this giveaway.