Elizabeth Halford Photography {the blog} » photography in plain English

In Person Sales – Scared to Take the Jump?

With all this talk of selling your work in person, I get a whole lotta emails. Many of them can be answered with links to posts I’ve already written, but this message last week deserved a post all of its own.

“I’m a photographer out of Salt Lake City and I am currently giving discs with my sessions, no limit on the number of images. I do believe that this is killing me. I am however TERRIFIED of making the jump into in person sales. I am fearful that people will want to go to others who give them the disc. What if people only order 1 4×6 and then I don’t make up my cost after dropping my session pricing?!?!?! EEEKKKK sccccaaarrreeedd!!!!”

So who else feels this way?

If you’re having a hard time making the intial jump into in person sales, the first thing you probably need to change is right between your ears. Making a conscious mind shift is step one to changing anything in your business. Yea, when you switch to in person sales, you’ll lose some clients. But are they really worth it? I mean…if that was working for you, would you really be thinking that something needed to change? So what will you be losing? Nothing? Awesome, on to the next point.

You need to put systems in place that ensure you’ll succeed. When was the last time you had a job where they said, “we don’t really know how we want you to do it. Kinda figure it out or something.” No, you’re the boss and the employee. You have to put systems in place and work them. Problem is, too many self-employed photographers sit around and act like they have no responsibility in the matter. They say the business just didn’t ‘work’. They blame the economy, the clients…everyone but themselves.

There should be a method to all of your dealings – this isn’t any different than any other business. You need to streamline your pricing. Methodically compose your product offerings. Write yourself some scripts. Set the standards, write some procedures. Take yourself to school. If you need help knowing what you should be doing in a sales session, get someone from the outside to help you out.

When you have procedures in place for your business, you can stand by them no matter what your gray matter tells you in times of uncertainty.

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  • mikifoto

    What are your thoughts on having an all inclusive fee for session plus digital files but still having the in person meeting afterwards to sell albums, canvas, products that only photographers can create and make?

  • elizabethhalford

    Hello! You know, I think you can sell anything. But that’s the thing – you need to SELL it, not just offer it. One of my sessions is called Ooh La La and it’s a digital files inclusive session, mainly for clients who are out of town who I can’t service with in person viewing. But I suppose you definitely could hold a viewing session and sell products like you would even if they weren’t getting the files. You would need to sell them on the fact that they are products they couldn’t even get on their own and sell the exclusivity of them. You know, when you’re selling something you’re really selling people on the IDEA of it rather than the actual product itself.