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

Selling vs Offering {actually selling your work}

Someone asked me last week if it was possible to sell sessions with a disk and still do in person sales for products. My answer is “you know, you really can do anything you want. 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 could definitely still hold a viewing & sales session to sell products. I would do this by booking the viewing appointment along with the session just like I always do, which builds the expectation that it’s not done and dusted just because they purchased the digital session. And I would carry on during the viewing & sales session just like I would at any one, regardless of the fact that their session comes with digitals. This is because when you include digital files, you can do so on the basis that these files are for their safekeeping and online sharing. But they can still only get exclusive products and service through me. You could even call these clients VIPs and offer steep discounts on your products.

But there’s the catch…I’m no longer just selling products. I’m selling exclusivity, luxury, convenience.

The thing is, photographers get baffled when they offer loads of cool swag and no one buys. Heck, I could walk into the grocery store right now and see hundreds of thousands of products being offered. But what will I buy?

1. Things on my list {because I want them}

-and-

2. Things they sell me {stuff I didn’t know I wanted}

So stop offering and start selling.

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  • http://www.firsthandphotography.co.uk/ Jack

    Good advice! What do you suggest for photographers who don’t have a studio – can you still do in-person sales in the client’s homes?

  • steph

    I recently JUST began and I”m building a portfolio wall with my product samples (double plus because I get to decorate my home with things that I love and photos of my family). I”m planning on doing viewings in my home on the big screen with a live example of my work on a wall and the products I sell. I hope it works out well (I have my first viewing ever next week) at least it seems like a good idea at this point…

  • Madeleine

    I did my first in-home-viewing this week and I dont know what to think of it. The clients loved all their images, but then they couldnt make up their mind of what they wanted to order.. So I ended up agreeing on putting their files in an online gallery so they would have some more time deciding. How do you make your clients order on the spot..??? It kinda feels like the meeting was a waste of time (HOWEVER, I did bring them a pie and it was really nice hearing them Oooing and Aaaing over the pictures). Now its been a week since they first saw the images, and i read somewhere that the images looses their appeal the more the clients view them (as in the first time they see them they are going to LOVE every image.. but if they have a week to go back and forth to look at them they are only going to pick the REALLY good ones).. But what can I do different??

  • elizabethhalford

    Hello! I think that the only reason someone would have difficulty choosing is if there’s too much to choose from. And yes as soon as you hand over the online previews, you might as well be handing over finished products :/