Be a Shepherd, Not a Salesperson!
Now that you’ve carefully chosen holiday promotions that provide value to your clients and to your business, the sales process becomes less about convincing clients to purchase and more about guiding them toward products and services that are best for them. Your role is to help them make a decision – a decision that you know they won’t regret!
Here are three tips for guiding your clients through the purchasing process:
1. Keep it simple.
There’s a clear window of opportunity for holiday promotions, and any confusion that your clients feel will delay their decision-making during this short timeframe. Keeping the process simple empowers clients to make quick decisions, so make sure the ordering process is clear and easy. If there are too many steps involved in design decisions, image selection, or scheduling, your sales will be impacted negatively. As you evaluate your purchasing process, remove unnecessary steps and add assistance where your expertise is needed. Think through your clients’ probable questions or areas that may be more difficult for them to navigate so that you can preemptively address these concerns.
Ideas for simplifying the sales process:
- Provide the design for their book first and let them make changes so that they don’t get bogged down in decisions.
- Include folders of your favorite images, or a series of specific selections for parents and friends, in their Pictage gallery. This helps clients easily decide which images to order.
- Provide an easy way for clients to see your availability or give them a clear list of time slots for their shoot so that scheduling doesn’t take too long.
- Make sure that any information you give clients doesn’t have too much photo jargon; ensure that everything is explained in simple human terms.
- Provide incentives and deadlines.
2. Provide incentives and deadlines.
Do your clients a favor and don’t let them miss out on the opportunity to purchase promotions during the holiday season. Gently nudge them toward making a decision by providing incentives and deadlines. (Deadlines are also extremely important for your workflow!) Incentives like discounts and extra session time get clients excited to book early. When clearly communicated, booking and ordering deadlines ensure that your clients don’t delay their decision-making! Make sure that you set the expectation with these deadlines from the beginning of the process, so that your clients go into their session with their eyes wide open about when they’ll need to place orders by and complete any decision making.
3. Make promises you can keep.
When you accept an order or agree to shoot another session, you’re promising a client that they can count on you to manage their sessions and products so that they can order before the holidays. Setting clear expectations with clients is critical so they won’t be disappointed, and so you’ll know exactly how to meet their needs.
It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver, particularly when it comes to deadlines. Set deadlines that are later than what you think is realistic, simply to ensure that you can meet them. As you’re establishing internal deadlines for production, make sure that you take vendor deadlines into account. Also, build in a buffer of time for any technical glitches!
If you keep these three ideas in mind, you’ll be on your way to a smooth, successful holiday season!
This article was originally published in The Photo Life Dispatch, Your Holiday Sales Guide. Check it out for more practical tips to help guide you through the holiday season.