Having a successful photography business has a whole lot to do with providing top notch customer service. You can be successful as a decent photographer with amazing sales & service, but not as an amazing photographer with lousy sales & service.
Here are a few tips that have worked wonders for our photography business:
1. Appeal to all six senses to enhancing the buying experience.
Provide something good for each: Smell, sound, touch, taste, sight, and energy
Map & analyze every point of contact, like: entry way, candles & scents, music & sounds, wall colors & images chosen for the walls, lights, brochure paper, pens, furniture, verbiage used in your brochure, phone message language...
If your customer feels like you pay attention to details they will view you as a professional they are willing to pay for.
2. Set the stage for success.
Plant Sales Thoughts e.g. “Most of my clients purchase a couple of matching coffee table books”
Give Gifts (food & drink)
Instill purchase confidence with a Money Back Guarantee (MBG)
3. Sell top down...start at the top.
Proudly present your best offering first…then wait. Don’t assume your customer doesn’t want or can’t afford it. Only step down if the customer clearly and verbally can’t afford or doesn’t need that much.
4. Suggest add-on sales.
“Would you like fries with that shake?” makes millions in additional sales for a certain company.
5. Make the most of suggestive sales.
CONSISTENCY: clear guidelines that are used consistently with all customers and at every transaction.
RELATIVE: make suggestions based on the customer. Offer products complementary to that which the customer has ordered.
PRICE SENSITIVE: customers respond well to suggestions that are are less expensive than their original order. 58% of successful suggestive sell offers cost less than 20% of the original price.
TIMELY: Attempts to suggestive sell need to be done just before, or while the customer is placing an order. Actively listen to them ensuring that they know you are more interested in them and their needs, rather than their money.
BE SPECIFIC: In studies, when offering an additional item for the shopper to consider, 2 out of the 3 shoppers took the suggestion — when it was a smaller item and related to their purchase. Whereas shoppers who were asked “if they wanted anything else today" did not purchase any additional items.
7. You are the expert. Give expert advice and know your product line well.
"The person who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others." –Hasidic Saying
Customers appreciate your experience and artistic vision, don’t be afraid to offer it.
8. Give them a reason to come back!
Put special offers in every order bag.
Send out newsletters and mailings on new products or services.
Schedule the next appointment before they leave! (Like your dentist or salon does)
9. Follow through. No matter how much a client loved you, they will forget you if you don’t keep in touch. Out of sight, out of mind!
Under promise, over deliver.
Thank you cards, Phone calls, Promotional specials, Art showings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Holiday greetings, Destination photography opportunities.
“Let’s do lunch”.
The post-sale experience will influence the pre-sale experience of the repeat customer.
10. The all mighty referral.
Ask for referrals, don’t just wait for them to happen!
Consider rewarding your customers for their referrals too. At least a thank you card.
11. Go looking for trouble.
"Problem" customers are your biggest opportunity for growth. Don’t be afraid to ask, "What could I have done better?"
Unhappy customers, when properly handled, can become your best customers!
12. Stay inspired and never stop learning. CreativeLive is a great resource for photographers.