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Wedding Photography Consultation Session

Rosina DiBello , Sep 01, 2008; 02:27 p.m.

I have just opened my studio/office outside of my home. Yeah! finally...

I want to make sure I'm on track with my presentation to my clients.

I have various prints on the walls... I talk about my style of photography... my background experience... A slideshow presentation - brief will be viewed showing engagement images, wedding images, and some album design layouts...

I will have a sample album displayed... some save the date cards... ideas for pre wedding stuff for them to purchase from their eng. pictures...

Then the session fees are presented...

And review of the contract... Am I missing anything? I am more a "not so pushy" person and don't like to push the sale on the initial call... but it seems that brides are shopping around more these days....

Thanks in advance. Rosina

Responses

John Givens - Virginia , Sep 01, 2008; 04:18 p.m.

"Am I missing anything?...I am more a "not so pushy" person and doon't like to push the sale on the initial call..."

If this is the agenda of your initial sales call with a prospective bride....Yes, you're missing the most important part of the call...what the client wants and how they will decide who has the best of her criteria.

Telling is not selling. In fact, your presentation, without lots of input from the prospect, would be pushy - just what you don't want. It's all 'talk' and no 'listen'. You might as well send them a brochure.

Suggestion: Before you show/tell the client what you have and how great you are...get them talking about their event and what they want and how they will go about choosing which photographer will get their business. Doing a good job of questioning and listening is what separates good consultative salespeople from 'pushers'.

Then - when the client has told you about their expectations regarding the photography she expects, the service she wants, and the price she expects to pay....it's time to sell what you have as it relates to her criteria...but only after she told you what she wants and how she will decide whose is 'best'

Make sense?

Rosina DiBello , Sep 01, 2008; 05:26 p.m.

John,

I'm sorry... I was talking regarding the sales presentation... of course I chat with them like i would my sister... we talk about the event the reception the dress style... bouquet... all that fun stuff and everything gets put in at the appropriate time... so yes I do make my bride feel very comfortable even to the extent of offering refreshements and snacks...

I was more looking for "What does everyone else do for their presentation?" so that I can compare and add and delete as needed.

Thanks

William W , Sep 01, 2008; 05:32 p.m.

Similar to the thrust of John Givens` comments: God gave sellers two ears and one mouth, for very good reason. :)

***

the use of correct words is so very important: both to assist you getting your head focussed and to transmit and confirm the messages you are sending and receiving during the meeting.

In this regard, two main definitions I see wandering are:

1. Is it a ``Consultation Session`` ? If not then name it correctly so your brain at least has a definition of what it should be doing.

2. ``Is it a presentation to your clients``? I think not, at least not your clients, yet, ``Prospects`` or ``Prospective Clients`` yes, but not ``Clients``.

It still might be a ``Presentation`` though: but do you want it to be a presentation? Is that the best form of selling, that is, if selling is what the meeting is about, more definitions and first priciples to think about and decide upon :)

I am not stating that prints on the wall and a sample album, etc are either adjuncts or necessities to a process you want to go through (yet to be defined): but what I a saying is you have jumped the gun and arranged all the ingredients and have not yet decided what type of cake you are baking and what the cooking time is to be: . . .

That is to say:

1. what the meeting is for (its AGENDA); and

2. what the result is to be (OUTCOMES)

3. From those two definitions you can DESIGN and then continuously REFINE the PROCESS.

***

Au contraire to what seems to be your standpoint: ``[I]don't like to push the sale on the initial call... but it seems that brides are shopping around more these days....

It is my opinion that if this meeting is a sales meeting then the close at the initial meeting is usually more vital than not.

There are fewer personality types which ``shop around``, and then decide with a wholesome review of all the facts.

Many more, even though they might seem to be ``shopping around`` make the buying decision when they are face to face with a particular seller, and ``forget`` all the shopping around they previously encountered.

It is usually very easy to note these two differing personalities, and adjust accordingly.

WW

John Givens - Virginia , Sep 01, 2008; 06:15 p.m.

On target, William. And the real reason you're doing the questioning (qualifying) is to determine if what you have to sell is what the prospect wants to buy. And then, selling them what they just told you is what they want to buy.

If you don't do that (or just chit-chat enough to make them - the client - feel comfortable - with no real agenda or not really getting into their decision process), you are just paying lip sevice to the term consultative selling, because you're going to roll out the sales sales presentation as if you had not asked them anything and if you get the sale, it will be a conicidence. And if you don't, you won't know why. And that's not good.

Thorough qualifying will help you separate those clients who will buy what you have and those who are wasting your time. And that's the key to using your selling time efficiently.

The other benefit of really qualifying your prospect correctly and deeply is that it gives you the perfect setting for closing the sale - a situation that is typically stressful for unskilled salespeople.

Cheers.

William W , Sep 01, 2008; 06:42 p.m.

Rosina:

I reiterate: IMO, You need to clearly define what you are going to do with this meeting and define the outcomes (with correct terminology) and then you need to make your a process to do it.

You seem to be asking for examples of other peoples processes: that is fine, but IMO is of little assistance to you at this point . . .

I can give you (IMO) a great ``presentation`` process, but I do not ``present`` anything at my Initial Meeting with the Bride and Groom and Mum and Dad . . . the last Presentation I did, was at a Rotary Function, when I was a guest speaker.

***

John:

Thank you, for your kind comment.

I think if Rosina wants a process template for an initial sales meeting. She has one developing before her eyes.

If this is the process she wants, I strongly encourage her to re read your last comments.

Contained in them, in synopsis, it is what many pay $xxxx for, and then also get ``up-sold`` for the set of DVDs, three books and the mailing list.

But alas, most then go home and forget all about it and do very little with the blank pieces of white paper and the 2B pencil they practiced with, in the group breakout sessions.

You both might like to read this, too, it has application here I think:

http://photo.net/wedding-photography-forum/00Qhll

WW

Cheers back at you, John,

WW

Rosina DiBello , Sep 01, 2008; 08:01 p.m.

I am a shooter first and foremost and yes, have always had questions on meeting clients, my personal presentation to them... because business is my secondary learned skill...

But thanks anyway for your input.

Continued success to all of you!

Steve C. , Sep 02, 2008; 10:16 a.m.

Rosina, I do think that John and William W had the best of intentions in helping you in the thread, they're good folks and very experienced and knowledgeable.Your initial post did leave an impression that perhaps you did not intend, perhaps it was in the wording or in things left out. I do think some good advice was given here.

George Joell , Sep 02, 2008; 11:41 a.m.

Another motivational speaker was Les Brown. I drove to work everyday to Les Brown's inspirations and motivational statements. It could do me some good to dust off the tape deck and listen to the masters of sales. In sales, there is an acronym's that we use to remind us of the steps in the sales process. The acronym is F.E.B.A., which stands for Facts, Evidence, Benefit, and Agreement. Many people miss the first and most important part of sales, and that is uncovering the facts. That is the listening stage and asking open-ended fact finding questions. To this day, I still use what I learn back in the day. You were totally right when you stated "The first job of any business owner is SALES". With the void of any sales techniques or marketing experience we may find ourselves spinning our wheels and wondering why we have such great products and no clients.

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