In a previous blog post with us, writer and editor, Hanssie Ho, connected with Ben Hartley of Style & Story Creative to discover his 3 tips for simple album design. Now, Hanssie is back with additional tips from Ben on how to increase wedding album sales for your photography business. Keep reading to discover Ben’s insights and find out how you can use them to feel confident with approaching album sales to bring in more profit.
Wedding Album Sales
If you want to have a successful, thriving photography business, you need to have more than good photos; you need to be good at selling. Now, you may cringe at the word, “selling,” thinking of a negative past experience with a pushy salesperson. Without selling, your business won’t be able to sustain itself very long, no matter how terrific your images are.
In this article, Ben Hartley, founder of Style & Story Creative based in Columbus, OH and recently named one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the Country in 2017, shares 3 of his strategies to provide better customer service and increase sales. Ben is the host of the weekly Six Figure Photography Podcast that helps inspire, empower, and challenge photographers toward creating a life of abundance of joy, meaning, and profits.
It’s time to banish the idea that selling is a bad thing and begin learning some strategies that will help you increase sales to grow your photography business.
1. Set the Stage
Ben is a firm believer in the power of in-person sales. He almost always meets in person with his clients after the wedding or portrait session. When the clients come in, Ben greets the clients with a gift: a framed and matted print from their wedding or portrait session.
If for some reason, the client cannot meet in person, Ben mails the framed print with specific instructions not to open the package until their online design consultation.
This small, thoughtful gift sets the stage for the rest of the consultation, where he next shows the clients their images.
2. Present the Images in Narrative Form
Instead of displaying all the images at once, Ben makes it a point to first show the clients their pre-designed wedding album or, if it’s a portrait client, around 20 highlights from the session.
“The first time they see the images, it should be a story. I’m a proponent of not showing individual images initially. I present the images in a narrative form so it’s not isolated by one image. This allows the story of the day or session to unfold. When the images are shown individually, it is robbed of the context of the story that it is in.” – Ben Hartley
Ben uses the slideshow feature in the Fundy Designer to show the album design, photos, and even wall art. The slideshow allows for a simple narrative of the day. By presenting the images in this manner, he noticed there were far fewer requests for album changes, which made upselling much easier.
3. Be the Design Expert
Instead of approaching the design consultation with the focus on making the sale, Ben suggests to psychologically approach the meeting with the mindset that you are providing a service.
“You have designed a beautiful, narrative album for them and you’ve done this for many other couples as well, so you are qualified to give them advice. They should feel like you are on their side because you actually are on their side. Help them choose what to leave in and what to take out. You are the design expert.” – Ben Hartley
Ben uses the “Bigger Picture” technique when he designs each album. He makes sure the album is bigger and better than what the client expected and what is included in their package. He designs more than what they need so the client can go in and, with his help, narrow it down. Changes, if any, are quickly and easily made in the Fundy Designer.
“It’s like giving them the cake and then offering the icing, the sprinkles, and the candles as extra options. This then gives you the opportunity to ask for the sale.” – Ben Hartley
“The sale” is the upsell of the additional album pages or cross over bundles. For example, Ben will say to his client, “You already have a 40-page 10×10 album and we’ve narrowed it down to a 50-page 10×10 album. Would you like to purchase the additional 10 pages?” If you’ve done a good job setting the stage, presenting the story of the day in those 50 pages, and have helped them refine the entire story, more often than not, the client will have already fallen in love with your album design and purchase the additional pages.
There isn’t one, sure-fire way to increase sales and provide better customer service for your photography clients, but by implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to more sales and referrals in no time.
As you increase wedding album sales for your business, you continue your growth and work toward your goals. Download our free How to Grow Your Wedding Photography Business Guide to discover additional tips and tricks to grow as a photographer and business owner.