Imagine what it would be like to photograph a session if you already knew the results.
What if you knew beforehand exactly what the client wanted before you started editing the images and prepping for the sales appointment?
What if you knew what your client would purchase before going into the sales appointment?
How much time could you save shooting, working on the computer, and presenting work to the client?
Wouldn’t you have more focus, clarity and peace of mind during the whole process?
I’d love to tell you that I just happened to come up with a brilliant new approach, but the truth is the process I’m about to share with you emerged over time while I was working through solving one stress point after another in my business. Those problems might be familiar to you.
The first problem was my need for a higher sales average, $2,500+. The second was the frustration my clients and I were experiencing in the sales session. They were overwhelmed by having so many options and decisions to make and would often leave without placing an order, which would require having another appointment that resulted in a much lower sale than needed.
To meet my sales goal, I realized that selling a single wall portrait wasn’t going to work, but selling multiple wall portraits would get me much closer. Thus, my first wall collection option: three framed 16×16-inch prints to be hung in a row, typically over the sofa. After making a couple of sales, I named it The Versailles.
It became popular, and as clients returned the following year, they wanted another wall collection, but not the same thing, so I began to create a new wall collection every year. In case you aren’t familiar with the term “wall collection,” it’s a group of wall portraits that are named and priced as a unit.
My most popular collection is the Prague. It includes seven images ranging from 16×24 inches to 5×7 displayed on a custom-fabricated 6-foot wall-mounted steel shelf. It has either black or brown frames and includes installation in the client’s home. It sells for $3,999.
With these collections I saw both of my problems vanishing, but a new problem came up in the sales room. The clients could pick which collection they wanted, but there was a bit of frustration when picking out the images they loved when we couldn’t get the orientation of the images to work with the desired collection.
I realized I needed to sell the collection before shooting to ensure all the images would work. So dawned the new planning appointment, which used to be focused on what to wear and where they wanted to display the images.
Now I could get even more clarity showing my clients the collection options and helping them understand that I could create a much better result if I knew what was desired before we began. Clients were excited to jump into the creative process with me, and by the time they left the planning appointment, they knew exactly what they wanted, what wall in their home I was going to put it on, and what it would cost.
This simple shift of timing and focus began to change everything for the better. There was greater clarity for both parties in all steps of the process. In the session, they no longer asked me to photograph everything, because we were both focused on capturing beautifully creative images that would work in the wall collection they wanted.
In the editing process, my selection was easy. And the sales appointment became stress-free when, at the end of the slide show, I showed the clients their pre-designed wall collection layout with their images in it. There was no pressure and no stress, as the “sales” feeling had been removed. I was simply finalizing the custom artwork they were so excited to invest in.
My clients began to rave about how easy the process was and how happy they were with the results. As their friends and family came into their home and saw their statement pieces on the wall, I began getting referrals who wanted the same experience as their friends. And best of all, my sales average doubled and tripled from my original goal.
What had been problems turned into opportunities, and once I knew my sales average goal, who my ideal client was, and what I wanted to sell, custom wall collections became my ideal products for me and my clients.