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Archive 2013 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?
  
 
RustyBug
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Does your own good salesmanship skill assist you with converting prospects into clients, safeguarding your margins or otherwise add value to your business?


May 05, 2013 at 04:44 AM
jefferies1
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Yes. Photography and the photographer is a product that must be sold one way or another. They either like your work or you, sometimes a little of both.


May 06, 2013 at 04:20 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Absolutely! Many clients in NM aren't thrilled about doin' business with an old "gringo hippie"
but they see my work (add in a little charm over a beer) and they'll open the wallets.



May 06, 2013 at 04:51 PM
bemba
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


it's probably the most important part of making it as a pro...


May 06, 2013 at 08:13 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


old "gringo hippie" ...

Hmmm, maybe I should paint some flowers on my truck and start wearing beads and sandals.



May 07, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Good salesmanship will make for a good living. Great salesmanship will make for a great living. Photography skill is important, but I would say that a decent photographer that is a great salesman will do much better then a great photographer that is ok at sales.


May 09, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Mr645 wrote:
Good salesmanship will make for a good living. Great salesmanship will make for a great living. Photography skill is important, but I would say that a decent photographer that is a great salesman will do much better then a great photographer that is ok at sales.


And lousy salesman who is selling lousy photography will not make as much as a great salesman selling great photography....



May 09, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Mr645
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Micky Bill wrote:
And lousy salesman who is selling lousy photography will not make as much as a great salesman selling great photography....



It certainly helps to be great at both



May 09, 2013 at 09:22 PM
glort
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?



I believe that these days especially, have good sales, marketing and advertising skills is more important than being a good photographer. Yes, ideally you should be both but most Photographers don't know the first thing about sales.

They will read books, magazines, forums and websites endlessly on photography but ask most of them what was the last sales or general business related thing they looked at and most will tell you that's not important, it's all about being the greatest shooter that ever lived.
WRONG!

If you don't know how to sell yourself, understand what people are looking to really buy or how to promote yourself over your competition, You'll always struggle no matter how great a shooter you are.
You might be great but if no one knows it, your just another starving artist.

I love sales and thank my lucky stars I figured out early on how important business skills were.
These days it is no exaggeration to say I can walk into meeting and just take Thousands of dollars worth of work off the competition with relative ease. I can do it charging higher prices, cost me less in the way of kickbacks, against better shooters and bigger, better equipped companies.

These days I do a lot of volume work. Photographic skills required are basic. My kids shoot a lot of events with me and I just set the camera up, give it to them and they go shoot pics that sell very well. Their shots they do are good but there is no real great art in doing events and T&I and the like. The money is made in getting the gig over the competition and then pitching it to the clients in the right way.

When I did weddings and portrait work, sales was hugely important.
I remember one couple came in that had seen a huge amount of photographers. I went through my presentation, did the test closes and asked them If they would like me to book them in.
They said yes and paid the deposit there and then.
I asked why they had been to so many photographers and why they booked me.
The guy said straight up, " You were the only one that asked us if we would like to book".

That's just such dead simple basic sales but none of the other 13 shooters they had been to see asked them. The guy said they all gave them a pricelist and said let them know. No one even followed them up.
You don't need to be a sales Guru, just doing the absolute basics is enough to get the edge on most shooters.

The last dozen or so wedding bookings I have done I haven't even showed the clients a sample album. They have seen the dozen or so pics on the walls and that's it. although plenty would argue, The photography is a minor part of the deal but most people think it's everything and thats why so many struggle.

Last October I rang a potential client and was told they had been using a shooter for years and were very happy with him. I asked some questions, quickly built a rapport and asked if I could drop my sales material around anyway in case the other shooter was unavailable. The client laughed, said it was a yearly gig they had a permanent booking for but by all means drop something in when I was going by.

I did that about 5 days later. I asked to see the person I had spoken to and was told they were on their way out but they would take my material on their way through. The woman came out, I gave her the 15 second spiel, she asked a question as she looked through my folder of info and then invited me to sit in the foyer with her apologising she did have to go. In under 10 min I walked out of the place with a contract that I made over $10K on.
I literally walked up the road laughing and smiling like a maniac. Not bad for someone that had given me the brushoff initially.
It was such an easy deal to make simply because I knew to home in on what the client wanted, not push what I did.

ATM I am going after T&I work again and the competition is plentiful. I'm not having a lot of trouble booking in teams despite that. I have already booked a couple of clubs that have had the same shooters for a while but during talks with the committee I picked up on opportunities to make the sale and I did.

There is a lot of resistance and even indignation amongst a lot of shooters as to the value of sales and business skills but it's much easier for a good sales person who is average at photography to make a good living than it is for a great photographer with no sales and business skills even though that idea seems to threaten a lot of shooters.



May 14, 2013 at 12:02 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


glort wrote:
did the test closes




You just made my day ...



May 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Mr645
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


You will never get the money if you don't ask for it.


May 14, 2013 at 06:11 PM
nle57
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


I think it is key to landing any business. I went in for an interview with a client, and she told me she had a few other photogs coming within the week. At the end she said she chose me, despite me being about 1k more than the next closest guy. And she attributed that to the way I presented myself, the albums, and the choices and options I provided to my client along the way. So I think sales, along with the pudding, goes a long way. You can take great photos, but be a completely annoying, and lose a client.


May 23, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


These stories you are telling are good for me to hear, I have always been a great salesman, never worked sales a day in my life, but I can sell myself at a job interview quite well.

I beat out multiple applicants for a previous job in IT purely because they liked my attitude, and the other contenders were all college grads, myself, barely finished high school.

Good to know that skill takes you so far, but salesmanship takes you the rest of the way.



May 23, 2013 at 05:20 AM
glort
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Lunchb0x8 wrote:
I beat out multiple applicants for a previous job in IT purely because they liked my attitude, and the other contenders were all college grads, myself, barely finished high school.

Good to know that skill takes you so far, but salesmanship takes you the rest of the way.


It's a rule of sales that people buy the person, the product and the price in that order.
Most shooters however get it arse about and think price is the important thing followed by being the best shooter in the world. Usually their attitude when they have this mindset is poor and they blow the people away.

I couldn't imagine running a business without Sales, marketing and advertising knowledge. I don't think my photography is anything special but I know my sales skills leave the majority of shooters for dead and thats my greatest asset. In honesty I would hate to have to compete on my photographic skill alone because I know there are much better and cheaper shooters out there but I also see time and time again how they miss the mark business wise.

That's the opportunity I am able to capitalise on time and time again.



May 24, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Cphoto1954
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


In my 30 years in this business I can tell you that the mediocre photographers Iíve seen who were good sales and marketing people stayed in business decades longer than those that were much better and way more creative photographers. It is sad but true.


Jun 20, 2013 at 05:29 PM
RRRoger
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


I have never been even a good salesman simply because I believe
the best liars are the best salesmen and I absolutely hate liars.



Jun 27, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


RRRoger wrote:
I have never been even a good salesman simply because I believe
the best liars are the best salesmen and I absolutely hate liars.


That is the thing, an honest salesman sells a product he believes in, if you don't believe in yourself, then you would need to be a liar to sell your work.

Basically, you can be the best damn salesman in the world, as long as you are selling something you honestly believe in.



Jun 27, 2013 at 03:32 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Imo .. the best salesman are the ones that can provide a solution that satisfies the client's want/need and have the ability to get the client to "pull the trigger" and commit/complete the transaction ... preferably with integrity such that they'll garner repeat business and have a satisfied customer.

The "liar" type "salesman" aren't likely to garner much repeat business/customer or word of mouth promotion. To me that's not "salesmanship", that's deceit.



Jun 27, 2013 at 03:14 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


Lunchb0x8 wrote:
if you don't believe in yourself, then you would need to be a liar to sell your work.




My biggest issue isn't that I don't believe in myself ... it is that I struggle with believing that OTHERS believe in me (or the value of the work) when I know that there are other providers that can/do offer either a better/different product or lower price (sometimes both). I do fine in those areas where I'm essentially a "niche" provider as I no longer concern myself as much with what OTHERS may be thinking.

Being a "savvy consumer" makes me think that all other consumers are also "savvy", but that really isn't necessarily the case and I can't seem to get that out of my mindset and that impedes my own belief @ what others believe ... if that makes any sense. Something I need to figure out how to fix in my own thought processes.



Jun 27, 2013 at 03:28 PM
glort
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Good Salesmanship ... is it valuable?


RRRoger wrote:
I have never been even a good salesman simply because I believe
the best liars are the best salesmen and I absolutely hate liars.


If you read any decent sales book. at least half of it is about going back to previous customers because they are easier prospects by far than new clients.
Obviously if you are a liar and screw people over you won't have a long term career in sales.

Real sales really is about helping people get what they want and overcome their own objections.
When people come to me, they want a photographer, they just don't know which one. I can sell people real well but I don't lie. Fact is, telling the truth and saying you can't do this or that or pointing out where people are making mistakes has got me a lot further than lying ever could.

Again, people buy the person, the product and the price in that order so If a person starts lying, the rest is irrelevant because you have already crossed the first line of failure.



Jun 27, 2013 at 06:52 PM
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