How do you make a prospective client into an actual client? Do you use visual materials? Music? Because a successful business implies a successful photography career, this month's Peer2Peer focuses on just that. What are some of the most significant tools you use to pitch jobs, regardless of your photography niche? With more than 1,000 respondents, our survey shows that 61% of our respondents are wedding/portrait photographers, 23% are commercial shooters, and 16% make their living doing other types of photography. Here's what we found were most important in booking jobs...
• More than half of those who answered our survey (68.08%) believe that referrals were most significant in booking clients.
• The majority (91.51%) of our respondents use visual materials when pitching jobs to prospective clients.
• According to our respondents, sampling prints (35.13%) and showing albums (24.8%) are most useful in booking clients.
• Half of our respondents (50.92%) use music along with their visual display.
• More than half (52.28%) of our respondents who use music as part of their booking process purchase royalty-free songs, and 39.80% use a personal CD.
"Physical albums and slideshows, along with prints hanging in the studio, help to create an atmosphere of emotion and excitement. And with clients coming from referrals, you have the added benefit of a personal testimony working in your favor."
Dan, Studio 42 Photography, Mokena, IL
"I feel when a client can see something like a slideshow, it helps boost the sales, as opposed to just looking at albums or prints."
Tanya Harris, Harris Photography, Chicago, IL
"Music helps to elicit a stronger emotional response from people. A stronger connection promotes better customer relations. And better customer relations promotes happier customers and higher sales."
Stephanie Decker, Kansas City, MO
"A slideshow with music is a more entertaining method to get prospects excited about our work. We start to develop a rapport with them and they become more receptive to discussing the specifics of their event. However, showing albums is necessary so that the prospect can touch, feel, and relate to the type of product they will eventually be buying. Prospects need to be connected to the sale with all of their senses."
Paul D'Aigle, Imaginique Studios, Fenton, MI
"A well-balanced presentation using images, video, and low-volume music keeps your audience interested. A presentation must be fast-moving and to the point."
Marcel Verdooner, Forensic Imaging Consultants, Grass Valley, CA,
"Anything I can do to get my product in front of the customer is beneficial. I am building a studio right now. It will have mostly large prints on the walls with a cluster display of different-sized prints as a feature on one wall. Projectors show the product on the wall at the size you are selling. Most customers have trouble differentiating 11x14 from 20x30. Larger prints sold mean higher dollar sales and more profit."
Chris Purves, Photos-Now.ca, Prince George BC, Canada
"We strive to keep our wedding sales emotionally based and not cost-based. 'Selling by album' reinforces the product nature of our business, which ties to cost-based selling. 'Selling by multimedia display' drives an emotional response, which tends to deliver increased revenue."
Mark Leonard, Olathe, KS,
"My couples are national and in some cases international. The website is the first visual means, and sometimes the only means, that they have to see my work. At the appointment, I show slideshows and complete albums to close the sale."
Robert Albrecht, Albrecht Photographic Artistry, Sedona, AZ