Client Proofing - Projection vs. Printed vs. Web?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by njw1224, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    I have a portrait studio and currently do web proofing of portrait sessions. Previously I printed low-resolution proofs clients could take home and view. I haven't really seen a difference in the size of my sales between the two. But it seems a lot of studios are doing proofing sessions in the studio, where the client has to come back and view their proofs at the studio (projected on a big screen) and no images actually ever leave the studio until the order is placed.

    I would like to hear feedback from those of you who have tried different methods of proofing and what effect you have seen on the size of your orders with each method. Now I've already read all of the great benefits of projection proofing, so please don't respond just to tell me the benefits (like being able to show images big to spur more wall-portrait sales). What I really want to know is the bottom-line dollar difference. In-studio proofing appointments will add 2 or 3x the time commitment to a client after the shoot, so I want to know if it makes financial sense to do this before I make the switch. I especially want to hear from those who have proofed via prints or web, then went to studio projection-proofing to see what your experience has been.

    I'd also like to hear about people's experiences with the lack of convenience of the client having to come back to the studio to sit through a proofing session. Obviously web proofing and some sort of take-home printed proof allows the client to look at the images as much as they want at their convenience. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I don't get the projection part but I absolutely get the part about getting them back to be with you. How else are you going to influence the sales?
     
  3. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    I understand the proposed psychology of getting the client back in the studio to view proofs. But as I said, I'm asking for experiences people have actually had and bottom line differences they've seen in the various proofing methods. Just having the client in the studio to influence the sale doesn't automatically mean larger sales. For example, one could argue that putting the proofs online can expose the images to more interested parties ( for example, family that lives out of town), and potentially garner more orders - thus increasing the bottom line.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In-person proofing has repeatedly been shown to have a substantial, positive influence on sales.

    I have never done it any other way, myself.

    In-person proofing doesn't have to be done by projection, but you need to be there, and you need to have samples of your products to show too.

    Of course, some salesmanship skills are also very helpful. The public library will have plenty of books to help polish sales skills.

    I know other photographers that have quadrupled sales by switching to in-person proofing.
     
  5. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys. But I'd still like to hear from some folks who have done it one way, then switched to another - like from web proofing to in-person proofing - to hear some first-hand results. I'm always a bit leery when I hear statistics like "I heard so-and-so quadrupled their sales...". I've heard success stories like that, then seen the same studio close their doors a year or two later. Second-hand information can be misleading at times.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    To be clear.

    I did give you first hand information.
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    You're most likely to make a sale in person. This is both intuitively and empirically true.

    What's also empirically true is that most people will ask for advice but go with their instinct even the advice they get is contrary to it.
     
  8. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Not that I want to argue, but unless you actually quadrupled your own sales using in-person proofing, then the info is not first-hand. Anything you hear from someone else that's not your own experience is second-hand info unless you somehow had direct access to their financial records to be sure what you were being told is true.
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Good salespeople are people who have a great understanding of psychology whether they know it or not. Sales is Psychology 101.

    Get a couple books on salesmanship from your library and I trust you will get that you don't need the "I'd still like to hear from some folks who have done it one way, then switched to another."

    If you wait long enough, I'm sure you will get someone to say the opposite but if you ask them to prove it with their sales records, I think you'll wait forever to get those. If they were to actually study their records, they would probably realize they were wrong.

    When you are sitting with your customers while they order they can't just click away...

    As far as the extra sales, what kind of photography are you talking about? If you are talking about wedding photo, yes, you might get a few more sales but if we are ever able to actually quantify those, I think you'd be very disappointed.

    A wedding is not very exciting outside of the actual event except for the couple and their parents. How many photos do you have of your friends' weddings? Not including my sister, my brother and my kids, I have fewer than a dozen. Not one friend's wedding in my scrapbook has more than one photo (most don't have any) and I have never bought one from the official photog. And neither my sister nor my brother or my kids had pro photogs...

    All that to say that you want to concentrate your efforts on the immediate family, ie B&G and their parents.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. Eco

    Eco TPF Noob!

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    You must of had a really good Psychology class then! 400 level psych classes, interrogation classes, sales training books, sales training CD's/DVD's, sales seminars, on-line training and the list goes on and on plus year of trial and error made me a salesperson.

    IMO, you can have all of the props (first post) in the world and if you can't ask for the sale you will end up with props and an empty bank account.
     
  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Well, yes, you do have to want to sell. If not...
     
  12. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Well, like many forum questions, this one has gone off on a tangent (or two). All I'm really asking is to hear from photographers who have clients come back for in-person proofing sessions, but used to proof another way. I want to hear feedback about how the various proofing methods have impacted sales. Sure, I understand that having face-to-face proofing with a client allows you to work the sale better. I get that that's part of it. But unless you personally have proofed using a few different methods and can offer some good feedback regarding the methods, please don't muddy the waters with other comments. Thanks.
     

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