Weird Photographers?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by elsaspet, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I get this alllllll the time from prospective clients. They tell me about all the "weird" photogs they have met with. I never ask who the people are, because many are my friends, and I suppose I just don't want "that" image of them.

    Here are the "weirdo" complaints:

    1. Ask them to drive miles and miles, then give them a folder with a few sheets of paper in it. End of sales pitch.

    2. Talking endlessly about "essense" and "art".

    3. Tooting their own horn.....ad naseum

    4. Number one complaint-bashing fellow photogs

    5. Doing sales pitches off a computer

    6. Trying to sell them stuff that they have no samples of


    What weirdo complaints have you heard?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The only complaint that I've heard about other photographers is exorbitant price. A friend of mine was getting married and the first photographer they met with, was trying to sell them on a $10,000 package...or something like that.

    I'm sure there is a market for that, but it sure wasn't them. I think they ended up spending 2K...3K tops.
     
  3. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Its a good thing that they dont view you as a weirdo photog. The fact that they are comfortable enough to tell you about the weirdo photogs speaks volumes. I think the best thing that keeps you on top is that you are nice and complimentary when speaking about your competitors. You also have a huge portfolio, and you have a sales pitch that doesnt scare them off (referring to what I read in the Jim Gratiot interview with you). I always say that the best sales pitch is where you nonchalantly present a few options to the client, show your work, be gracious and complimentary towards them, and then leave them alone to make the decision. Basically, be a gracious human being towards them. They will recognize that you want their business but that you are not overbearing about it.

    Thanks for the tips on how to not be a weirdo photog. Im glad I dont do any of those things with my prospective clients! ;)

    NJ
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They also tend to complain in the hopes that you will treat them better (in their eyes ;)).

    I find that folks who work by the hour find the billing practices of the self-employed to be quite strange. For instance: I did a shoot yesterday for a friend from church and when I told my wife that I had only charged $135 for taking 1 photo, I thought she was having a heart attack. LOL What she didn't realize was that He was using the shot for an ad he was selling to a trade mag with a subscription of around 2 million- and I gave him unlimited rights for 3 years. Seemed like a hell of a deal to me.
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Elsapet, when it comes to closing the sale how do you do it? Do you have a "sales area" with examples, do you use books and portfolios of your work (which is fantastic from what I have seen).
     
  6. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Hi Sabbath,
    Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I have a sales area. I'll take a photo of it for you sometime today and post it.
    Keep in mind, it's nothing super fancy. I live in an apartment because we simply don't have time for the upkeep on a home. My entire living space, including sales area and office, are less than 1000sq ft.

    I've tried to make it nice though, with a huge fluffy couch right in front of a bigscreen playing a DVD of our sample slideshow. The walls are filled with examples of our work. In different sizes and different formats so that the people can see what size a print will be, and how much more interesting a Gallery Wrap is. We have a bookshelf filled with sample items and albums to show them if they want to see them. We also have an area of "before" and "afters" as retouching is a cornerstone of our work.

    If Jim Gariot is around, hopefully he can point you to the interview we did together on exactly step by step of how I do my sales pitches. I hope to do an advanced marketing thread too as soon as I find the time, because hopefully it will be in depth, and I've had friends use what I've told them to go national.
    I am definately not the best photographer in my area, but I'm very customer service oriented, and have a barrage of logical reasons they should choose us. Hehe.

    I'll try to get you some photos of the sales office. I'll post back later.
    Hugs and thanks.
    Cindy
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I'm back with photos of the sales office:

    1. View One
    [​IMG]

    2.
    [​IMG]

    3.
    [​IMG]

    4.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Here are a few detail shots:

    1. Each wall has a different "Theme". (Pardon the glare)
    [​IMG]

    2. I have a big outoman thingie so they can put their feet up if they want, but it's usually a good place for me to perch and show them things. I have a little tray with a few books and leather samples on it too, so while I fix them a drink, they have something to look at.
    [​IMG]

    3. You can't sell it if you can't show it. These are only a few of the literally hundreds of things I have to show them. This is the KEY to making larger sales.
    [​IMG]

    4. And yep, I have a little bar station. When a client comes over, I always have prep for martinis, a few wines, burbon, fresh coffee and orange juice, selection of sodas, and some steeped water for fresh teas. The drinks are always served with a small cheese and fruit platter. After all, I am asking these people for a very substantial investmet.
    [​IMG]

    Also of note, I have about 20 candles around, and they are always lit when clients come over. In the bathroom too. Incense is going in every room of the house too. (I'm a smoker)
     
  9. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Your office appears to have curved walls :mrgreen:
     
  10. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    It does Hertz. It's part of it's charm. Actually, it acts as a type of lair. People lose their balance and cant get out without losing their checkbooks. LOL. I learned it from Chiller.
    BTW-did you notice my couch shot? :pimp:
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    See I knew it!!!! and all this time I thought all the weddings you did were just from your incredible photography/post-processing you need a lair to get the good clients. Seriously though you have a very classy operation once again alot of people one here can learn tons form a fine photographer such as yourself.
     
  12. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Wow. Thanks for the super nice compliment JIP.
    Actually, I see this more as a lesson as overcoming obsticles. Like I said, I live in an apartment. I live in a semi crappy neighborhood. I don't mind it because I have a German Shepard. My philosophy is if crooks can make it past her, they deserve to make it out of here with as much as they can carry. LOL.
    But actually, it's really very basic. Just treat every client like a very important guest. Show them all the nooks and crannys of your business. They come in my crappy little dungeon of an office all the time. I think it makes us more human and approachable. It's a hard mix though as I'm trying to appeal to the bride with at least $3000 bucks up to $10,000 bucks to spend-before and after.
    And don't be afraid to offer them alcohol, and treat them like any other guest you would have to your home. They don't drink? No prob. You have all kinds of soda, teas, and coffee.
    Don't rush the sale either. My normal meeting runs anywhere between 1 and 2 hours.
    We basically kick back, look at stuff, talk about everything under the sun, sans politics an religion. My husband talks sports with the guys while they sip away on burbon. I talk about how killer her ring is. Don't be afraid to go off topic. There is always an "in" back into the talk of business.
    Meanwhile, the DVD is playing away, and they are surrounded by photos. They have already seen my website. It's all a very laid back experience. A get together with friends. I'm interviewing them at the same time. If they don't mix with us, I'm "booked" all of a sudden. You have to click with the people you work with, no matter what they are willing to spend.
    I like to mix business with friendship. After all, when they book us, they are our family. They are allowed to call at midnight without me screaming at them. They can ask me whatever "stupid" question they want. A lot of the time, we end up being good friends with our clients, and of course that has many many benefits.
    Like all sales, it's so much more about the "click" than the razz mattaz, even though you have to have at least a certain amount of that.
    Look at it as your future mother in law coming to meet you for the first time. That's how we try to do it.
     

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