I need your ideas and thoughts on my aerial photo project (marketing, creating need)

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Matt1967, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Matt1967

    Matt1967 TPF Noob!

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    I came across a fellow wanting to sell his collection of 80,000 70mm negatives of aerial photos of businesses of all kinds. He was in the aerial biz from the mid 80's and retired in 2006. The business model that he had for the negatives is as follows:

    Use a special scanner (Epson) to scan and create large, hi reolution digital images, then market both the negative and digital image to the owners of those businesses. This is an in person, cold call sell. The image is presented to the owner on a large screen laptop, and if the sale is made, the digital is copied to a cd and given to the owner. The negativse are sequenced so that businesses are more or less right next to each other.

    He got a lot of tire kickers and finally gave in to selling me just 500 negatives so I could give this a shot. The scanned images are gorgeous and those 70mm really have alot of definition.

    Now here is what I need help with....creating the need for the product, urgency to close the sale, and find the value the product brings to the customer. I need a very quick and specific sales "pitch" to close the deal.

    Here are the things I have come up with as far as uses for the photos: vanity for the owner of the biz, Website image
    it's email able
    Send it to contractors, insurance company,
    Have it framed
    Create photo business cards, post cards
    Include in your TV and print and digital marketing
    Embed into email signature
    Pride in ownership
    Trade show signs
    Put the image on customer promo items….coffee mugs,
    Print shop
    Staples
    PowerPoint presentations


    So I loaded my laptop with 20 businesses and hit the road. Mostly small business. Could not generate any interest and made no sales. I could not get to the owner on several occasions. Did not really have a "pitch" and I expected the beautiful image to sell itself. The other curious thing is no one asked about pricing...just "not intrerested". I need to create a need as they first look at the pic. Selling price is petty cash....$100 To most business owners $100 is a drop in the bucket especially when they are spending tens of thousands for whatever business equipment.

    I need to close just 4 sales a day to make it work, with a future goal of bringing on a couple of sales people to help sell those 80k images. I can't think of any other way to do this other than in person cold calling.....the owner must see the image up close.
    If you were in my shoes, what would you do to make this work? What would be your pitch?


     
  2. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The front of a business is normally more impressive than the roof for uses such as you have mentioned. To be honest there is very little market for aerial photographs today. If I want to see the top of a business I just use Google Maps.
     
  3. Matt1967

    Matt1967 TPF Noob!

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    You have it all wrong. Its a 45 degree shot showing the front of the building. Google earth has nothing on these photos. Come on.
     
  4. sarahashleyphotos

    sarahashleyphotos TPF Noob!

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    I don't think the current business owners are interested because the photos are from the 80s-2006. They may not be interested in older photos of their business or the business in the photo may not have been theirs (they bought the building / old owner moved out). Arial shots are not desirable because they only show the roof like someone had already said. If you can see a bit of the front I still don't think that is desirable because there are real-estate photographers that will photograph the outside (& inside) of businesses for people. Maybe those people felt they could take a similar image themselves (many small businesses do not want to spend the money). Good luck though if you find a way to make it work.

    Also google earth is very good on the right monitor & free. You can even go back in time with google earth so again the eliminates the need for those images.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry, but this to me sounds like a business idea doomed to failure. I remember about 15 years ago, someone did the same thing in my area. He overflew the whole area, shot every house on MF film, and then went door to door trying to sell prints. When he showed me the print of the roof of my house, I thanked him politely, said, "No thank-you!" and decided to get the branches off the roof. For all the reasons stated above: dated images, Google Earth, etc, I wouldn't pursue this one cent farther.
     
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  6. PhotoWrangler

    PhotoWrangler No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They did the same thing in the rural area that we used to live in. They would photograph peoples farms and ranches and then go door to door trying to sell them. Although they flew, I don't really think they ever 'got off the ground'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  7. orljustin

    orljustin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Run away. I can't imagine spending money on a picture of the roof of my building (or a 45% view) unless I had it designed or something.
     
  8. russell corner

    russell corner TPF Noob!

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    Hi Matt,
    I sell Aerial pictures door to door for a living, i would be very interested in doing a bit with yourself,
    Whereabouts are you located
     
  9. russell corner

    russell corner TPF Noob!

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    I have over 28 years experience and can tell you that just speaking at the wrong time can kill a sale, I work on 1 sale every 3 pictures and to expect any more than this would be unrealistic, however with older pictures that hit rate could drift abit, flexibilty on price unfortunately is unavaoidable and there needs to be an additional cost of taking the plunge and printing the pictures first, 2 out of 3 wont sell and so the price needs to reflect the wastage. This is not as bad as it seems as good deals are available on bulk printing. The same with frames they can be bought in bulk. This is a proven system trust me, all the people who say door to door is history, great lap up the sympathy factor, i make enough to only work the summer months, travelling for 6 months a year. All those clever people who say it will never work, ok we dont really want to publisize how much we really make. Like any other sale price conditioning is extreemly important, but having read the sceptics posts i would rather discuss that with you in person. Dont be disheartened you are on a winner
    Russ
     
  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You are aware that this thread is over two years old....
     

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