Here’s the scenario: a client reaches out to you asking for a quote or a pricing list to review your packages – do you send it to them? Although the idea is tempting, I am going to give you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t email out your pricing sheets from here on out.
There are going to be a few exceptions to the rule, but I will save that for the end of the article. First, let’s discuss the reasons why you shouldn’t just send out a price list when an inquiry comes in for photography services.
1. You’re Selling a Luxury Product, Not a Commodity
Options, affordability, exclusivity, and more differentiate the experiences that consumers will have when purchasing luxury vs. consumer products. The backbone of discovering how other brands reach our target audience can be found in their brand preferences, which we will use to direct how we build our customer experience and marketing efforts. Luxury products offer an entirely different experience which is why people buy into them in the first place.
2. Price List Can’t Convey Your Experience
When you send out that price list to a potential client, you’re essentially just giving them a piece of paper they can use to compare other photographers or videographers they’ve reached out to. If they are like me, which is the mentality of the average consumer, they want to spend $0, so whichever price list is closest to that number is likely what they will choose. Instead, we need to get our clients on to the phone, or better yet, into our studios, face-to-face, to create a product and solution that they actually value.
3. We Don’t Yet Understand Our Clients Wants/Needs
Don’t present prices or packages before understanding your client’s wants/needs. I see this more often with newer photographers who don’t have the sales experience of haven’t yet understood sales psychology; they send out their packages before even having a clue what their clients are looking for. When you realize this you would become a better photographer simply by understanding that your job is largely comprised of being a salesperson. It’s your responsibility to dive into the client psychology to figure out what they want and what they value and to help them find a product that is going to suit their needs. In doing so, this process will make you a better photographer which is exactly what I will touch upon at my WPPI lecture as well as one of the biggest takeaways from our Complete Photography Business Training System.
4. You’re Training Your Client To Be Price Sensitive
When you send out price lists or take the conversation to price lists too early, we unknowingly train our clients to become even more price sensitive. Then, when we start recommending other services like albums, prints, and wall art, we’re shocked that the clients would ask us about the price or be sensitive to additional prices or charges. First of all, stop being offended. This is normal consumer behavior to think price first so when you send them your price list you are playing into that known behavior and you’re reinforcing it.
5. Before You Send Out A Price Sheet, Think Test Drive
It’s really not worth learning the price, options, or features of a car when you have no interest in actually buying a car. Until you find a car that you love, it’s not really worthwhile to figure out what color you want it in or what features it comes with, etc. Instead, a good salesperson is first going to help you find the car that you love, then they are going to give you options and present different choices to help you fit that product into the budget you can afford. The salesperson shouldn’t be thinking about the final price, they should be thinking about getting the client the product that best fits their needs/desires.
Spend time listening to your clients’ wants, then present them with a product that fits their needs and their budget. If you’re creating value and presenting a product that clients actually want, they will modify their budget as they need it. In some cases, you even might present a product that is below their budget. As a salesperson, your job, and the biggest misunderstanding is that you should be your own clients’ advocate – you’re there to serve them and create a product that best fits their needs, not yours.
The Exceptions to the Rule
If you have more business than you can possibly handle and you are just trying to keep up with the crazy demand for your product, by all means, send out a price list. How many of us fall into this category? Not a lot. Along the same lines, if we tried to get a client on the phone, we’ve made multiple attempts to get them to our studio in-person and we just can’t, and we’re on the verge of losing them – then you can send out your price list.
In either of these scenarios, your conversion rates, the people that will be interested in your services, is going to drop dramatically. Essentially, the only people that want your services are the ones that compared it paper against paper and chose yours or the ones that were already convinced that your product was what they wanted in the first place.
Come Join Me At WPPI 2020!
I could talk about sales and sales psychology until I’m blue in the face, but I will save it for my WPPI lectures coming up in February. See the info below to get a glimpse of what topics I will be covering and where and when to find me during the 2020 WPPI Conference and Show!
Incredible Wedding Portraits in Average Locations Finding & Creating Great Portraits Anywhere
“As wedding and portrait photographers, we can’t always shoot during golden hour and in ideal locations. On this Photo Walk, our focus will be on creating incredible images while simply walking around the hotel. We are going to work on seeing and modifying light with flash (Profoto) and modifiers (MagMod). All the while we’ll be working on our ability to pose and direct our way into wonderful wonderful portraits anywhere.”
When: February 25th, 2020 at 10:00 AM – 12:00PM
Where: Photo Walks | Wedding
See more info here.
5 Actionable Steps To Being a Better Photographer and Business Person
“Pye Jirsa will teach 5 steps and frameworks for photographers to implement in their businesses in 2020. Regardless of your portrait specialty, learn how to increase your marketing reach, book more clients, deliver a better final product that creates raving clients, and more. There is no reason why 2020 can’t be YOUR career-defining year.”
When: February 26th, 2020 at 6:00 PM – 7:30PM
Where: Platform Classes | Business & Marketing
See more info here.
If you enjoyed this video, feel free to share and let us know how you handle price inquiries in the comments below. For more information on how to create photography price packages, sales psychology, and running the photography business of your dreams, check out our Complete Photography Business Training System, comprised of 4 comprehensive courses to get your business on track and on the pathway to success.