Every business today has at some point felt the pressure of the economy. Just look at Macy’s. There’s never a day when something in the store isn’t on sale. And, if you miss the sale, they’ll consistently price protect if you hung on to your receipt. Bed, Bath & Beyond is another one - anybody not get their quarterly postcard or email offers? A local furniture store when we lived in Akron, Levin’s, does a new promotion every six weeks and leaves consumers often wondering , “Did I really get the best deal?” Was the no interest for a year offer better than the 52 inch free flat screen?
Photographers are no different and I keep hearing stories about cutting prices to get the event. They're often reducing their prices to almost impossible-to-make-a-profit levels in order to beat the competition. If your prices are going so low you can barely afford to feed your family then it’s time to change your business model. It will NEVER work!
In the mid 80’s Polaroid introduced the Spectra line. It was the first Polaroid camera that came with a full line of accessories, including Cokin filters, wireless remotes, camera bags, a table top tripod, mini-albums etc. It wasn’t just a camera, it was a system. The system concept was based on studies that showed consumers were more likely to get excited and support a product if there was more to it than just a basic camera. The more “toys” to add to the collection, the greater the enthusiasm.
So, here’s the big question: What are you going to do to sell your clients a complete “system”? What are you doing to hook them on your skill set and get them excited about the other products/services you might add. You've got so much more to build on when you create greater value, rather than trimming down your coverage to keep in line with a lower price point.
There’s so much for you to choose from when it comes to added value...
Let’s start with things you can do without any outside help. Cliff Mautner has talked about how’s he’s created added value by extending his hours of coverage. David Ziser has talked about contacting the bride and groom on their first anniversary, offering to do a free sitting in celebration of their special day. Remember, the younger the bride, the more friends she has who are likely to be getting married. Imagine the goodwill David is creating!
And let’s not forget slide shows and hybrid technology! Being able to provide your clients with dynamic slide shows is at your fingertips with every event! Photodex makes it so easy and your clients, if you create the excitement on the front end, will be ecstatic. Have you watched this holiday card piece Suzette Allen did for a client last year? Is there any photographer who couldn't sell this product for a holiday card, engagement announcement, thank you note, even your own business card!
Then there's the full line of different style albums from Venice Album. There's a reason I couldn't get my wife out of their booth at WPPI. She fell in love with the products. Now imagine a client who's never seen albums like this before - how excited are they going to be? But you can't get them excited if you don't have the products to show! Venice album even has that covered for you.
Last but not least, you’ve always got the ability to add additional prints, a website for the bride and groom, even an iPad loaded with all your client’s images. It all falls under the umbrella of added value and this is only the beginning!
This is a fraction of what you have to offer. Tomorrow we’ll expand the list of added value items and take a serious look of how to utilize your vendors to provide a new level of products to help you sell a complete “system” without reducing your pricing!
Illustration Credits: Left graphic: © Robert Filip - Fotolia.com Right Graphic: © Taras Livyy - Fotolia.com