Intro by Skip Cohen
Two of my most favorite portrait artists and good friends are Bev and Tim Walden.
In just a few weeks, they'll be launching one of the industry's strongest coaching/mentoring programs, Immersion. While I've been sharing a link to their program over on the right of the SCU blog, I asked Beverly to give me a short example of how straightforward they're going to be with helping you build your skills beyond your technical style.
It's your chance for a year long, never-let-up support system! You can even design the program you need the most over the next year, and add in an hour of private coaching as well! Just click on the banner above for more information!
One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and again and expecting different results. Well, this is your chance to raise the bar on the quality of your work and your marketing/selling skills. And like Carly Simon's song so many years ago, "Nobody does it better!"
by Bev Walden
As much as you don’t want to admit it, objections exist. Personally, I would love it if our clients always agreed to everything I said, bought it all as presented and never objected.
That is just not reality.
However, take heart. As you are in business longer and longer, reputation will provide privilege as people know what to expect…and objections happen less often.
Our best advice (not meaning to sound flippant) is to avoid objections by doing groundwork from the beginning. Weed out problems beforehand. It is your job to think ahead for your clients and avoid any possible objections by informing them about things they need to know such as your pricing and payment options, how you do business and what they can expect.
After doing due diligence beforehand, you can prepare for each selection appointment with confidence. Here are three common objections we see.
Objection #1: Being indecisive. Can I think about it? I can’t decide right now.
This is where groundwork comes in. Take time before the day of the sale to plant seeds about expectations and share your “rules.” Talk about it every format you can (written, videos, etc) and reinforce it our and over. Your rules, your way. Time is the enemy. In the first moments of the sale is where the money is made and money tanks as time passes and clients leave without making a decision. Relationships become contentious as you try to re-connect to get an answer. This is one of the worst scenarios for successful sales.
What do we do if this happens?
We say, “Let’s put everything into the system like we’ve talked about since we’ve spent all of this time together already.” Then we collect the deposit. Before we finalize everything, we ask them to let us know within certain time (ie: 24 hours) whether to go ahead with the order as is or modify it. If we don’t hear from them, we go ahead. This approach gets a solid order and a deposit, yet doesn’t back them into a corner.
Objection #2: I can’t bring my spouse right now, so can I just look at the portraits now and then we can come back later to place the order?
What do we do if this happens?
We say, “It is hard to get on the schedule right now as we are several weeks out.” Usually, when they hear this, they will find a way to come as originally scheduled and place their order. What we don’t want to do is show any images before they are ready to buy as the excitement is much less the second time the images are seen. When excitement goes down, the money goes with it.
Objection #3: I look ________________. You can fill in the blank.
What do we do about this? We avoid this objection by prepping images that we want to highlight with a little retouching and liquifying areas that need it. We put our best foot forward! This is why we limit how many images we show. We want to make each as beautiful as we can without spending too much time fixing too many images.
Finally, don’t be afraid of objections. And remember, sometimes, there is not an answer. If you have done everything right and still have a bad sale, no worries. Let it go. Be ok with it. And learn from it.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.