7 tips on making the switch to in-person sales
Making the switch from shoot-and-burn to in-person sales can be intimidating, even downright scary, for photographers. But the process may be far less painful than you fear. Here, some ideas about how to move forward with IPS.
Stop making excuses. You can find a million reasons to delay. Just do it, and do it now. Consider the famous question from Erin Hanson, “But what if I fall? Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”
Don’t worry about experience. You don’t need to be an experienced photographer to do in-person sales. Some of the happiest photographers are those who began their business with an IPS model because they didn’t have to make a painful switch later on.
Ask questions. Most photographers are happy to help. It benefits the entire industry to have more photographers valuing themselves properly and establishing a higher benchmark for quality and service. People are excited to help; you just need to ask.
Don’t overspend up front. You don’t have to spend thousands on sample products to be successful at in-person sales. Does it make it easier to sell? Yes. Is it absolutely necessary? No. You can show clients pictures on your laptop if necessary. As you start making income, you’ll want to invest some of it into products your clients can touch … and be tempted by.
Show what you want to sell. If you want to sell big wall portraits, show wall portraits. If you want to sell albums, show albums. People won’t know they want it until you show it to them.
Be prepared to work less … and more. With in-person sales, you’ll likely work less overall, but more on each client. Because you’ll make more per client, you won’t need to maintain the same volume of work so you can manage your workflow better.
Make it yours. You can customize your sales process however you want. There are no rules about in-person sales, except you’re doing it in person.
Jeff Kent is the editor-at-large of Professional Photographer.