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Sowing the Seeds of Sales - PPA Today

Sowing the Seeds of Sales


By Mariah Ashley

There are only 23 days until Spring but still two feet of Permafrost in the garden. Is it wishful thinking to dream about blossoms? Not if those blossoms are dolla dolla bills y'all.

We've been hard at work in our garden all winter long planting seed of sales and we are starting to see the first signs of green life poking through the ice. It doesn't hurt to have a classic 80s ballad to hum while we are gardening, thank you Tears For Fears, "Sowing the seeds of sales, the seeds of sales, sowing the seeds!"

We want a nice healthy variety in our flowerbed so we've picked seven kinds of seeds to plant. Feel free to rush right out and get yourself these seed packets!

The first type of seed is The Seed Of Conformity. We realized that it's human nature to want to conform to what everyone else is doing. This is especially true when making big purchases. Knowing what "other people do" gives the consumer a sense of security in their purchasing decisions. Keeping this in mind, we've been sharing photos of our client's albums and frames on Instagram and Facebook before they are shipped. This builds a sense of excitement for the client about to receive the product, but more importantly it shows the rest of our clients, "Look! This is what other people do!"

This next seed is really a beauty, The Seed Of Timing. It's true what they say, timing is everything. We used to offer our clients five different packages to choose from. However, most of our clients are from out of state and book without an initial visit which prevents them from actually seeing our products in person. As a result, they inevitably would pick the lowest price package, thinking at some point they might upgrade. NO ONE DID. Why?


Because after the wedding is over the wallet slams shut. Clients have overspent on everything from flowers to food and their priorities have shifted from the wedding to saving for a home or paying off the bills. The album that they assumed they would upgrade has now become "good enough." We realized it was important to get our clients in the door to view the products in person and to do that when they were in "spend" mode.

First, we did away with the packages and shifted to an a la carte menu. When our clients book with us they book for the wedding day coverage only. Next, we tell them that they will be invited in to choose their albums and framing three to six months before the wedding and should plan to see us when they are in town meeting with their other vendors.

Right next to the Seed of Timing, we plant The Seed of Understanding. When we tell the clients they will be invited back in to choose their albums, we call it what it is... a Sales Consultation. This way there is no misunderstanding and our clients come prepared to make and pay for their choices.

Next in the garden goes The Seed Of Preparedness. The week before the Sales Consultation we send an email to the client to tell them how excited we are to see them and what they can do to prepare for the meeting.

We tell them they will be choosing their album, and to think about where it will live. This will help them decide what size they should choose. We ask them to think about their wall space, and choose a spot that would be perfect for the "It Photo"--the most special photo from their wedding. We also ask them to consider small spaces like nooks and hallways that might be perfect for additional framed portraits.

We appeal to their generous natures and tell them, "Think about Your Parents!" We encourage them to ask their mothers what kind of album they would like, or better yet bring them so they can pick themselves! *Side Note, if you can get the mother of the bride to come, your garden just went bonkers. She's like high test plant food!

The next seed we planted is the Seed of Officialness. We created a sales space separate from our meeting and work spaces. We invite clients into the meeting space first; it has comfy club chairs and snacks. We like to sit and chat for awhile before we jump right into sales. When we do start talking about sales me move into the sales room where we sit at a big table. Tables are official. Tables say, "Let's do business!"

In the Sales Room we've also planted The Seed Of Disclosure. Our pricing menu is prominently displayed on a four-foot-wide chalk board on the wall the clients are facing. They can glance at it and refer to it the entire time we are chatting about what products they'd like to add to their package. There is nothing vague about the pricing in the sales room. Once they've made their choices, we repeat back to them what they have chosen and let them know that we will be adding those items to their final invoice.

The last seed is the Seed of Low Pressure. This one is for our late bloomers. If the client seems genuinely interested in an item but just can't seem to commit, we never try to force it. It doesn't mean they don't want it. It just means they need more time to justify purchasing it. We will give them an out, and tell them that they can add it on later.

Big purchases require a little extra consideration and that's fine with us. We make a note in the client's file about the items they long for but didn't commit to and then we make a plan to reintroduce the idea a little later. Sometimes the late bloomers are the prettiest flowers in the garden; you just need to give them a chance.

The bottom line? Since we planted sowing our seeds of sales we've increased our sales average by $1,000.

Sowing the seeds of sales, anything is possible, sowing the seeds! I'm sure that song is stuck in your heads now, you're welcome! Now get out there and garden, so what it's like -8 degrees!

About the author:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for winter.jpgMariah Ashley is co-owner of Snap! Photography in Rhode Island. She is blonde, loves to bake fruit pies, wears flip flops way past the summer season, should have been born in the 50s, paints and writes when the mood strikes her, is mother to Jacques and Vianne, vacations on Block Island, is vegan, never has proper or stylish outerwear, fears frogs and toads but loves turtles, has really skinny legs, personal Style- Bohemian Chic, wants to own a VW van,  grew up on a cranberry farm and is happiest when snorkeling is happiest when sipping a rum punch under a palm tree.

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This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on February 24, 2015 5:58 PM.

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