In wake of COVD-19, having an in person consultation or sales session with your client just isn’t practical. Photographers are turning to virtual tools as a safer method of communicating with their customer base. Adopting and mastering new techniques for communication will give you more options for meeting and staying in touch with your clients, even when social distancing is a thing of the past.
If you know the right approach, remote sales can be just as effective as in-person sales. Take time you set yourself up for virtual success with the following tips:
Before you can begin your session, clean up your workspace. Check yourself in your monitor—is there a visible pile of laundry behind you? You may not be inviting your clients into the room with you, but you want to make sure that the visible space around and behind you is clean and uncluttered. A messy space can be distracting, and it could be viewed as unprofessional. If you plan to use your studio, you could set up a backdrop, or, if your meeting platform offers it, you can use a virtual background during your session.
Pro Tip: Position your laptop or phone so that you’re at eye level with the screen. If your table is too short for you to rest your laptop at eye level, try placing a stack of books underneath the laptop until you reach the perfect height for the session! In addition to this, place enough lighting in your space so that your client can see your face clearly. Don’t forget to find an area that is quiet and free from outside distractions so you can focus on your customer. No one wants to stop the meeting for a dog barking in the background!
Since you’re going to be on camera, it’s best to eat before your session! This will prevent any food-related accidents during the call like staining your shirt or getting a piece of food stuck between your teeth. Your session should be about you and your client not about you and the meal you’re trying to finish. The last thing you want to do during your presentation is talk with your mouth full! Having a bottle of water or cup of coffee near you is fine, but remember someone is watching you, so be sure you aren’t slurping your drink!
It might be tempting to do your virtual meeting in your loungewear, but you still need to dress professionally. Wear what you would typically put on if you were conducting a meeting in person. You may even feel more motivated when you’re fully dressed for your workday! At the bare minimum, make sure everything that can be seen on-screen looks professional. Always check your monitor to see what parts of your body are on camera before the session!
Even if you are conducting a sales session, it shouldn’t only focus on the sale. The initial conversation should be focused on the client, not the products you’re trying to sell. Ask your clients how they’re doing and show that you genuinely care about them. This will help your customers understand that you value them and can help establish a stronger relationship.
In the art of sales, you need to focus on showing what you have to offer, not just talking about it. If at all possible, your sessions should incorporate a visual presentation. This will help build a stronger connection between your customers and the products, and pull people in for a sale. Visual presentations can be achieved by sharing your screen during the virtual meeting (Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts are great platforms for this) and showing your clients a PowerPoint, Prezi, or even just giving them a display of your finalized products is a great way to interact remotely!
Pro Tip: By sharing your screen with your customers during the sales session, you have the opportunity to customize their images right in front of them. This is a unique opportunity to help your clients visualize your work in their homes (you can do this through Wallapp or through creating a Photoshop mockup). While you can tell your prospective customer that they can buy a framed portrait, imagine the impact of showing them an example of their image, already framed and on display. Make a connection with your clients by giving them something that will truly resonate with them.
Like with any other sale, you need to prepare. Before you enter your sale, try to get into the mindset of your client. You can do this by writing out at least 5 potential objections your client might have for buying your work and craft rebuttals. This will help you feel even more prepared for the session. Break down your sales goals even further by answering the following questions:
Once you have a game plan, it’ll make the actual sales process much easier. The more confident and prepared you are for the session, the more likely your clients will be to say yes to purchasing your work!
To learn more about preparing for and improving your sales conversations, check out this Persuasive Sales Webinar with Brian Williams.
Always test your presentation BEFORE trying it with the client. The best way to prepare is by doing a practice run. Go through your entire presentation with someone you trust to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Test your audio to make sure your prospective client will be able to hear you clearly, check the lighting so that you are well lit during the session, and ask for feedback on your presentation. Remember: there’s always room to improve!
If an issue happens during your sales session, don’t panic! Be sure you have a phone number for your client so that you can call them if something goes wrong during the session. You may need to reboot the meeting platform or your computer and then re-connect. It’s also possible that the client’s internet connection is unreliable.
If all else fails, it’s okay to reschedule the session. If something goes wrong, it’s vital to be responsive and proactive in communicating with your clients. You want them to have the best experience possible when interacting with you and your business, even when things don’t go as planned!
Now that you’ve got these tips under your belt, it’s time to put them to work! If you’re looking for even more ways to increase your sales potential, check out PPA’s Online Education platform with over 1,000 videos to help you improve your skills and grow your business!