At Imaging USA in San Antonio I attended a program entitled: “Solving the Album Conundrum” to see what I could learn.
The speaker was Luke Edmonson of Edmonson Photography, a high-end Father Son wedding studio in Dallas. I was impressed by his thoughts on how “everyone loves story time… and a professional wedding album is essentially story time for brides and grooms”.
He’s developed some unique sales strategies that lead to huge wedding album upsells, and he was kind enough to accept our invitation to share his thoughts on our blog. He’ll also be speaking at the upcoming WPPI, so be sure to see this master. This is part 1 of 3 – enjoy.
Selling unique wedding albums may seem like something optional to do if your business is centered on the Shoot & Burn or Shoot & Share philosophy. However, when we look at the numbers, there is a strong correlation between those who sell 10 or more albums in a year and their business being up year over year or steady at the very least. Which makes sense does it not?
My hope is to share with you some things I have learned over the past two decades of trial and error as a wedding photographer.
Offering albums is not solely about being more profitable, they also serve as marketing material, referral opportunities, legacy heirloom, and hopefully a great final experience with your photography business.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can improve your chances for success.
- Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action
Marketers identify this as the sales process. If you are having trouble selling albums, the answer most likely lies in failure in one of these critical areas.
- Awareness – This product exists!
- Comprehension – What is it? What will it do for you!
- Conviction – Here is why you need or want it! Convince them of the value.
- Action – Make it easy to purchase.
How can you increase Awareness?
Do you show wedding albums currently on your website, social media, and marketing materials? Do you have sections on your website dedicated to explaining the process, options, and testimonials from past clients? Alternatively, do you wait for someone to ask or come in the door to find out about them?
Do you have real samples to show along with selling aids like swatch books or cover catalogs for in-person consultations?
Does your marketing copy promote the non-monetary value of an album to your clients and yourself?
My suggestion is that if the first time potential customers learn about your products should begin before they walk into your place of business.
How can you increase Comprehension?
Most of us will not buy anything until we understand what it is that we are purchasing. Comprehension is not always about more words. It is also about how it is communicated. Are your marketing materials, pricing, and process easily digestible?
Yes, you do need to find a way to describe all the different options available but do so in a manner that doesn’t require someone to invest too much energy. That may mean hiring a copywriter, designer or marketing expert to make sure that you are communicating in a “conversational way that makes sense.”
How do you increase Conviction?
This step is where most photographers fall short. You have taken the time to create a sales process, methodology or philosophy. Then, you use the same approach with everyone who walks through your door and act surprised when some sales are super easy vs. some that are difficult.
The natural feeling is that you either “clicked or didn’t click with someone.” Your conclusion is to find more clients who you “click with” and turn away those that you do not “get the right vibe or feeling.”
What you may be missing is that the way you talk with different personalities is not the same across the board. For some people, the more information, the better. They will not buy until they fully comprehend.
For others, they do not care about the details. They care about how their purchase they may make will affect others. Others are gauging through their line of questions to see how well you will follow their directions. You may be spending time talking about the “Story Telling” aspects of an album, and that is not resonating with them.
These are just some of the different personalities you will come across, and your job number #1 is to learn how to identify and speak directly to each one individually.
How do you increase Action?
The first step is to recognize when your client has moved from comprehension to conviction. At that point, stop selling.
It may also mean that more questions remaining to be answered so offer to assist in finding solutions or getting answers.
Make it straightforward and easy to get the order started and request or collect payment.
That might mean in-person, online or a combination of both approaches.
Rethink and revisit your client’s purchase path. See if there are steps you can eliminate or streamline to make the process as easy as possible for them. Look to see if there are areas to improve the visuals, copy or functionality.
Stay tuned! This is part 1 of 3 blogs. More tips on how to save your wedding album sales are coming soon! Our Sales team is always available to give free advice. If you would like a one-on-one consultation please call 1.800.810.5745 ex 4.