It’s been said that people only really buy two things: solutions to problems, and good feelings. From your last tank of gas to dinner at a nice restaurant, if you think of all your recent purchases, chances are they fit very neatly into one or the other the wedding marketplace would do well to keep this in mind when conducting sales consultations. The next bride-to-be you’ll pitch doesn’t care what kind of equipment you have, she only cares that her pictures are going to be well composed, vibrant and in focus. You’ll get her attention if you can erase her deepest fear that her photographer is going to be sloppy, or pushy and embarrass her in front of her guests–because she probably knows someone who has had this experience, and thereby solve a problem for her. Rather than telling her to be ready for her pre-bridal portraits at 2:00, tell her that you can help her avoid disastrous scheduling mistakes that can leave her rushed and stressed out on what should be one of the best days of her life. This way, you portray yourself as a problem solver.

On the good feeling side, be sure to take interest in her wedding plans. Ask questions about the venues she’s chosen, where she plans to go for pictures, what her dress is like, etc. People love to talk about themselves so ask about family members in attendance and who’ll be standing up in the wedding. Your attention and note taking signals to her that you plan to catch every detail that is important to her. If possible, show work you’ve done in those same locations or suggest other nearby places you know could be great for pictures. She likely won’t know the difference between an  stop and a bus stop, but she really likes that those shots she’s seen on Pinterest where the background drops out of focus to form a soft painterly canvas. Help her form a mental picture of her own dream wedding with herself and her fiance as the stars.

Selling should always about your client and not about you. If you are currently walking your clients through your packages and explaining the features included in each, try shifting your approach away from you. Instead try speaking in terms of solving the problems and challenges couples face when planning a wedding, and how their dream wedding is in within their reach.

When discussing your fees, help the couple compare the relative value of their professional photo book , which will live on for generations to come, versus more frivolous expenditures like over priced wedding cake, photo booths or over-the-top center pieces. Old habits are hard to break, so practice your new approach by role playing with a friend. Record it on your phone and look for ways to replace the “I” and “we” statements that focus on you, and turn these around to be a solution or benefit for your clients.

Photo credits: