Closing the Sale – Selling as a Photographer

For some, the most daunting part of meeting with potential clients is closing the deal. It doesn’t really matter if the whole meeting has gone smashingly, and they seem more than ready to sign the contract, asking for the sale can feel a little like asking your high school crush out to prom. Anticipation can give way to dread quickly, especially if you’re unsure of how to close the sale, or worse, not asking at all.

The good news is, there are quite a few ways you can let a potential client know you’re serious about wanting to work with them.

Be curious.

Ask them if they are meeting with any other photographers, and when they plan to make a decision about who to work with. This will get them into the decision making mindset and will also help you gauge how serious they are. If they’re just browsing, waiting for the father of the bride to come to a second meeting, or unsure on their budget, it will become clear once they’ve answered these questions.

Ask them if they are meeting with any other photographers, and when they plan to make a decision about who to work with. This will get them into the decision making mindset and will also help you gauge how serious they are. If they’re just browsing, waiting for the father of the bride to come to a second meeting, or unsure on their budget, it will become clear once they’ve answered these questions.

Create urgency.

Let clients know what your timeline looks like, too – do you have other inquiries for their wedding date, or around the time they would schedule their engagement session? Explain to them the order of priority you place on overlapping inquiries. Whether you take the first to sign an agreement and pay their deposit, or give first dibs to the first couple who meets you for coffee, be honest. Don’t invent imaginary inquiries to create pressure that isn’t there, but aim to communicate both your desire to work with them and any other factors that might prevent that.

Explain the next step.

Ask if they are ready to start working together – and then explain what the next step in your booking process will be. Offer to review a copy of your agreement, break down your retainer and payment schedules, and talk about planning for a successful engagement session.

Ask to follow up.

If you haven’t closed the sale, don’t worry. Ask if you can follow up, and if the answer is yes, set a date and method and stick to it! Even if they decide to book someone else, they will remember that you kept your intention and you will have the chance to ask them why they’ve chosen to work with someone else – valuable information that can help you shape your future meetings.

Practice.

As with all skills, closing a sale takes practice. Choose one or two techniques listed here and rehearse them. Don’t try to use them all at every meeting, instead, learn to get a feeling for which one works best in each unique situation.

And remember that the old cliche holds true – you miss every chance you don’t take.

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