PhotoPlus 2011 - Blake Discher

Blake Discher speaking at PhotoPlus Expo 2011. Photo by Mark Lyndersay.

Notes from a seminar session at PhotoPlus Expo 2011.
Sales and negotiating for the new photo business reality - Blake Discher
October 27

Have your elevator speech ready: your name, what you do, why you’re great.
Have a “wow” business card.
Go where your clients are.
Ninety percent of success is showing up prepared.

Ask existing clients for referrals, prewrite the testimonials for them. Look for leads with satisfied customers, “Is there someone else you know who might be able to use my services?”
Have a memorable but not overbearing message on your voicemail - ordinary is dead.

Are you talking to the decision maker? If there’s an answer to the question “Is there anyone else I can show my work to,” then that’s the person you need to be talking to.
If you can’t get through to that person, then be ready to give talking points to your contract.

If you get asked for a buyout, tell them: “We do them all the time, tell me what you need and I’ll give you a price.”
Don’t educate. Clients don’t understand and you’ll waste time explaining your work processes. Position key items as value propositions.

Ask smart questions about the assignment when offering a quote that will lead to solutions you can offer in producing the job. Be the expert.
Aspire to be second. “I don’t want to replace your guy, but call me if he’s busy. Why? Because I only need ONE chance.”

“You need to hear more nos.” It takes 20 presentations to get five calls to get one job, so you need to hear 20 nos.
Don’t give information on the first call. Gather information, prepare the estimate, but call before you send it, then send it while the client’s on the phone and talk through the estimates with the client.

Make an appointment with yourself to do marketing.
Do the business, do the paperwork, get it signed before you begin the work.
Have your paperwork ready, always be ready to present a model release for signing.

Work on a customer focused point of differentiation, your USP.
Changing your status with a client is difficult, moving to a different level and raising your price is almost impossible.
Find more on
Discher’s blog.

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