Things can go downhill fast if you don't stick to your business' policies and practices. We're continuing our IPS Horror Stories to showcase mistakes other photographers have made so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Here’s the scene:
I was new to IPS and wasn’t quite sold on just how great it could be, so I decided to try it, but without fully investing in the process. I decided I wanted to sell albums, but I never bothered to order a sample album to show my clients.
I finally sold an album to a client on my third try (yay!). I showed her photos of what the album looked like online and did my best to describe what the album would look like to her. To be honest, I had never seen this particular album in person, but the photos looked fine on their website.
We picked out the images together, I designed the album and then ordered it. I didn’t want to bother with arranging a time to meet with my client, so I just paid extra for the album company to drop ship to my client. I was patting myself on the back with just how smoothly the whole process had gone when I received this email from my client:
“I’ve been debating whether to contact you or not, but I really do love my photos and we invested a lot of money in getting this album made. I’m really unhappy with the album. It looks nothing like what you described to me in your studio. Please let me know how I can return this album to you.”
What went wrong:
There’s no substitute for actual real sample products. Clients need to see and feel albums and other products.
How to avoid this scenario:
There’s a reason that getting sample products made is part of the process of switching to in-person sales and it’s because it’s an important step! To be successful at anything, you need to be fully invested… and that means following every step of the process, without skipping anything. That being said, you don’t need ten sample albums to get started… you just need one.
There’s a lot of information out there about in-person sales and it can be hard to know where to start and which advice is actually good advice. We’ve spent months sifting through all the information we could find on in-person sales, interviewing industry experts and real photographers and compiling the best policies and best practices for in-person sales into a step-by-step guide… our In-Person Sales Course. It’s got everything you need, minus all the things you don’t. Click here to learn more.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.