Our Ultimate Guide To Selling Wall Art
What is In-Person Photographic Sales and why is it the best way for you to increase your revenue and improve your clients experience?
In-Person Sales are one of the best ways to increase your sales from each and every client you shoot. While a scary prospect for many, there is no denying it’s profitability. The most successful photographers we work with have this process down to a fine art and sell prints and wall art session after session.
Not only does this boost your profits but you are literally selling stunning pieces of advertising for your service. The more homes in your local area that have your beautiful wall art products hanging in, the more your service will be talked about to your clients family and friends. Word of mouth is still such a massive part of promoting your business and this is the very best way to ensure recommendations from happy clients.
If you want some more information on the importance of print and why it is better to offer lasting, printed memories to your clients then you can view our ‘Print Matters’ blog HERE
Below we lay out a set of guides and tips for photographers designed to help sell more photographic prints and wall art based on our experiences and feedback with our most successful clients.
What is the secret to photography In-Person sales to increase your profit?
Many photographers decide on a career in photography because they love it and have a passion for it. Unfortunately, apart from a very small amount of specialist professions, passion wont pay your bills! Profit is what running a legitimate and sustainable business is all about.
However, so many photographers will say that their clients won’t place an order during their in-person sales sessions for whatever reason. It’s a bit of tough love but that’s not because of the type of clients you have. It’s because of how YOU are handling the session.
You will all be very familiar with the objections that can come up: “we need to go away and think about it” or “we didn’t realise the cost when we booked the session” or “we only want digitals” – you get the picture.
How to ensure that your IPS sessions will end with a sale
If your client doesn’t order any print or products with you then that client didn’t have enough information. Setting clear client expectations is THE most important thing you can do to help ensure a sale. Removing surprises will help you massively in closing those sales. A huge portion of the sales process takes place before you even shoot your client. Here are a few tips that we know from working with photographers that regularly sell Wall Art that can give your sales a massive boost.
1. Do you make your clients aware of your print and wall art pricing beforehand? Even a rough budget can help ease the final sales process. If you leave this right up until the sale session then it will often kill the sale and damage your relationship with the client.
2. Discuss with the client what kind of images they are looking for. You will always have your go-to shots for a shoot that fit your workflow and hopefully they’ve booked you because they’ve seen certain shots on your site that they love. But ask them what they’d want in their home. Make them understand the connection between the shoot and the memories they want to preserve. If its a shoot for their kids for example, ask what they’d love captured, what they’d be doing in their ideal wall art product, etc.
3. Does your website state a starting price point or an average spend amount in order for your clients to budget before they book?
4. Do you send them a full print & wall art price list or ‘look book’ after they have booked? These are relatively straight forward to produce as PDF’s in programs such as Photoshop or InDesign. Their are also some fantastic pre-designed templates available to purchase online for you to then customise with your own images and content. Lovely photographs of your sample products in a preview look book really do start the selling process before the client has even come to their shoot.
Making sure your clients have all the product pricing information in advance of the shoot is vital in helping you get that sale. It can also be a huge benefit for the shoot. For example, if they come to you saying that they’d like a Multi Aperture Frame or a Photo Frame Collection then you know you need to shoot a number of images that will compliment each other as a set, with colours tying together, crops being able to fit the apertures, etc.
Or they may want something like a Birch or Acrylic Sphere which means you know to take some shots with plenty of space around the outside in order to fit the circular crop. Having this knowledge in advance can save you HOURS of work in post! This can also be reinforced during the shoot. Use the information you’ve gathered in the pre-shoot consultations about their homes so rather than showing clients an image on the back of the camera to see how cute their child looks, show them and say things like ‘this would look lovely above the dinning table you spoke about’.
How to present & display your sample products
Sometimes in our attempt to sound more appealing and not scare off customers with ‘salesy talk’, we forget that the terms we use within the industry aren’t always clear to our clients. Using the correct language with your clients during a meeting helps simplify the process and your product offering. Try using terms like “your ordering session” or “product selection” rather than IPS session or viewing session.
This is because your client needs to know before hand that an “In-Person sales session” is in fact, for sales and not just a viewing. It may seem so straight forward and a complete no-brainer to you but it doesn’t necessarily come across as indented. Misunderstandings like this can leave your client feeling ambushed and shuts them down to any possible sale.
It’s also hugely important to keep in mind that you will always sell what you show. Your clients are far more likely to purchase a product if they can see it ‘in the flesh’, feel the quality and judge the size for themselves. You don’t have to go crazy and offer a dozen different products though. Select products that suit your photography and importantly, that you LOVE yourself. If you have samples of the products your offering that you are crazy about, know the quality is there and that they perfectly suit your work then that will shine through in every session and your enthusiasm will rub off on your client.
Start every IPS session (or ‘ordering session if you’ve been paying attention!) by making your client feel comfortable. Chat like your old friends. Ask them about their day before launching into your sales pitch. Pay close attention to your client’s unique needs. Listen to what they want in their home, their style, the type of decor they have, where they would hang the wall art – get them to visualise it by bringing all of these together. Focus on showing clients the value of prints and wall art in this way. The more time you spend personalising the experience for your clients, the more you’ll sell. A great help is to have your questions prepared before a shoot. Create a set that will work in most situations and review them before each shoot.
Help your clients visualise their images in their home.
Take a look at our multi-aperture frame templates for your In-Person sales. A great way to showcase your client’s images. Our high-quality photoshop templates show our full range of multi-aperture frames to help you clinch that photography sale. Free for you to download. People shop on logic but buy on emotion so get tugging on those heartstrings with pre-designed layouts, explaining why you’ve used certain images and asking for the clients feedback on them will create an ownership of the finished piece before they’ve even bought it. We will also be bringing out templates of all of our product range in the coming weeks so watch out for future updates!
We spoke to Edinburgh based photographer Rachel Lynch who’s studio has seen a massive jump in wall art orders since employing this tactic:
“The digitalab multi-aperture frames are by far my biggest sellers, and I think the main reason is that I truly love them! As a baby photographer, I aim to show a gallery of around 25 images to each family, and for most, it is incredibly hard to pick just one favourite! The multi-aperture layouts work perfectly in any room, and the panoramic is especially popular. I have a sample right by where my clients sit, and almost everyone comments on it and 70% of my clients go on to order a frame!
One of the main reasons my frame sales are so high is because I am passionate about my clients having a beautifully finished piece on their walls.
And I know that if they don’t order it from me, then the chances are that they will spend a lot on a USB stick which rattles in a drawer for the next year. At most they might order some small prints online but nothing that will make their heart sing. Being able to enjoy a beautiful collection of their favourite images every day and remember that fleeting newborn stage is what makes my clients, and me, happy.
After the photoshoot, I invite my clients to return to the studio for their viewing and ordering appointment.
This is where, along with a slideshow of their favourite images, they are shown a mock-up of their photos in one or two of the multi-aperture mock-ups.
I select the layout I think best suits their images and create a balanced collection. A collection that showcases their baby beautifully. I do this with all sessions and have clients order them for cake smash and family sessions too!
I can’t recommend enough that photographers utilise the templates and chevrons alongside wall samples so that your clients can picture their images in the beautiful finished pieces. Before I moved to this method, my frame sales were 0% now they are 70%, which I think speaks for itself!”
Rachel Lynch – Beautiful Bairns
Why not bring a gift? Creating customer experience & going that extra mile!
An unexpected gift goes a long way, especially when coupled with great quality and service!
Imagine your client showing up to an (ordering – remember!) IPS session where they are expecting to spend their hard-earned cash, only to first be given something. You could bring along a box of chocolates, speciality teas, something for their child, etc. It doesn’t have to cost much.
These little touches really help to separate you from your competition -providing ‘customer experience’ rather than bog-standard ‘customer service’. Small, inexpensive toys for kids is the best idea I’ve heard yet and makes the experience so much nicer for the nippers – hopefully getting them to behave a bit better during the session as well!
If you want to go that little extra, why not brand the gift, add a tag or label with your brand and contact details.
Its always important to remember – Less is More!
Having too many product offerings can be overwhelming, bamboozle your client and will ultimately decrease sales. It’s similar to picking food at a restaurant (bear with me). If there is a huge menu with dozens and dozens of options it takes an age to decide then you are left wondering if you’ve picked the right thing at all. Even worse – if you are walking past and stop to look at the menu, 40 different dishes is too much to take in, you’d probably walk on and find somewhere else. When there is a select menu you can find what you want quickly and choose it knowing its the best choice for you that was available.
We’d normally suggest you focus on no more than 5-6 quality products that you want to offer and that you love enough to sell to someone else with conviction. This goes back to making sure that you only offer products you’d have yourself and that you can promote enthusiastically. This is also true on the range of sizes to offer your clients. There is no need to offer every conceivable size under the sun – that’s what we do! 2-3 sizes is absolutely enough and will keep your offering simple to understand. We offer a fantastic sample discount to get you set-up with your Wall Art and Framed studio products, details of which can be found HERE
A reduced product offering should also be mirrored in the number of images you show to your clients. It’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of showing your clients ALL the images from the shoot. This will again make them dither on choice, cast doubt on their selection and ultimately cost you sales. Avoid this by only showing clients the VIP images from the shoot. Images that will take their breath away and that will look stunning when produced as beautiful, hand crafted wall art for their home.
Emma Jane of Little Love Photography spoke to us about why sample products are so important:
” As a newborn photographer, I find a huge percentage of my clients are after something to display on their walls, and I have 100% confidence when ordering from these guys. My sample selection is clearly on display from the moment my clients enter the studio so I know they are thinking about products from the very start of the experience.
Digitalab’s quality is incredible. It’s clear how much effort goes into creating a photography product that we can then sell alongside our own. I get excited with my clients as I genuinely cannot wait to see their finished products!
My income has more than doubled since investing my trust in these guys, best decision ever.”
Emma Jane – Little Love Photography
Adding in a few different gift prints into any wall art package will help promote wall art sales and help them with choosing images. “we LOVE this image but this very similar one is gorgeous too” – nip that in the bud by offering an inexpensive print of the less favourite image if they go for the wall art piece. You don’t have to offer a massive array of sizes for this either – 7×5, 9×6 or 12×8 are all great, gift sizes that will suit most image crops. If you want to offer something a little different and more prestigious you could instead give them a Matted Print, far nicer to hand over and ready to be framed at the clients leisure. Prints and Matted Prints can also be great for family members, a nice gift for Grandma & Grandpa for example.
So remember to narrow it down! Show only the best of the best! Not only that but show the images you think your client is most likely to buy, not necessarily your personal favourites. This is often very hard for photographers as, rightly so, you are proud of your images and naturally put perhaps a little more effort into images you think are the winners. We hear it so many times that clients always pick the worst images from a shoot but remember that there may be something personal in a shot that just clicks for the client.
One last thing to bear in mind when selecting your product offering is to steer away from low-margin products. You want it to be worth your while to get that sale and if you go with the cheapest options on the market you will be competing with the snappy-snaps and supermarket offerings.
Closing the sale and making it easy to pay
Once your clients have finished selecting their images and wall art/print options its really helpful to go back over the whole order with them and reiterate what they are getting. Saying it back to the client like “A Multi Aperture Frame, a 30×30″ Birch Sphere and 2 sets of 5×7″ prints for the grandparents. Is that correct?”
When everyone is happy get them to sign a copy of the print order for themselves and keep a copy for you to avoid any potential disputes that could come up after the sale about what was ordered. It’s incredibly rare but it does sometimes happen and it’s important to cover yourself. Inform them that the order will be with the printers that day so all sales are final – you can’t re-sell a bespoke product if they change their mind for whatever reason.
It sounds so obvious but when people love the images you provide, they tend to end up buying more photography prints than they initially thought they would purchase.
In this case, having a payment plan option is a great way to make sure they don’t go back and take things out of their order. The last thing you want is for them to cut their order in half, even though they want it, simply because they can’t pay the entire amount right there and then.
In-Person Sales isn’t rocket science, and any photographer can do it. Maybe you feel the same way about In-Person Sales that I do about tea with no milk but hey, if I can overcome my disgust and simply pour that nasty stuff away down a sink then you can overcome your fear of In-Person Sales too!