Statements such as, “Your prices are out of my budget” and “It costs too much” are the number one reasons for stalled sales. Yep, I said stall, not obstruction or objection. How do most of us respond when we hear these things? We get angry or offended or, worst of all, we drop the price! If you go that route, it pretty much implies that you were charging too much to begin with. So not only are you left with a potential client who doesn’t trust you, you lost some of your profit margin.
But I digress.
Potential clients complain about prices all the time. Heck, we even do this from time to time as consumers. When you realize why you ask these same questions yourself, you can understand why you get them from your clients. As consumers, we want to be in control, but we also want to be nice. You can’t pay too much for something that you find valuable. So there has to be another reason, right?
It could be a smokescreen. I’d like to share some tips on how you’ve gotten yourself into this situation. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can put more money in the bank and regain confidence in your prices. This goes for every type of photographer or filmmaker, whether you’re low-budget or high-end. Everyone deals with pricing pain points.
People hate to gamble with their money (except when there’s the chance to make more money, that is). So our challenge is to help a client get over the feeling of risk, even though most of our sales processes force clients to gamble because we don’t convey the value of what we do. And the truth is, the less people know about “video,” or “portraits,” the higher their anxiety is in the sales process.
Here are some reasons you may be hearing, “It costs too much.”
- You aren’t asking questions. In your sales process, you’re most likely regurgitating all of the reasons you are an awesome visual artist: the fact that you have a Mac editing suite and that you use 3CCD cameras or have the latest Canon full-frame camera. Keeping your mouth shut and asking the right questions not only allows you to get to know your client and what they would like for their wedding, but it also creates a friendly and emotional atmosphere. It means you care.
- You aren’t giving them confidence in your product. Most wedding clients have never used a videographer (or perhaps photographer) before. They’ve probably never had to hire someone to document a day in their life through images. They also probably have never been married before. So all they have is a number in their head—a price. And what do we give them? A price! We just send them some numbers and some bullet points on our packages and expect them to love our work enough to book our top package. It doesn’t work that way. One of the biggest mistakes we make in devaluing our business is just sending a price sheet in an email. Why would they book us? They don’t know us, and we are now being judged based on a random number, not the value of our services. Which brings me to…
- Don’t sell features! Sell them on the loss of not having a video at all (and not having a good one). Photographers, sell on the loss of not having nuanced moments captured by an experienced storyteller, as opposed to a generic photographer who “sprays and prays.” We are in the memory business. And what would most of us hate to lose more than anything? Our memories! Loss hurts twice as much as gain feels good. Am I right? So when someone says we cost too much, I’d be willing to bet there isn’t much they are afraid to lose by not choosing your unique services. You need to incorporate into your sales process a way that shows people that the bigger risk is going with someone cheaper!
Your job during the sales process is to find out if price is the real issue. Studies have shown that 68 percent of salespeople think that price is the customer’s main concern. But the majority of consumers polled in the same study were more concerned with quality, relationship, and service.
If you offer a unique product, create a relationship with your client during the sales process, and convey the pricelessness of your product, it will be harder for someone to say, “You cost too much.” Of course, not everybody you’ll meet with is a good client for you. And that’s something you need to be comfortable with. Never get greedy or desperate enough to lower your prices or try to force a fit with a client who isn’t a good match. Not only will you devalue your talent, but you’ll gain a reputation as the “discount guy” for future referrals.
For those interested in having no nonsense solutions to price objections for most scenarios, visit Matt’s coaching site for wedding professionals at www.videobusinesscoaching.com and download his 1.5 hour webinar specifically on price objections and even how to book a job AFTER you’ve been rejected.
About Matt Davis
Matt has been described as the “Head Coach of Wedding Videography,” and was named one of the “Top 25″ event filmmakers in the world by “EventDV Magazine.”
He provides one-on-one business coaching as well as group coaching webinars. A featured speaker at video associations around the country, as well as Australia’s premier video conference in 2011 and IN[FOCUS] 2010, 2011, 2012, Matt is also an evangelist and consultant for ShootQ, offering his workflows and systems on the “marketplace.” He is based in Wilmington, N.C with his wife Melissa, and two little girls Penelope and Adeline.