3 Steps to take the Sales out of Salesman...or Sales Lady ;)
No one wants to be "salesy", or even sound 'salesy' when they know they aren't that person at all. So, in the beginning I struggled with how to avoiding sounding 'salesy' when I obviously wanted the sale. However, I quickly changed my perspective on how to approach a potential sale and avoided sounding like a salesman, or saleslady in my case ;)
- Be Honest, but have Solutions | Especially in the beginning, I was asked questions I didn't know the answers to or didn't know how to answer. There's no point in lying, and there's no point in avoiding the question. I answered each one honestly, and if I didn't have the answer they were looking for then I would offer up a solution. For example, if I never shot at a location before, I would offer to visit the venue prior to the wedding to ensure I had a good "lay of the land".
- Don't Try So Hard | One time I had a potential bride asked me if I would stand on a ladder to take photos during the reception. I answered 'yes' immediately. Let's recap... I answered 'yes' to standing on ladder, mid reception, with tons of people around me, who will probably be drinking, to standing on a ladder for photos?? Really?? What was I thinking? I wanted the sale, so I said, "Absolutely". Knowing what I know now, my safety is a number one priority, and unless there was a balcony, with railings, that would be the height (haha... get it) of my skillsets outside of photography. I quickly learned that the more I tried, they less of a fit it was between me and my potential client. I wanted relationships with my brides that came naturally, and were not forced, to ensure our visions for their day were aligned. And if they weren't, then I would rather them find someone who they would align with.
- Be Genuine | We recently bought a car, and the sales guy I ended up liking the most was the one who asked us questions about us. This might sound vain, but being genuinely interested in your client's life is big component to developing a real relationship. I want to know, how my client's met, how long they have been engaged, where they got engaged, and where they are from. More than likely there is common ground somewhere and it's great to get to know each other on another level outside of the business relationship. So ask questions you genuinely want to know about them :)
As soon as I started exercising the above, I felt more comfortable during client meetings, and more importantly I felt like me :) Which in return increased my bookings, and helped me develop real genuine relationships with clients and professional wedding vendors without sounding 'salesy'.