How do I get people to believe me?
You will always have your doubters, the ones who say you’ll never make it and that every photographer they know is working in a framing shop but we’ve talked about this before and I reiterate, don’t listen to them – eventually they’ll go away and you can carry on with your journey. The best way to handle doubters is to ignore them.
Earning their trust.
There is a different kind of doubter though, and that’s the gatekeeper at businesses you are trying to align with. The easiest thing to say is no, so many marketing departments, assistants and business owners will say just that when you are trying to offer them something that has a potential benefit to them. ‘Not interested’, ‘no thanks’, ‘our marketing is all good’
I remember a time when this was happening as I was trying to establish a relationship with one of my long-term alliance partners. The head of the marketing department, let’s call her Christine because that’s her name was being difficult and I knew she hadn’t spoken to the owner about the concept but I guess she was just doing her job. I had to think of another way – we were on quite friendly terms, but she just couldn’t see the benefit of my proposal.
Give them the confidence to refer you.
So, I asked her if she’d like to bring her family in for a photoshoot to see for herself what the benefit was to her customers. That changed everything – she agreed to my offer and bought her parents and her partner in for a shoot.
When she saw the result she was convinced – she could reward the people who did business with the company she represented with exactly the same thing and she was an instant convert. We began the gift voucher program within a couple of weeks and the result was more than half a million dollar’s worth of business so far.
That program has now been running for many years and everyone continues to benefit from it.
How much are you prepared to pay for a customer.
The bottom line is that you have to know how much you are prepared to pay for a customer, I know photographers who say ‘I’m not doing that, they’ll have to pay for their photos!’ all I can say to that is half a million dollars? Really? some people just can’t see the forest for the trees.
They need to be convinced of the value.
That shoot took me 30 minutes to do and I converted a devoted doubter into a raving fan, she still talks about those photos and I believe that, as difficult as it can be to establish these relationships, you have to keep trying – they make enormous money when they work.
After 10 years I went back to networking functions to get to know more business owners due to the value of the program to my business, I wanted to get another 10 or 20 people working with me and it didn’t take that long. It’s important that the host business is educated in how to give someone a gift because it’s not natural for them.
Their approval is paramount.
When you pitch that you will give their customers a gift that lasts forever for free, one that will remind them of their business every time they see it, you have a compelling case for influencing them to come on board. Yes, there’s work involved but the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.
Consider yourself honest and they will too.
So here’s another thing, we allow that businesses customer to pass that gift voucher on if they don’t want to use it and recently, we had a $5,500 sale from someone who had been thinking about having some portraits done and was given a gift voucher.
They had nothing to do with the company who we sent it out on behalf of but we still benefitted from it.
Have confidence in your product.
So the two takeaways from this lesson are firstly, prove the doubters wrong, just ignore them and they will go away and secondly, work out what you are prepared to pay for a customer and don’t let pride get in the way because you could be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
It’s not easy getting businesses on board but everything in life is a numbers game, the more you get out there, the more chance you have, and the opportunities will come if you keep trying – success always comes to those who persist.
Trust in the system – it works!
Good luck and let me know if you have any issue with this as I may be able to point you in the right direction.
Next time I’m going to talk about the importance of not booking a prospective client, sounds weird I know but when you know why, you will save time and money.
See you then.