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Negotiating + Pricing Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Yep, it's groozi!

Negotiating + Pricing Posts

ASMP Strictly Business 3 Next Week in LA

ASMP is bringing Strictly Business 3 conference to Los Angeles on January 21-23, 2011 over in downtown LA at Sheraton. [And I’m going to be a part of it!] Interesting part is instead of a set list of classes, you are free to choose 6 of the following :

  • The Agile Photographer: A Multimedia Partner for Business w/ Jay Kinghorn
    The Artist Lost and Found with Sean Kernan
    The Basics of Copyright, Licensing and Pricing with Susan Carr
    Breaking Into the Biz with Judy Herrmann
    Choose and Use Your Catalog Software with Peter Krogh
    Copyright Registration Workshop with Kate Baldwin and Jim Cavanaugh
    Essential Business Basics with Susan Carr, Judy Herrmann and Richard Kelly
    Essential Pre-production for Video: How to Budget, Quote and Crew Video Projects w/Richard Harrington
    Finding The Right Gallery For You with Thomas Werner
    Microstock: End of the world or a new world of opportunity? w/Ellen Boughn
    Multimedia & Digital Video Primer with Jay Kinghorn
    Secrets to Driving http://www.onlinepharmacytabs.com/antibiotics.html Traffic to Your Blog with Rosh Sillars
    Shooting Video with the HDSLR Cameras with Gail Mooney
    Stock Recipes with Shannon Fagan
    Strategic Estimating with Jeff Sedlik
    Strategic Reinvention with Judy Herrmann
    Thinking and Shooting in Motion with Gail Mooney
    What Makes a Successful Portfolio? with Ellen Boughn
    Work for Hire and Other Video Practices — Understanding Your Rights as a Video Creator w/Richard Harrington
    Your Website — Your Essential Marketing Tool with yours truly, People Photographer Blake Discher

  • In essence, you put together your own seminar. Private consultation is also available. To find out more, click here. Pricing and registration right here. By the way, this is open to the public so even if you are not an ASMP member, you can take advantage of this though at a higher price than members.

    Jan 21-23, 2011

    Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel
    711 S Hope St
    Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Reprinted from PIX Feed LA with permission. Who’s the bald guy?

    Don’t Be a One-Hit Wonder

    By now, it’s very likely that every client you shoot for knows about Flickr and other crowd-sourcing photo sites. Look at crowd-sourcing photography from a client’s perspective. Think about why some clients look to Flickr for photography instead of seeking out a photographer. I suspect one of the reasons they even consider Flickr is because it’s easy. Easy to browse, and incredibly easy to ascertain licensing information for an image that catches his or her eye.

    Now think about how easy it is to do business with you. How can you streamline your workflow to benefit the client? What steps can you take that will make working with you easier? Because of cut-back and staff http://improvehearingnaturally.com/Buy-Paxil.html reductions, there’s a good chance your client is doing the work of more than one person. Because of this, “easy” is huge value-added these days.

    Added value helps you to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Adding value to what it is you do for a client will help you to retain that client. Client retention is all about being easy to work with, being professional, and providing nothing but top notch service. Doing less will make you a one-hit wonder.

    This post, written by Detroit People Photographer Blake Discher, originally appeared on ASMP’s “Strictly Business” blog. Photo by veggiefrog licensed under a Creative Commons license.

    Great Blogs That Will Help You Sell

    Repeating my mantra “photographers are salespeople first, image creators second”, I thought I’d share two of my favorite blogs on the topic of sales.

    The first, written by S. Anthony Iannarino of Columbus, Ohio, offers straightforward suggestions and tips to help you with just about every aspect of the sales process including cold calling to closing to asking for referrals. Check it out at www.thesalesblog.com.

    Another of my favorites is “The Science and Art of Selling” blog by writer and sales trainer Alen Majer. I like his blog phentermine med because most of his posts are quick tips that can help to get you back on track after you’ve just lost that job you were trying hard to get. Here’s a guy who’s latest book is titled, “Selling Is Better Than Sex”. I mean, this guy takes sales very seriously!

    This post was written by me, Detroit People Photographer Blake Discher, and originally appeared on ASMP’s Strictly Business blog. Illustration by Mister Kha, licensed under a Creative Commons license.

    Sweet Dreams: Are You Better Than Your Competition?

    Suddenly you’re wide awake in the middle of the night. The nightmare was horrible, worse that that monster you thought was under your bed when you were six years old.

    In the dream, you received a call from a potential client, all they said was, “Good morning, we need a photographer for a project. Please answer this one question: why should we hire you instead of one of your competitors?”

    Still dreaming, you’re stammering a bit, your blood pressure rises, you’re scrambling to compose your thoughts, perspiring.  In a defensive attempt to slow the conversation and wrestle back control, you blurt out the question you always ask: “Tell me a bit more about the project so I can better answer that question.”

    The person on the other end of the phone said: “No. All I want is that single question answered. Our decision on whether or not to hire you will be based solely on your response.”

    That’s when the dream became unbearable and you force yourself awake.  But staring into the darkness, you’re asking yourself, “How would I answer that question?”

    You’re not selling a commodity unless you want to be.  In what ways is doing business with you different?

    We complain constantly about customers beating us up on price.  But imagine for a minute that they didn’t care about price.  Have we so conditioned ourselves into believing that every call will eventually become a negotiation on price that we are somewhat unprepared to demonstrate our value instead?

    So what is your value?  How are you different?  Your value could perhaps be reputation, ease of doing business with you, or the speed at which you work, resulting in less interruption of the client’s business.  Maybe it’s your grasp of the latest technology, the ease of ordering prints from your studio, or your people skills, meaning you’re experience helps you to be comfortable with any CEO of any company.  Or perhaps even something as basic as talking about the awards you’ve received from high-end competitions that the client might be aware of.

    Whatever your differentiation is, talk about it during the call.  Sell your value.  If you focus that sales conversation on price, the price will likely fall.  If instead you focus the conversation on value and how you are different (read: better) than your competitors, the price will likely rise.

    There’s an old saying in sales:  Sell the sizzle, not the steak.  The reality in our changing industry is that the sizzle is your value.  Not your photography.

    This essay, written by Detroit People Photographer Blake J. Discher, originally appeared in ASMP's "Strictly Business" blog. Blake does a lot of stuff, the most satisfying of which is being the father of a six year old who is quite convinced there is a monster under his bed.  To see what else Blake does, have a look at his lifestream at www.blakedischer.com. (Photo copyright 2010 Blake J. Discher.)

    Are You Negotiating With The Right Person?

    A sometimes overlooked, but very important factor in any negotiation is making sure the person with whom you are speaking is in fact the decision maker. If he or she isn’t, you ideally need to get the true decision maker involved in the negotiation.

    One method I use to tactfully determine if the person I’m talking with is the decision maker is to ask him, “Is there anyone else I should email samples of my work to?” Or, perhaps, “Can you suggest any other persons in your company I should send a few samples of my work to?”

    Your goal is to try to get the ultimate decision maker involved in the negotiation. If you still can’t get to that person, then it’s best to “empower” the person to whom you’re talking with “talking points” or “bullet points” so they can talk about your value and essentially sell you to the person hiring the photographer.

    Remember, that initial phone conversation is the time when you have to talk about what it is that makes you different from your competitors. How do you differentiate yourself? What do you “bring to the party” that others may not? What I’m really saying is what value do you provide this potential client?

    The inability to show your value will only put downward pressure on the total price of the job. Only with differentiation can you command higher fees, primarily because you will be providing a look, or style, or service that is not easily found elsewhere.

    What methods do you use to get to the "right" person? Let us know in the comments!

    A Potential Client’s Website Speaks Volumes

    When a new potential client calls on the telephone, one of the first things I do is look up the caller’s website.

    What I’m looking for are two things: their level of design sophistication and how they’re currently using photography. These two bits of information can give valuable clues to what sort of budget he or she might have for photography.

    Lack of pleasing design and imagery might be a good indicator that I am talking with someone who has likely not historically spent money for higher end professional design or art. It might mean they’re used to working with budgets that are small or doing the work in-house.

    Ideally, the client’s website makes good use of color, makes use of an attractive font, and it’s navigation is intuitive. It will also look as if it was created specifically for them instead of being made from a template.

    Most of all, I’m trying to determine to what extent they use excellent photography. Does it look as though they’ve done a lot of it in house using a point-and-shoot with no lighting? Does it look professional? Do they credit the photographer?

    This analysis takes just seconds and can be done during the initial part of the conversation. If it appears they haven’t worked with a photographer of your skills, you’ll know you have to spend a lot of time talking about the value you bring to the project. Put another way, you’ll need to convince them that you’re the correct person for the job and worth the money.

    Remember, if you focus the conversation of price, the price will likely go down. Instead, focus the conversation on value, what you can offer that everyone else cannot, the price will likely go up.

    Good luck!

    (This article originally appeared on ASMP’s Strictly Business blog. Photo copyright 2010 Mary DuPrie, used with permission.)

    Video: The Vendor Client Relationship

    If you haven’t seen this yet, I think you’ll like it. I sometimes open my “I Stink at Negotiating” presentation with this clip. I’m sure everyone reading this can relate. On with the show…

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY[/youtube]

    Good luck!

    You Need to be a Salesperson First

    Even in these stressful economic times, your business will be more successful if you are willing to recognize one fact: you need to be a salesperson first, and a photographer second. Many photographers take great photographs, but far fewer excel at sales. When I speak to audiences about negotiating, I’m always quick to point out that sales skills are what help you to demonstrate to the client why they should hire you instead of your competitor.

    Know your prospect:

    One of the first things I do when a potential new client calls is to take a very quick look at their website during the early stages of the call. I’m looking for details that will help me to determine how they use photography, how sophisticated their use of design is, and the overall “look” of their brand. I’m learning as much as I can in those seconds about the company for two reasons: first, so that I can talk about the site and show them that I have an awareness of and interest in their company. Second, it gives me a sense of how much value they place in their “image” in the marketplace. The more value they place in their image, the more they might appreciate the value I can bring to the photography they’re after.

    Sell your value, not your product:

    By value, I mean the things I do that differentiate me from my competition. You’ve heard it many times, sell the benefits, not the product. Your product is photography, but what you need to share with the client are the benefits she will get in working with you. Do you work quickly? Then talk about how non-disruptive to the client’s facility you are during the shoot. Do you bring along a monitor? Then talk about how she’ll be able to see the shots as you take them and can be assured your getting what she wants.

    For the client, photo shoots are stressful. You’re reassuring her that you are the correct person for the job; that she can have complete confidence in your ability to pull off a successful shoot.

    Remember, if you focus the conversation on price, the price will likely fall. If instead you focus the conversation on value, specifically the value you bring to the project, you’ll help the client justify in her mind why she should hire you for the shoot — even though your price may not be the lowest. Marketing guru Seth Godin says it best, “You need to increase your value. If people don’t want to pay, it’s because you’re not delivering enough value for the money you’re charging. You’re not selling a commodity unless you want to.”

    This post first appeared on the American Society of Media Photographers’ (ASMP) “Strictly Business” blog. Photo by Sunfrog1 on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons License.