with Courtney Slazinik
4 Common Myths About In Person Sales
4 Common Myths About In Person Sales

For those of you who haven’t heard about it, in person sales (or IPS for short) is simply a way of selling your products. Typically, in an IPS model, you would have an in person or phone consultation prior to your session to discuss the look of the session and what your client is hoping to get out of the session. You then hold your normal photography session and edit the images.

Somethings to think about if you want to move away from just digitals. Read - "4 Common Myths About In Person Sales"

Read more: How to Price Your Photography

Instead of just delivering a USB or uploading a gallery, you have a viewing and ordering appointment where clients view their images for the first time. You get to see what images they LOVE just by watching their reactions (this is my favorite part). You then go through and help them select favorites, pick their product, and place their order.

I’m sure you have your own opinions of in person sales, good and bad. I want to explain some parts of IPS that you may not have previously considered. So, let’s debunk some of those IPS Myths.

  • No.
    Myth - You can't sell digitals

    I get it. Everyone wants digitals. In person sales does not mean that you cannot sell digital images, it means that you sell those digital images in person. I know quite a few photographers who have a very successful IPS business with digital packages.

    Some of these photographers make upwards of $1500 on just their digital images, and sell product on top of that. So yes, you can sell only digital images if you choose.

  • No.
    Myth - Clients prefer to view images online

    They don’t, they only think they do. IPS is really about the client experience and customer service. People want an online gallery because that’s what they know. It’s fast and easy, but we are not in a one size fits all industry.

    Your client hasn’t had someone come into their home, show them a beautiful slideshow of their image gallery set to the perfect music, and help to design walls in their house with these gorgeous images. After reading that, which would you rather have?

    Your client most likely doesn’t know much about photography or design. They think an 8×10 is a large print, and an 11×14 is enormous. You and I know how piddly that little 8×10 will look, and that they really need a 20×30 displayed over their fireplace. Could you explain that by email? Have you ever sold a 20×30 in an online gallery?

    There are some phenomenal products out there specifically for IPS photographers. I have an app on my iPad where I take a photo of a wall in a client’s home, and then show them various options with prints and canvases of THEIR images on THEIR walls. It sells those large products every time.

  • No.
    Myth - I can’t do that many IPS sessions…I have a family!

    You must look at this from a different perspective. You are thinking about IPS with how many sessions you are shooting now. But with IPS and a profitable price, you take on less clients and make more money.

    Once I started with IPS and changed my pricing, I didn’t have 18 IPS Viewing and Ordering Session a month, I only needed 4. Which would take you more time…photographing, editing, and delivering 18 sessions per month. Or doing that for only 4 clients a month with an additional hour or so for your IPS meeting? For me, it saved me over 50 hours each month.

    I get more time with my family today and increased my income because of my switch to in person sales.

  • No.
    Myth - People won't pay high prices in my area

    Don’t make excuses to avoid change.

    I know a photographer in the middle of nowhere Iowa. Her average IPS session is over $2,000. If SHE can make that in a cornfield, you can do it wherever you are.

  • Sara Ell
    May 2, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    This is a really interesting “insider” perspective—thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve always fallen prey to the third myth, thinking that trekking out to people’s houses and showing them photos would just be too much of a time investment on my part, but I’d never thought about the client/time ratio before. That really puts things in a new light.

    The print size issue is a particularly frustrating one that I think an IPS could actually solve. I’ve had people order 16x24s and then not be satisfied because they weren’t as large as they had hoped they would be! What’s the “test driving” app that you use, if you don’t mind me asking? That would be so helpful in helping people visualize what the print would actually look like in their homes.

    How do you get this same message across to clients? I’m guessing a lot of them probably have the same objections to doing an IPS: that they don’t have enough time for a session, that it’s inconvenient, etc. The way you’ve described an IPS session makes it sound so relaxed and enjoyable! I’m wondering how it would be best to convey that impression to a client.

  • Tori Stauffer
    May 23, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Hi Sara,
    I’m so glad this article spoke to you. Jumping into IPS can be a bit scary, but there are a world of people out here willing to hold your hand through the transition…myself included!
    I use Ariana Falerini’s Apps called Proof Share and Shoot and Sell. You can get them as a bundle. Proof Share allows me to show the client a gorgeous slideshow set to music of their images. Usually resulting in a few tears of happy moms. I can also sort images in there into Yes, Maybe, and No. Shoot and Sell has room templates like the ones above and I can import the images directly into there. It shows sizes, and I have mine set to my prices. It moved clients from 11×14 canvas to 30×40 canvas. Paid for itself in the first use.

    In terms of clients, I don’t tell them that I’m going to “do IPS”, they literally have no idea what that is. When I talk to them about the client experience with me, I walk them through the entire thing. We start with a planning session, then the session, then your Ordering Appointment, then the delivery. Every client has wound up loving the IPS part because we do all of the work for them. We are the creatives and can see the vision. Not everyone can figure out how to design a beautiful gallery wall and where to put it.

    Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions!

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