What is IPS?
IPS stand for in person sales and has finally started to regain speed in the photography industry. Digital packages started becoming the norm when DSLR cameras became more affordable.
A large majority of photographers only offer digital packages with all fees paid up front. I know some photographers who are very successful using this business model.
However, I think a lot of money can be made by switching to in person sales and focusing on quality service.
There are a lot of detailed resources out there for IPS, so I’m going to narrow this post down to a few tips for those of you thinking about getting started.
Service Comes First
Don’t expect a great sale without offering amazing service first. So many photographers starting IPS focus on branding and samples- totally missing the mark when it comes to service.
Your clients won’t be singing your praises because you wrapped their products in pretty paper with your fancy logo slapped on it and gave them sub par service.
If you blow them away with amazing service, they’ll refer you to all their friends and tell them that you’re worth every penny.
Brush up on your customer service with a few self help books or a sales course if you don’t feel confident selling your work.
Don’t Buy Every Sample
Part of the appeal with IPS is showing clients all the samples of every product you have available. Samples costs can quickly add up (especially high end products) and could cause you to operate in the red.
Start off with pictures of items you’d like to sell and slowly work your way up to tangible samples.
When you do buy samples, stick with the largest size of any product you want to sell. Clients often think the largest sample is too big and size down. This works for albums and folio boxes also.
Time is Money
IPS inherently takes a bit more time. Find ways you can save time and decrease the wait for clients.
What I like to do is have the consultation, shoot, and sales session within the same week. My clients are still excited about their shoot when they order products at their sales session and this will often lead to a higher sale.
Focus on Quality
I will be the first to admit that I sometimes cut corners with product quality when it comes to items in my house. I don’t mind flaws or lower quality materials as much if I know I plan on replacing it in a few years.
I don’t do this with my clients. I source my products from 6 different labs and not because it’s cheaper to do so. In fact, it’s more expensive.
I want to be sure that my clients get the best quality hand made album, the best prints, the best canvas, etc. I don’t want to hear that their canvas faded after a year or that their album fell apart. I want their products to be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren.
I price products accordingly and focus on quality instead of cost.
I could go on and on about IPS. I absolutely love it and so do my clients. Have you thought about switching your digital based business to sales?