Designing Irresistible Packages

Packages appeal to clients because they reduce the number of ordering decision needed and offer good value. They can also boost your bottom line by giving the client strong incentives to spend a little (or a lot) more. But how do you create packages that are irresistible? Let's do an exercise and generate some ideas. We'll start with some brainstorming, then talk about how ways to implement these ideas into your product mix.

Adding Benefits

Let's start with weddings. What are some things that you could offer your clients that would be so irresistible that people would have to be fools not to respond? I want you to remove all obstacles and allow your mind to wander just a bit, okay? Don't worry about cost, or price, or anything like that for now. We will get to that soon enough. For now, just let your mind create. What would compel a potential client to want to do business with you instead of anybody else in your market? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

1. A complimentary limousine rental when someone books one of your Premiere Collections.

2. A day at the spa for the bride, and perhaps the bridesmaids too—maybe even Mom or Grandma. You could include a massage, a facial, manicure, or pedicure.

3. A complimentary night for two at the finest local resort, including dinner and champagne.

4. A two-volume album set for the bride and groom, an album for Mom and Dad, and a nice 4x5 album for Grandma.

5. Unlimited time not just on the wedding day, but on Friday night at the rehearsal dinner, and Sunday morning when they are opening their gifts in front of friends and family members.

Sara Petty's marketing piece for her baby portraits ensures customers will pick it up and interact with it—not just give it a glance and forget it.

6. A hot air balloon ride complete with a champagne breakfast.

7. Unlimited gift wallets for all guests to send with their thank-you cards.

9. A signature matte for all the guests to sign at the reception.

10. Thank you cards for every single guest, with envelopes and postage

11. A DVD slide show of all their images—not just for the bride and groom, but for Mom and Dad, and grandparents, and the wedding party.

12. Here's a big one. What about including their files? At what point are you willing to give your client a disc containing all their images? Is it $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000? At what

Should I Sell My Files?

This is probably the question that gets the most amount of debate in our industry these days. For anyone who has been in business for more than a few years, the initial answer to this question has to be absolutely not! But because we now have a new breed of shooter in town, we need to analyze this question much more deeply than we have in the past. Start by asking yourself these two questions:

1. Is it possible for me to use their files as a sales incentive to get them to invest more money with me?

2. What is the true likelihood of my client coming back in and ordering more from those files?

Now, one thing I don't agree with is simply giving the files away with every package for no apparent reason. If you are going to go this route, make sure they earn it! Require an investment in one of your premium collections or a certain minimum investment in portraits. They can't just be handed a disc because they spend $1 00 with you. That wouldn't make much sense.

Using the files as a sales tool, however, may not be a bad idea. We all have to do what we are comfortable with; if you are not comfortable, don't sell your files. If, however, you are looking for ways to maximize your sales and give your clients a great value for their money, this may be a no-brainer for you. Today's photographic world forces us to, perhaps, do some things that in the past may not have even been an option.

I'm not saying to do it. I just want you to make sure that this topic is well thought out before you make a decision. And try not to let your ego get in the way of making this decision. It will only cloud your thinking.

point will your client not be ordering any more photographs from those particular files? Or can these files be used as an incentive to get your clients to step up to the next package?

What about portraits of families, children, and seniors? What kinds of things can you offer your potential clients that will entice them to jump up to the next bigger package or come to you in the first place?

1. A $50 coffee card for all new clients that come to you during the month of February.

2. A complimentary small wall folio for any order over X amount

3. A movie pass for the entire family

5. Free oil changes for a year with a minimum purchase

6. A complimentary twelve-way portfolio for all senior sessions during the month of June

7. Complimentary Christmas cards for all orders placed before a certain date

8. A free stuffed animal from a local children's store for all sessions during the month of December.

9. A gift card to their favorite store.

10. A free cart of groceries from a local store (with a dollar limit, of course).

11. A complimentary DVD slide show of their entire sessions

12. Or, as we discussed before, their files on a DVD.

Any of these items can be used as an incentive to get them to come to you in the first place or enticements to get people to step up to the next package or collection. If Mrs. Jones sees that the difference between package A and package B is $200, but she receives and additional $350 of value . . . well, what do you think she's likely to do? If your price list has built-in incentives and enticements, it will be your number-one salesperson, which can take some of the pressure off you. Wouldn't that be nice?

The Whopper Package

In a perfect world, your whopper package—your top-of-the-line, fantasy package—would include all of these items, right? How much would that cost for you to build a package that included everything on this list? I'll tell you one thing: it won't be cheap! But, it will show your client what can be done, if money isn't an issue. As noted in chapter 13, the whopper package will also make all of your other packages look much less intimidating in comparison, and probably encourage a large enough purchase to get at least some of the "whopper" perks.

Take-Away Selling

When selling, you should start with this top-dollar package, then work your way down the list. This is called takeaway selling (the smaller the package, the fewer things included in it). Because it appeals the emotions—that sense of "wanting" in our clients—it can be extremely effective if done properly. We all know that weddings, in particular, are very emotionally-driven events that people will spend money on simply because they want to. It may not make sense to spend $25,000 on a hand-woven bridal dress flown in from Italy, but by golly they want it!

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