Settta Potnzct

High-school seniors are all about individuality, and Chatsworth Portrait Studios appeals to this fact on the cover of their senior portrait price list.

about it and I'll get back to you," or "Let me check with my husband and I'll call you back." Eight out of ten times!

Experience shows that they never call you back and you never get a second chance to win their business. So, if you accept that excuse and let them go easily, you are losing eight out of ten possible orders. That means you need to do a better job of helping them overcome their indeci-sion—and get them excited about you and create a sense of urgency.

Overcoming Some Common Objections. Let's go through a few objections and see how we can use the four-step process to overcome them.

I don't have time during the week. Can we come in on Saturday?

I would love to be able to come in on Saturday, but unfortunately we are closed on weekends. I would be more than happy to come in early one day during the week, or perhaps one evening after work would work better for you. Would you prefer to come in before work or would an evening be better for you?

Can I have some proofs to take home and show everybody?

Mrs. Jones, I would love to give you something to take home with you, but we now have a better system that will allow you to get only the images you want. We are going to prepare a special slide show presentation of your entire session, and you will select your images during that presentation. You can order only the ones you enjoy the most, which means you will be able to show off your best stuff to your friends and family. How does that sound?

I will order more later, but I only want the small package right now.

Mrs. Jones, I totally understand the fact that your portraits are ending up being more than you had initially anticipated. But what we have found from our past clients is that once the initial order is placed, they don't come back to place the rest of their order. What I suggest is this. Instead of going with the 24x30 wall portrait of the family, let's just go with the 16x20. And instead of the twelve-way wall collection, we can make that an eight way. Also, if it would help, we can even split your payments up to make it a little easier on you. Fair enough?

If you work these simple techniques into your scripts and into your presentation, I guarantee you will book more customers and substantially increase your averages—just by changing a few words!

Additional Closing Techniques

With literally thousands of closing techniques, it can be overwhelming if you try to eat the entire elephant all at one time. There are some basic strategies, however, that you can implement right away to put extra dollars in your bank account.

The Feel, Felt, Found Close. One approach is the "feel, felt, found" technique, which can be used on just about any objection:

Mrs. Jones, I understand how you feel. Many of our customer felt the same way before making the decision to come to us. But after they had a chance to experience our wonderful service and excellent products, they found us to offer the best value for their investment.

What mother who received this marketing piece from Sarah Petty could resist booking a session?

What mother who received this marketing piece from Sarah Petty could resist booking a session?

Isn't that what you are really looking for?

The Boomerang Close. Turn an objection into an advantage. For example, if the customer says that you are more expensive than everyone else in town, here's what you might say:

Mrs. Jones, that's the very reason why you should come to us. Although we may be a few dollars more, I am confident you will see why once you have had a chance to experience our service. All of our custom prints are hand-finished and retouched. They are textured for lifelong protection and mounted on durable art board so they will never peel or curl. Additionally, all of our prints come with a 100 percent unconditional guarantee so you never have to worry about any damage that may occur to them. Also, once you become a customer, we look at you like family, so we extend to you a lifetime portrait pass that entitles you to as many complimentary sessions as you would like. So actually, we are less expensive in the long run than any of our competitors. I believe what you are really looking for is to get a great value for your investment, isn't that right?

The Minor Point/Alternate Choice Close. This close, which offers only two options, is usually used when a customer is having a hard time making a decision. It can get them off of the fence and can add dollars to the order if done correctly. Basically, whatever you want your customer to do should be the second of the two options. They will usually go with what they heard last, believe it or not. Some examples:

1. Would you like to pick up your order, or would you like us to deliver it to your home?

2. Would you like to only put 50 percent down today, or do you prefer to pay the entire amount and get the 5 percent prepay discount

3. Will the 16x20 be large enough, or do you want to go with the 24x30 just to make sure?

4. Would you like to pay by check or credit card?

5. Would you like your wall portrait unframed, or would you like us to handle the framing for you?

You can use the same technique when helping a customer decide on which wedding collection to go with. Give it a try. You will be surprised how well it works!

Mrs. Jones, do you prefer to go with the Heritage Collection that includes four hours of coverage, or do you prefer the Elite Collection that has six hours of coverage plus the two parent albums?

The McAddon Close. Did you know that when McDonald's first starting asking, "Would you like a Coke and fries with that?" in the first thirty days they generated an additional 180 million in sales? 180 million in sales! It seems like this technique, which I call the McAddon close, is all over our world now. (Would you like a muffin with

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