Then work your way down the list

One you have described in detail what is entailed in your whopper package (which you'd want to call something like your "Elite Collection"), the bride will want all of the features—and she'll have already taken mental "ownership" of them. As a result, when you drop down to the next collection that doesn't include the image files, or the romantic getaway, or the balloon ride, or albums for the grandparents . . . well, it almost feels like she is giving up something that she already bought. And the next collection down includes even fewer items that she has decided she just absolutely must have if she is to have the perfect day.

The Smallest Package

So, what does the smallest collection include? Not much. In order for a package or bundling strategy to work in your studio, there must be a reason for a client to go up

Adding incentive items like photo jewelry, ornaments, or DVD slide shows can create an incentive to upgrade to a larger package purchase—especially if those items can't be purchased a la carte. Top photo by Christa Hoffarth. Bottom two photos by Sarah Petty.

into the next larger package. If you give them everything they want in the smallest package, there is no incentive for them to invest more.

If your bottom senior-portrait collection includes a session, some gift wallets, one of those big ol' 8x10s for the wall, and an eight-way portfolio for Mom, that's going to

Have a Few Laughs

Don't get so bogged down in the nuts and bolts of selling that you forget this should all be enjoyable for both you and the client. All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends—and all things being not quite so equal, people still want to do business with their friends. Throughout this process, it's okay to make your clients laugh and have fun! Humor is relaxing and it creates a more open atmosphere. This is what will begin to breed friendship and respect.

satisfy the needs of many people—and that bottom package is all you're going to sell. Instead, if they want an 8x10, make them earn it. If they want gift wallets to give to their classmates, make them earn it. If they want the 8-way portfolio, make them earn it.

The idea is to create a stepping-stone concept in your packages. Each package increases in small steps, with more and more bonuses and enticements along the way. This technique can be applied to just about any category of photography.

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