I guess we’ve all heard that line one time or another. It seems like every time you turn around there is another “Wedding Photographer” on the block willing to sell an all-day shoot and CD for two chickens and some homemade pie. Why should anyone pay you more money than him? What makes you worth it?
Photography is all about perceived value and like all art, one man’s Picasso is another man’s “Dogs playing poker.” So, when I talk to a potential client I assume that they already like my style and are looking for other reasons to hire me. Some photographers concentrate on value (Look at my great package deal!) but I choose to concentrate on security. Most brides are simply thinking, “Do I like the pictures and do I like the price?” I give them a third concern, “Is the photographer prepared?”
I pull out my main camera and say, “Every picture that you’ve seen was shot with this camera. This is the camera I will be using to shoot your wedding.” Then, I pull out my backup camera and set it down right next to my main. “This is my backup camera, which I will have on site in the rare case that there is a problem with my main. In fact, during the ceremony I will be wearing both these cameras at the same time. (These two cameras are identical, btw)” Then I pull out my two flashes, my two sets of lenses, etc. Finally, I say, “I don’t know if you will be interviewing any other photographers for your wedding but if you do, be sure and ask about their backup equipment. There are no do-overs at a wedding.”
Instantly, I’ve given the bride something new to think about and justified my higher rate at the same time. Up until that moment, it never occured to her that something could break and she would end up with no pictures at all. Now I’m seen as someone who takes good pictures and also is taking every step possible to insure a smooth day. Clients have no problem paying more for your services if they believe that they are in better, more professional hands. What started out as a question of my value is now a question of commitment and preparedness. I’ve just proven I’m prepared, can my cheaper competition do the same? Finally, without actually coming out and saying it, I’ve told the client that I spend a lot of money to make sure things go smoothly, further justifying my cost.
In any sales presentation you will always do well if you can address all the clients concerns as well as some they didn’t even know they had.