Ever been in this situation? You state your price; they brush you off or counter with a lower amount. You gulp and either split the difference or reluctantly agree to work for their number.
Like 70% of other Americans who’d rather talk about their weight than money, you doom any money conversation before it begins. You’re now tired of missing out on opportunities to command higher rates, and that’s (probably) why you’re looking for solutions.
If that’s you, online sales training should help. Let’s start with five pro tips that will put you ahead when negotiating your freelance photography rates.
What are you worth to them?
Being a freelance photographer, you benefit from being able to set your own rates. It’s important to charge based on the perceived value of your photos. However, your customers will often want to maximize their budget.
Here’s an interesting fact – if you use the word “because” when selling, you can help swerve objections before they arise.
Reiterate how your skills and the quality of work will translate to a payoff to your customers. Ensure your customers understand, treasure, and respect the value of your professional photography.
Bring your customers to terms with the fact that although many photographers can take decent photos, not all can translate ideas and produce excellent pictures the way you can.
Use Value-Oriented Selling
Be eager to understand your customers’ needs and be flexible enough to accommodate them. Consider their budget and what they’ll use the photos for. For example, the rates for corporate event photography vary widely from those for men’s fashion photography.
Negotiate based on image rights, usage, copyrights, and licenses. The value the customer attaches to their photos could leverage a healthy profit.
Establish Sales Deliverables
As you prepare your proposal, train yourself to outline what goes into the production process. Give timelines and schedules to set expectations. Whenever applicable, inform your customer what you’re charging for. Rates could include planning, equipment use, travel logistics, and post-production processes. Relay the fact that some editing processes consume more time and require costlier tools.
If the customer says they have cheaper rates online and requests a discounted rate, consider discussing cutting down deliverables like the number of photos and licensing privileges.
Ask the Right Questions – Why This? Why Now? Why Me?
By asking the right questions, you can elicit detailed answers and gain detailed insight. With more insight, you stand a better chance of understanding the value you offer a customer and can build more trust. Ask yourself:
- What is the occasion?
- Where will the shoot take place?
- Is the most expensive kit needed?
- What exactly is needed image-wise?
- Who else will be involved in the shoot? Will there be models? Will there be other creatives?
- Do you need special editing to the photos?
- Where will you use the photos?
- How long do you need to use the images?
- How did you find me?
- If happy, will you refer me?
Just like you would add consultancy and personalized solutions to a clothing business, work on swiftly shifting your relationship with customers from a product provider to a service provider. The more you build trust in this manner, the more likely your customers will defer to your expertise.
Learn How to Create Authentic Connections
Online sales training can equip you with the skills you need to work cohesively with people. Mastering how to make genuine connections can make your work easier and build more business opportunities.
Your sales skills can make or break your proceeds as a freelance photographer. However, as you train yourself to work hard to boost your business, don’t forget that the ability to walk away from unfavorable deals is a strong negotiation tool. Stay open to give-and-take, but don’t compromise on quality.
About Laura Jelen
Laura Jelen is truly passionate about the power of the written word. She believes that through clear, concise writing, content creators have the opportunity to help business professionals develop important new skills which will allow them to grow in their careers.