You could be missing out on much higher sales because you’re making a very simple photography pricing mistake. But after today you’ll know exactly how to fix it…
Watch the video or read the blog - whatever floats your boat!
They have a pasta section, a burger section, a curry section. You can have steak, you can have salad, you can have anything you like. Not only that but you can choose any side order you like too. Even when you finally decide on a pasta dish you find that you have a choice of pasta shapes too! Do you want spaghetti or penne or fusilli?
If you’re not a fussy eater then you’re literally going to pore over that menu for ages wondering what the hell you’re going to have because there are so many things on there that appeal to you. I like almost every kind of food so these menus are a nightmare for me. I can never decide and then I end up making a last minute decision and regretting it!
Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with restaurants like this. I visit them with my family sometimes because the kids can be fussy with food and it means we can all get something we like. They also tend to be pretty affordable and the food comes fast. Kind of perfect for families but not the kind of place you go when you’re looking for something a bit more special.
They have a small selection of dishes on the menu and each one is served the same way for everyone unless you specifically ask for something to be added or left out. You go to these places and you trust in what the chef has decided tastes good together. You look through the small selection of dishes and you choose the one that appeals to you the most.
What’s the first thing Gordon Ramsay does to every restaurant’s menu in his Kitchen Nightmares show? He simplifies it. For good reason.
It’s been scientifically proven again and again that when we’re presented with too much choice it can cause anxiety and even unhappiness. Sometimes we won’t actually be able to choose because of it! Analysis paralysis kicks in. But on the occasions we do choose - there is often a feeling of dissatisfaction. Did we make the right choice? Should we have opted for something else? Buyers remorse kicks in.
Which is it most like? Are you like the first restaurant - stressing your clients out with all the decisions they have to make? Are they frozen by indecision? Are they going away wondering if they made the right choice?
Or are you like that second, classier establishment? Are you presenting them with a simple product and price list making it easy and enjoyable for them to buy from you and walk away with zero post-sales regrets?
I had a complex price list. You could buy any size print up to 12x8 and pay a different price for each size. I had all different sizes and shapes of framed prints, all with different prices. Not only that, I had at least 15 different frame choices in all different colours and finishes. Each frame also came in a narrow, medium or wide version. And don’t get me started on the different types and colours of mounts!
I also sold albums, canvas wraps and acrylic wall art. My clients had a lot of choice therefore they had a lot of decisions to make.
Not surprisingly my in-person sales sessions were nightmarishly long and exhausting for everyone involved! My clients loved their images but they couldn’t decide what they wanted quickly. Sometimes they couldn’t agree on what to buy. They had to go home and ‘think about it’ or they just gave up and asked for the digital files in order to escape all the decision making!
When I learned about the ‘paradox of choice’ I decided to simplify my price list and see what happened. Instead of selling all different sizes of prints at different prices I just wrote this:
I worried that my clients would complain that a smaller 7x5 was the same price as a 10x8. Not one person has ever mentioned it. In fact - almost everyone just buys 10x8 which is the size of print I like to sell anyway!
Instead of offering framed prints, canvas wraps and acrylics I decided to just offer framed prints. I don’t like canvas wraps. I don’t like acrylics. So why was I trying to sell them?
I worried that clients would complain about the lack of canvas wraps and acrylics. Again, no one mentioned it. The clients who came to me were coming for frames because that’s what I was showing them on my website and in my brochure.
Instead of giving clients a huge choice of framed wall art sizes I priced three sizes and I offered them small, medium and large.
Instead of my 15 different frame options in various colours and finishes I chose my three favourite frames and I only showed these. A metallic finish, an ornate wooden finish and a sleek modern finish.
Once in a blue moon a client would ask if we had any more frames they could look at. And of course we would happily show them a couple more. But most just picked their favourite of the three choices.
I no longer gave my clients a choice in the colour or type of mount they wanted. I advised them on what I felt would look best and they agreed.
The impact this had on my sales and customer satisfaction was unbelievable. Sales sessions were quicker, easier and more enjoyable and the average sale increased immediately. Clients were choosing what they wanted with absolute confidence and joy. They didn’t have to worry afterwards about whether they’d made the right decision because there were hardly any decisions for them to make!
How can it be simplified to make it easier for your clients to buy from you and spend more? This does not only apply to photographers doing in person sales. In fact it’s probably even more relevant for those of you using online galleries where your clients don’t have you there to guide them.
Every time you simplify your price list you will earn more money. Be the classy restaurant, not the ‘please everyone’ diner!
If you want to go much deeper into really clever pricing and learn how to craft profitable packages that are totally irresistible to your clients, that is something we teach you how to do as a Togs in Business member. There is in-depth training on everything to do with pricing and sales all aimed at helping you to become more profitable working with less clients.
Membership is by application only and you can find out more right here.
And don’t forget to download the FREE Pricing Calculator & Workbook below.
Oh, and I have another very helpful resource for you - if you don't already have a Business Plan in place, then this article is for you. It has a detailed walk-through of the nine steps you need to complete in order to create an actionable photography business plan.