Category Archives: Business Tip

Close a Deal by asking this one question….

Learn how to close a deal by asking this one important question.

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December 17, 2010 - 1:55 pm

Mia Santana - Having the right words to say at the right moment is definitely a key to positive closure!

December 17, 2010 - 2:03 pm

Heather - I am not a business person by any means, but my husband is thankfully, so he’s helped me to see a lot of flaws. I love you recommend to “put the ball in their court”.

My dream list:
What would be your five top suggestions to freelance photographers who are just starting out?
Number one piece of advice?

Will re-post this on my FB photography page!!!

December 17, 2010 - 4:11 pm

Brian - Awesome! Thanks for posting this Scott, very informative!

December 17, 2010 - 10:54 pm

Derek - I knew there was a good reason I’ve been a fan of yours for years…. ! 🙂

December 18, 2010 - 12:09 am

Rafael Alcala - WOW, thank you for sharing your knowledge! very very helpful

December 18, 2010 - 8:14 am

Bandele Zuberi - Excellent practical advice that works and most importantly has helped me close deals! Try it and see for yourself!

December 18, 2010 - 1:28 pm

Paula - sounds like an offer for sex… guess it helps close the deal for sure.

December 18, 2010 - 2:36 pm

JBraun - That whole spiel is odd to me — I understand booking is essential and what have you but if you have to be a lobbyist and a (honestly what it sounds like) try-hard to sell your work — Then they aren’t hiring you for your work. My clients receive a pricelist before a meeting, before even talking on the phone. If they can afford me, we meet, simply so they can tell if they like me as a person. I chat for 5 minutes about everyday life junk, ask q&a about them and the Wedding and then they book. Having to convince them to book outside of what my packages are is just stupid. You’re not a prostitute, you don’t have to sell yourself. Your work should do it for you.

December 18, 2010 - 2:59 pm

admin - Hi JBraun, thanks for your thoughtful input!!

I don’t think it is about prostituting, it’s about maximizing sales, putting food on the table and serving your client better, surviving a bad economy. When you purchase anything of high value, house, car, diamond ring etc. There is always negotiating. WE ARE IN A BUYERS MARKET and many photographers who are not established may miss a sale by not slightly altering their rates, what’s wrong with that? We experience the same thing when we buy a car? To think that negotiation is not part of business is a mistake IMHO. We become too enamored with our work and shows we are not open to REASONABLE changes.

I don’t think it is about pressuring, I think it is more about trying to match the needs and wants of a client and trying to understand where we fit on their priority list. It is not that you are demanding them to make a decision, you are seeing how interested they are in your services and if they are close you want to know how to accommodate them better. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Sometimes a client is afraid of suggesting a small request that we can easily accommodate and this allows them to create their DREAM LIST. How is it wrong to allow a client to put together a dream list?

I think with every consultation we need to know if we are hitting or missing with our work. If we simply let a client go and don’t get any feedback from them, we never learn how to serve others better. Every consultation is a learning experience to see if we can fulfill needs. That is why we need to confront our client, it is like a survey at the end of a presentation. We need to gather as much info from a client to help us serve the market better.

December 18, 2010 - 4:52 pm

Christine Guthrie - Thank you for sharing this Scott, that advice is invaluable.

December 19, 2010 - 11:34 pm

Michelle Ng - Hi Scott!

This is very great advice, even after hearing it in person! My 5 hours will multiply when I try this 😉 Thank you so much for sharing this…with the world!!!


December 21, 2010 - 7:56 am

Jenny - This is such a great reminder that I need to be way more proactive. I’m no good when it comes to the business aspect.

December 21, 2010 - 12:44 pm

Erik V. - Very well written, GREAT advice! I have no problem with negotiating with my potential clients. Also, keep in mind that many of the things that make or break a sale don’t even cost you. Adding a couple extra hours on wedding day, giving them some of the edited files, a free engagement session. These are all things that cost us nothing but time. They don’t cut into out profit. In fact, a free engagement session might generate more revenue by creating images that they would like to purchase. Sometimes no matter how much a potential client likes you and your work they won’t pull the trigger without feeling like they got a deal. Especially in this economy. Thanks for another awesome topic Scott!

December 24, 2010 - 5:12 am

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December 25, 2010 - 12:12 pm

Tamekia Mcnellie - pretty helpful material, overall I consider this is well worth a bookmark, thanks

December 25, 2010 - 12:35 pm

admin - Thanks for the bookmark!

December 25, 2010 - 12:39 pm

admin - Great to hear you find my blog of use!! Get ready for more informative posts!!

December 25, 2010 - 5:35 pm

Servermusic - Super 🙂

December 28, 2010 - 5:30 pm

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December 29, 2010 - 12:18 pm

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December 29, 2010 - 12:41 pm

sam waiseghoby - Thanks for the post, keep posting stuff

December 31, 2010 - 10:51 am

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January 4, 2011 - 3:47 am

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January 4, 2011 - 4:48 am

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November 26, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Jim Jackson Portrait Session » Scott Robert LA - […] Close a Deal by asking this one question… […]

May 1, 2014 - 9:54 am

Beth - THANK YOU FOR THIS!! I am a CPA/MBA and still struggle with the business end sometimes because art is so subjection and emotional. Thank you for presenting ways to relieve that and put it on them a little bit 😛

May 1, 2014 - 11:01 am

Bill - My question is, what if they come back with (instead of a free Engagement session – which many of us package in anyway) “Can you throw in a parent’s album, or drop your price by $500”, or something much bigger than you’re willing to give up? Is the negotiation over right there, or do you tell them you’d like to think about it?

May 1, 2014 - 12:32 pm

admin - I think the point is that you were blessed with an offer. This question gets you an offer, how you deal with it is up to you! But if you need to feed your family that month, you’ll be happy you can at least do that provided you are making a profit! lol!!

May 1, 2014 - 12:33 pm

Paul Rich - In a vast sea of advice and information that is offered to photographers on “how to do this” or “how to do that,” this information really stands out from the rest. Thanks for sharing this tip and offering an honest insight into what it is like to own and operate your own business. People need to realize it has VERY little to do with the “art” that you make and has so much more to do with how you operate/conduct your business.

May 1, 2014 - 9:08 pm

Anonymous - Thanks Scott! I’m not a photog but this is helpful for anyone.