In my seminars and consultations, I meet a lot of photographers who feel uncomfortable about sales. Most of them, like me, were raised to believe that it’s wrong to toot your own horn. We feel embarrassed talking about being “the best” at something. It feels like bragging and we were taught that bragging is wrong.
But, as Nancy Ancowitz points out in her book, Self Promotion for Introverts, bragging is all about making yourself feel big and the person you’re talking to feel small. Effective sales, on the other hand, is about taking the things you’re passionate about – so passionate that you’ve dedicated your life to mastering them – and talking about them in a way that helps people understand how you can help them.
So, when I’m talking to a prospective client and I say something like:
“Yeah, we’re known for working with ‘real people’ and making them look as good as professional talent. I especially love working with people who aren’t comfortable being photographed. The whole process of pulling them out of their shells, helping them relax and, Oh, seeing their excitement when they see how great they look in our photos – it’s the best feeling in the world. And it works, too – my clients get more business because the people who see our photos can tell that the people behind those companies are authentic and real.”
am I bragging? The people I’m talking to don’t seem to think so. They can tell from my tone of voice, my body language, the way my eyes sparkle and my face lights up that this is something that’s meaningful to me. And that makes all the difference in the world.
The best sales people are the ones who truly believe in what they’re selling. Allowing yourself to speak from your heart about what you’re best at and how it helps people will go a long way towards helping you sell your services more effectively.