Listen Up Photographers: Learn the Business Development Game…Or Else!

August 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Adrian's Network, entrepreneurship, Marketing, Sales Training | Leave a comment
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Hey all you photographers out there. Have you ever heard this: Wow, great shot, where did ya take that one! Of course you have, and other words of admiration as well. Positive affirmation of your creativity, skill and expertise. Yep, and those positive comments equals clients, referrals and revenue…NOT.

I wish that would be so but unless you also have a sales process, understand and can articulate “what makes you different”, are engaged in active business prospecting and networking and have exquisite, yes exquisite, closing skills, all of those nice words and “feel good” stuff will leave you penniless.

Once again those must-haves are:

Business Development Process
Business development is an ongoing and proactive initiative; it can never stop! You must create a process (sequence of tactics and activities) that enables you to gain recognition and awareness amongst your target prospects and referrals sources and then, even more importantly, stay on their radar screen until such time as a project comes along.

What Makes You Different
Being able to coherently state “what makes you different” can make you stand out from the competition that is fighting for the very same business. Think about it. In the era of massive choices and the ability to use the Internet to research and identify resources, you MUST be able to create a strong and desirable personal and business brand that yes, helps you to be different. (And of course this “difference must also be perceived as “better”.)

Business Prospecting….A Must-do for Everyone
Proactive business prospecting and networking should be part of your business development strategy. Whether you want to engage in these efforts yourself, or hire someone to do so, without proactive outreach you will find that your sales pipeline is rather empty and devoid of a sufficient amount of potential clients. And that equals insufficient cash flow and possible business failure.

Closing
While “closing” is not the ONLY competency that you must master in the game called sales, you must be able to ask for the business. And this is something that creative types often find difficult to do. If you’ve done the sales job correctly, closing is the next and most natural thing to do. In fact, if you don’t do it, the prospect might be wondering what is supposed to happen next or you might lose the job to a competitor that is comfortable with the closing process.

So, yes, even though you would rather devote your time and energy to the creative process, the sales process requires your attention and, well, a work plan. And if you don’t it, the only ones that might be seeing your photographs will be your family and friends.

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