New UBOX Options!

After hosting in studio workshops for years, Gary and Pamela Box have introduced two new UBOX options, 1on1 and Remote.

UBOX 1on1 is for people who prefer to learn on a single basis instead of part of a group. Your own private time with the Boxes in their studio, covering the topics you want to cover.

UBOX Remote is a low cost method for you to address a certain area of your business. You meet with the Boxes on your computer via gotomeeting to discuss topics such as pricing, marketing, photo critiques or workflow.

Of course, we still offer the full UBOX Studio Workshop for a more complete look at how Gary and Pamela work. If you have questions, give us a call at 918-224-7838.

Learn ProSelect Room View!

OK, if you haven’t used ProSelect’s Room View feature, you are missing out!

Room View allows us to show our clients images, in a frame, properly sized, on THEIR wall. It takes all the guess work out of what size and which image fits their space and will look best. Reality is, it’s not easy for most clients to previsualize images on their wall. They might think a 20×30 would be HUGE, but in reality in a large spot, it could be way too small. As professionals, WE KNOW THIS, but it’s hard to get the customers to understand that we are not simply trying to sell them a bigger picture, we want what will look great in their home. Now they can SEE it before hand and make the best choice.

roomview

How does it work? Our client take a 4×12 sticker home and sticks it on their wall where they might want to hang a portrait. They take a photo with their cell phone or digital camera and send it to the studio. In ProSelect, we flag that sticker as the placement and note it’s size, then when we drag in a portrait, it puts it on their wall, can add a frame, and we use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the sizes to see what fits the best. It is truly awesome.

If you are not using ProSelect software, here is a link to a discount, please do yourself a favor and check it out! You can download a 30 day trial. If you use it, you can pay for it before you even have to pay for it!

PROSELECT SOFTWARE

You can learn more about how we use these tools by registering for our UBOX workshop

Better Price List Designs

I see a number of price lists that are simply not intelligently designed.

First of all, keep one thing in mind, a price list is NOT a marketing piece. It’s a selling piece. So it doesn’t have to be cutesy and loaded with graphics that you think are cool. It’s business time. Marketing might be aimed at seniors for appeal, but the price list should be aimed at the PARENTS who are making the buying decisions. Now, even with all that, we make sure that our price list matches the LOOK of our marketing for consistency. But keep it CLEAN AND SIMPLE, that’s rule #1.

Avoid any confusion. We want people to spend money right? If there is any confusion whatsoever, people are resistant to letting loose of their money if they are confused. So if your price list creates more questions than it answers, it’s BAD. If you have too many packages and people can’t decide, it’s BAD. Now it might make sense to YOU, you wrote it, but it could have all of your customers scratching their heads. So hand it to a few people and see if they get it without you making them a dissertation on how to interpret it.

The next major factor is that our price lists should maximize DESIRE and minimize PRICE. But so many that I see do the opposite. They FLAUNT the price really large without appealing descriptions or illustration. Look at these two examples:

FILET MIGNON $38.95


FILET MIGNON
A succulent slice of the finest
beef, wrapped with apple
smoked bacon and served with
our stuffed baked potato
and french bread
39

Fine restaurants have done this for years. They know to make us want it, get our mouth watering and us thinking “Wow, that sounds great!”, then in smaller type “oh yeah, it’s this much”. And notice the LACK of dollar signs. Dollar signs emphasize price.

Are we trying to be deceitful? No, not at all. We do want to make their mouths water for our products. Since our work is visual, and people often don’t know what we say when we state an “8 opening folio”, to them, they are saying “hmmm what exactly is that? Is that the think that your cousin got?” So we try to illustrate many of our products in our price list. Hey, you’re a photographer, right? Take a picture of your finished product!

These are a few things that can help make your price list a little easier to sell from and encourage larger orders.

To Package or Not To Package…That is the question

Today I wanted to address the topic of packages. Packages can help or hurt our sales, depending on our approach.

Let’s talk about the positive side of packages. What makes packages work? I think packaging has a psychological effect, they imply to people “this is what you need”. This can provide a floor for orders and can help them to a certain level. The package fills their needs as well as frequently offers some price incentive to the customer as well.

The downside of preset packages is that no only do they provide a floor to our orders, but they also create a ceiling. That same implied “filling of their needs” can begin to work against us on the top end. If our package fills their needs, it’s unlikely they will buy more. This is why people rarely add much onto packages.

In our studio, for our seniors, we offer a Create-a-Package. This offers a lot of flexibility for our clients, which has a lot of appeal. We stress these benefits to our customers. And like the benefit of packages, it provides a floor for our orders. But unlike set packages, our system has no ceiling, clients can keep adding things that appeal to them, with no limit applied by our pricing structure, only by the client’s ability to buy.

Let’s look at another aspect of packages, the discount. In each of our businesses, we have a certain amount that we need each client to spend for us to run a profitable business. We can call that our “base sale”. Unfortunately, unless we have minimum order, some order will fall below our base sale. What we sometimes see photographers do is offer discounted packages that are below our needed base sale. If we stop and think about it, that really doesn’t make much sense. Why would we DISCOUNT an order that is under what our base needs are to be profitable? It may be OK to offer a smaller package to create a starting appeal, but it should not be a discount from your normal prices. Who says that a package must be cheaper than your regular prices? In no way should we discount any package that is under our base sale needs. It’s probably even wiser to begin any discounts at our average order. If we take this approach, we are providing incentive to the better half of our clients.

So look at your packages. Do they make sense? Are they encouraging your clients to spend more?

A Change of UBOX Timing

For years we held our UBOX during Feb or March. Last year, we were not going to host a workshop, but at the urging of several people who wanted to come, we decided to do one, but at that point, we had to hold it in April. although that might give less planning time for the upcoming senior season (the reason we always held it earlier), it was much nicer from a weather stand point. We didn’t have a major snow or ice storm, the weather was nice and we were able to do much more outdoor shooting which was very nice for the class.

So we’ve decided to keep that later timeframe again this year and are hosting the 2013 UBOX on April 7-8-9.

For more information call our studio at 918-224-7838