Day 83: Book Recommendation: Selling Luxury

I sat in the United breakout session given by Charity Maurer where she said, “Luxury isn’t more, it’s just better. It’s less but much better.” I almost shouted an AMEN but then remembered I was supposed to be there learning to be more luxurious and somehow, shouting like I was at a town meeting in Stars Hollow didn’t seem like such a good idea.

About a year ago I became obsessed with finding out what makes a luxury experience. What is the difference between a luxury hotel/ restaurant/ car/ gym and a nice one? While Charity nicely summed it up for me last month, I also found a ton of amazing guidance in the book Selling Luxury by Robin Lent, Genevieve Tour and Alain Dominique Perrin.

As photographers, we are usually everything in our business. We handle the shooting, editing, communication, marketing, bookkeeping, and… sales. It’s such a cringey word but it’s true. Without being able to book weddings or clients, we can’t be a business. So it’s up to us to also learn to sell ourselves in a way that is consistent with the other areas of our business. If I have amazing marketing and a fabulous online presence but then when people meet with me, I’m nothing like what I’ve created online, I’ll lose that client. Creating an experience from the first day to the last day is important and this book covers the parts where we usually fall short.

Early on in this book, the author writes, “People don’t buy a sports car to get from A to B, a luxury watch to know what time it is, or a beautiful hand-stitched travel bag because they have things to carry.” And it made me think about how easy we have it. It might be hard to convince someone to buy a ten thousand dollar watch over a four hundred dollar watch. Or to buy a thousand dollar bag over a hundred dollar bag. But wedding photography? Unlike a watch or a purse, a wedding is a once in a lifetime event! It’s a once in a lifetime EXPERIENCE! I mean, after they get married, they will no longer need to shop for wedding vendors ever. If it was the last handbag they ever bought, then the job of selling a thousand dollar handbag that their children would use would become MUCH easier. Or if it was the last watch they were ever able to buy AND the watch their children would wear… well, spending ten thousand on the best watch would also become much easier. We have an extremely fortunate and unique advantage being able to say “This is it. The one and only. You’ll never choose to invest in a wedding photographer again.” Knowing this made me want to create the best experience possible for my clients where no balls were dropped from start to finish. So, to start, I read this book.

Leaving you with a few favorite sections to end day 83!

•Every occasion is an opportunity to help your customer celebrate life.

•Here is a goal [for you]: “Make every contact a pleasurable experience, whether it is someone who is purchasing or not.”

•When the Sales Ambassador moves into the realm of dreams and emotions, the exchanges that take place in this universe are very different. Go beyond functionality. Be a dream seller.

•They buy these objects because design and style have an uplifting impact on their lives. People feel the pleasure that comes from owning and being in contact with the quality and beauty of the creation.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris