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Can You Get Someone To Want To Pay More?

Can You Get Someone To Want To Pay More?

When you go to sell something, there’s a piece of psychology that presents a problem.

Most people aren’t even aware that this problem exists.  Let alone how to fix it.  But now, YOU will.

It has to do with the way a client thinks about how much what you sell is worth.

Specifically, the point in time that they think your item is worth the most.  

I want to make sure you know about this, because understanding that piece of information can help you close a sale.  Or help you get past the “but it’s too expennnnnsive” hurdles.

To help us out, I brought the ever-brilliant Spencer Lum of Ground Glass and 5 West Studios in New York City over here for a chat.

(We were both hiding out in respective corners of our house while our children slept, but we managed to record this for you on the sly.)

Pop in some earphones while you edit, or listen in here!  

(If the Internet hiccuped and you can’t see it, don’t worry, you can click here instead.)


Pretty cool, huh?  Hope you put it to good use!

Screen shot 2013-06-25 at 12.16.53 PM

P.S.  Oh!  Oh!  While we’re on the subject of clients valuing your work –

Jamie Swanson over at The Modern Tog has a smart, free e-book called How To Educate Clients So They Value Your Photography.

I’m an affiliate of hers, but even if I weren’t, I’d still recommend you go download this now.  Because Tip #3 is worth its weight in prime lenses.  Er, gold.  Whatever.  It’s worthwhile, people.  



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  1. Diane on September 29, 2015 at 2:58 am

    I really enjoyed this & got heaps of tips… thank you both 🙂

  2. Michelle on September 29, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips.
    Great content from Psych for Togs as usual!

  3. Chris on September 29, 2015 at 4:59 am

    My wife has just started giving the client our notes, so she’ll be glad to know there’s a psychologically sound reason for doing so 🙂 So are you showing the client just one, all-inclusive package, and then eliminating individual items for them, as opposed to introducing smaller packages?

    • Jenika on September 29, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I’m pretty sure what Spencer does is show the all-inclusive and then tailor it down. As a wedding photographer, he has to discuss things like hours of coverage and other services in addition to products, so he can tailor it to people on multiple fronts. A portrait photographer could do that, or they could also just show three packages with the biggest first so that people see what they give up for less money, not what they get for more money, if that makes sense. It’s subtle but powerful, and at the very least often leads people to get a step higher than they otherwise would have.

  4. Dorothea on September 29, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Thanks a bunch! That video really was very insightful. I will start applying some of these principals. Spencer is very skilled at taking personal experience and translating it into something that you can apply to you business. Thanks for your newsletters, they are always worth spending the time to read.

    • Jenika on September 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Dorothea!

  5. Chrissy Michelle Strawn on September 29, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I was called the owner of a telecom business I worked for back in the 80’s. That was highly empowering. I wasn’t the owner. But a senior technician. Jump to today. I am a closeted pro photographer. I shoot beautiful photos of people and objects.But I have a fear of going out to meet the clients I don’t yet have. On one level I am perfectly able to start a conversation with people. On an other level I am afraid of failure. I look forward to getting your tips that may be the impetus to spark my salesperson identity!!!

    • Jenika on September 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Chrissy – Spencer has something very cool coming out soon that goes through the process of sales backwards and forwards. Which is nice, because he’s not a salesy person at all, yet he’s successful, so he’s the right dude to teach this. So you might watch for that. In the meantime, I’d challenge you to ask yourself – if you go out and try and fail, are you any differently off than if you never tried? In the end the net result is 0. So failure is not really something to fear. I wouldn’t avoid something for fear of failure because avoidance guarantees failure. You might be interested to know that in some kinds of therapy, therapists have people fail on purpose so that people see it’s not really that bad or devastating. Anyway I hope that you stick with it and keep going! 🙂

  6. Scott Hamill on September 29, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    What a great concept! I can almost imagine creating a product catalog that only has an “all-inclusive” package and an ala carte “removal” menu that lists how much the client saves when they remove individual items.

    • Jenika on September 29, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks for the thoughts! I could see that too, what you’d have to watch out for is people who would, in that case, just want to go to the a la carte and build bottom-up. Which might be fine with you, but you’d probably need a rule against it because at some point your money needs to be made from the work regardless of the products that end up in their hands. There’s that tricky balance between making people feel like they can “save” money vs really showing them what you have and making it feel painful to give it up…that is a place worth getting to and worth experimenting with I think. I might have just one or two things they could “give up” but only those options. Since Spencer does weddings, customizing the packages is also a matter of determining hours of coverage + engagement sessions + products, and that might not totally work for portrait photographers for example. It’s a concept worth exploring!

      Let us know how it goes!

  7. Cindy Johnson on September 29, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Janika and Spencer: Thanks for a very interesting and informative discussion.

    I’ve retooled my the investment guide for my wedding film business, leading with the most expensive and highest deliverable package first, with everything else below it slightly lower and with fewer offerings.

    I like the idea of starting with your best and ending with what would still be a very solid package that a client can start thinking they already own.


  8. Madeleine Lamou on September 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Brilliant tips, thank you so much! I’m in the process of revamping my packages and the whole client onboarding process, so this came in super handy. Thanks again, can’t wait to start implementing all the good stuff I’ve just learnt from you.

    • Jenika on September 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Good luck with the revamp!

  9. Spencer on September 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    As always, had a wonderful time chatting, Jenika!

  10. Irene Cole on September 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    This was wonderful and so helpful! Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. kate callahan on September 29, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Really helpful information. Thanks for sharing it! : )

  12. Hannah C on September 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    This is super helpful, thank you! I totally relate to the part when Spencer talked about not wanting to be a pushy salesman and would just point out the products like menu items and ask what they want to choose. I can see how creating an experience where you are both in the process together would be much more beneficial. So what does that conversation look like? Obviously it will vary based on the services/products you offer but do you have any tips to lead them into a discussion? I also LOVE the idea of starting the process before the session by having them think through and choose the products they are interested in. I guess I am still struggling with what the conversation at the ordering session could look like…

    • Spencer on September 30, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      Start with questions, Hannah. Lots of them. Take the time to get to know people and really understand their needs, before you get to the point of a putting together an estimate or suggesting a package. That way, by the time you’re talking about the numbers, the couple will be in the mindset that you’re helping them through the process instead of just showing them costs. The extra trust you create will lead the client to see you differently than if a person were just to show what they do and talk about themselves, and it will mean that you can be assertive about suggestions and ask more questions about how they feel and what they like when you talk about the numbers, and they won’t see you as pushy at all – they’ll see you as helpful and caring. And if you take the time to get to know people deeply, that’s exactly what you’ll be.

  13. Derrik Ollar on September 29, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I love the intellectual nature of your conversation with Spencer. There is far too much fluff in the generally available photo education out there.

  14. Larissa Fanti Bernardes on October 1, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Very good Jenika! Thanks!

  15. Denise Karis on October 1, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    GREAT VIDEO. He’s fantastic! And so are you! <3 This is so so good!

  16. Michelle Solis on October 11, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Some of the best info I’ve ever received as a Salesperson/photographer, Thanks a mllion.

  17. KarahC on November 18, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Awsome tips, I have a lot to think about

  18. Sara on January 14, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Would/do you walk through the products first when doing IPS? Then let them look through images to make selections? Or would you show the preview slideshow first then the indidual images for selections and finally get them endowed with products?

    • Jenika on January 20, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      There is more than one way to do it. I would familiarize people with products before they ever got to the sales session so they already knew which thing(s) they were buying, so that all I had to do in person / after the session was slideshow + selections. The slideshow is emotional so I usually did that before selections.

  19. Kimberly Aker on May 7, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I don’t use packages with boudoir though bc they don’t normally want a ton of products. SO, any advice there on how to implement this?

  20. Kimberly Aker on May 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Also, this video is AMAZING. I feel like my comment came off crass so I want to say thank you! I love learning about psychology and the why. So, this video already has my wheels turning for sure!

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