Want more success? Be a real person

More success secret photography businesses Heike Delmore

I’ve got some honest words, a profitable message and some valuable freebies for you today.

It was your average Friday, I was editing photos and listening to a new audio book, when something I heard stopped me dead in my tracks.

Something put so simply. Something so resonating. Something so important. Something I realized I learned over 20 years ago but could never articulate into words so simply or powerfully.

Before I dive into this further, let me begin with a quick story:

I was 18 years old and I got a part-time job at a trendy clothing store while attending university.

I had no sales experience, but I guess I looked the part. To the interview, I wore my most stylish outfit. I was hoping to be perceived as cool or fashionable enough to work there.

The first day on the job I was told to go sell some clothes.

I would be paid a low hourly wage in addition to a 3% commission on anything I sold. 

I noticed quickly how hungry my fellow salespeople were. 

The deal was, once you put clothing in the change room for a customer - that customer was considered yours. And you would receive commission on anything he/she purchased.

I was instructed to go greet the customers. To go tell them how good they looked the clothes. I was also given some other scripts aimed to pull in some sales.

I felt really nervous. Actually, I was pretty scared.

I didn’t want to approach customers who clearly didn’t want any help. (And this was pretty much everyone who walked into the store). 

Using the sales techniques felt 'yucky' and 'salesy' coming out of my mouth. 

I made no sales.

Then a whole month went by… and still I made no sales. I knew my job security was running thin. I could tell management was getting frustrated and annoyed with my performance. 

I soon felt I wasn’t cut out for sales. I told myself, “I just don’t have the right personality.”

My next shift started, and for all I knew, it was possibly my last. 

It was quiet day at the mall. A girl came into the store and I said “Hi”. Without any thoughts of making a sale, I started organizing some messy sweater piles near where she was browsing. 

We struck up a conversation. It was a natural conversation. It felt legitimate and equal.

As the conversation progressed, the tone remained the same as the topic transitioned. She told me what she was shopping for. I enthusiastically showed her all of the items that matched her needs. And then, I showed her all of the amazing accessories and other items (I personally thought) paired well with the outfit - to take it from good to great.

I loved helping her. It was a magical feeling.

And coincidentally, she too was getting excited about my suggestions.

I poured 120% of my heart and soul into presenting her with the best solutions to her problem. And she looked great.

I’m sure you can guess the outcome. Yes, I made my first sale… and it was a BIG one.

But it was a win-win. We both felt happy and fulfilled. 

Important note: I wasn't thinking, “Oh my goodness, is she going to buy something from me? I hope she buys something…”

Au contraire! I was focused on how I could help this lovely customer and create the best looking outfit to match her needs.

Things turned around that day. And from that day on, I was the top producer for that clothing store. 

So what were the words that stopped me in my tracks last Friday? The book said:

“You want people skills?...Then be a person.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

The moment I became a real person and had a real conversation with that customer, was the day I realized that sales aren’t about one-liners or savvy selling techniques. No, it was about me being able to be me. It was about how I could relate, help and give my customer something valuable and specific to her needs and desires. It was about how I could make her happy and exceed her expectations.

So simple.

“It’s worth ten thousand times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented. It’s called authenticity.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

Although, I learned this important lesson over 20 years ago, it was a feeling I never forgot, even though I could never quite articulate what it was in just three little words. 

Be a person. 

Just be a real person.

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling whether it be clothing or wedding photography, the same principle applies. It’s the law of authenticity.

I live my life and run my photography business by this law.

Now, if you’re wondering what this amazing book is called, it’s called “The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg , John David Mann.

It’s a quick read with a big impact.

You can read the first 2 chapters for free on google books here.

I’m hoping this inspires you To connect with your clients on a deeper more authentic level to ultimately jumpstart or build-on your current success.

Now, I’ve got a lovely surprise

It’s one thing to create deeper more authentic relationships with your clients face-to-face or on the phone. But often times we struggle with creating this same feeling online.

In other words, does your website present the real you to the world?

I know how mechanical writing about yourself can feel. You’re thinking…. “Do I sound too corporate?”, “I don’t want to sound conceded”, “Does that sound unprofessional?”, “Which photo should I include?”.

This month I’ll be hosting a free online training module covering some of the most overlooked things you can do to your website to help you stand out, save time and sell more.

(Full e-course to launch in March 2017)

The free training video is geared toward wedding photographers and other wedding professionals. The wedding industry is super competitive and highly saturated. 

And, let’s face it, most brides begin their wedding vendor search online. 

A beautiful design with stunning photos coupled with your contact information is not enough to make brides stop their search and say “This is the one!”

This free training will give you some quick action items you can do to make yourself stand out from the busy crowd. 

I hope you’ll join us! 

Tell us where to send the free training module:

 
 

I’ll finish with another impactful quote from the book:

“The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.”

{Burg, Mann (2015) The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: Gildan Media, LLC}

 
Some earlier photos...

Some earlier photos...

 

Thanks for allowing me into your inbox! Leave me a comment below - what was your breakthrough moment?

With love, gratitude and wishing you all the success,

 
 

 

P.S. I mentioned that I was listening to this book while editing photos. I subscribe to Audible (where you can find this book) and Sue Bryce Education. Both have business material that is motivating, insightful and inspiring!