How many times have you thought to yourself, "People say they love my items, but how do I get them to buy from me?"
While there may be many factors that inhibit a buyer from purchasing your items, (offerings, price, timing, location), there are several really easy tips on how to work the odds to convert potential customers to actual buyers.
Pay Attention to Cues
A lot of times potential buyers are on the fence about something. If they take the initiative to send you an inquiry, use that to your advantage. Give them an incentive to ask further questions. For example, a lot of brides-to-be ask if I offer envelopes for my invitations. I reply by giving them their answer, (yes), and add extra information by telling them that I offer envelope printing for their convenience. That little extra information may be the feather that sways the decision to purchase.
Offer Exemplary Customer Service
A lot of times, people like to ask questions even if they're not buying. Answer every query as if they are an actual buyer. You never know who they're connected to. Word-of-mouth promotion is one of the biggest keys to being successful, and buyers are more likely to believe their Aunt Judy's words of praise than your ad on a random blog.
Use the Web to Your Advantage
Speaking of blogs, you can use the web to your advantage. By setting up a blog, a photo account, and mailing list, you create your own little circle where you can make your customers feel like they're a part of what you do. Set up "inside the studio" tours, blog about your mistakes. Give visitors a step-by-step process of what you do. People love to see the human side, and that you're not just there to take their money. Compile a list of where you have been "featured." This will give people more confidence in your talents, and they will gladly pay for those talents if they know others appreciate it as well.
The Power of Suggestion
Suggestions can be pretty powerful when you've gotten their attention. Now that you've answered their questions, you can include a little direction for them on what to purchase for what occasion. I can attribute direct sales by giving people helpful suggestions on which set of note cards would be great for Grandma, or what gift set would be perfect for their newly-wedded friends.
Remember, purchasing decisions are an emotional thing. And shoppers who buy online lose a bit of the personal connection, so it's up to you to provide that as a selling point. By appealing to a potential buyer's needs, chances are that even if you don't close that sale right away, they will keep you in mind for when the time is right.