In Person Sales (IPS) and why we Made the Change
IPS is the latest dirty word in some of the photography community. If you want to start a discussion, or argument, just say the dreaded three letter word…IPS. You will get some looks that range from “you are a weird alien from another world” to “finally someone who gets it”. As with any type of system, there are pros and cons. We have been on both sides of the discussion at different times in my photography career but let me share with you why we came back to IPS.
IPS vs Shoot and Share
For people who are like “what are you talking about?”, let me explain the two biggest selling models in Photography. The IPS model is where the photographer, after the session, will sit down with the client and try to sell their prints and other products in a direct sales session. This can be done over the internet as well.The other model is often called shoot and share because you give clients their photos digitally and then just leave them alone to decide if they want to order pictures from you or print them on their own.
Neither Model is “Correct”
What matters is that you weigh the models for what they are worth and see what is best for your business. One example is real estate photography. They are a definite shoot and share model because their clients would never buy prints or at least not very often. Instead they usually only need digitalis to post with their clients listing on the internet.
Clients Don’t Print Their Pictures
It still puzzles me to this day that after spending money on photography, our clients still did not have their pictures printed and were still just looking at them in digital form. When asked why, almost all of them said that they just forgot about it and were too busy to get things printed. Jason and I thought this was crazy, but when we looked in our house we only have one picture from our vow renewal hanging. WHY? Because, it is the one our photographer gifted us. Despite our preconceptions, this is a reality that clients just don’t have time. By using IPS you help them to get pictures on their walls.
Providing Full Service
The other reason we made the switch to the IPS model is that some clients just didn’t know what to hang on their walls. That may sound very odd but it is the absolute truth. We would get calls from clients six months after their wedding asking what print would look good on their wall, what size, and if it should be a canvas or not. Switching to an IPS model allowed us to better serve our clients and offer advice on the type of print that should hang on their walls. We found our clients really valued our opinion and in fact wanted it to help make a decision. This session also allows you to offer a full service from beginning to end without falling short.
IPS has alot of advantages but before you dive in you have to understand you either do IPS all the way or don’t do it at all. One of the biggest complaints we get is that no one wants to buy picture any more. I completely disagree. A good example is Shutterfly, according to their Q2 2018 report their consumer segment made $165 million. So people want pictures they are just not buying them with you.
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