Everyone in the photography industry seems to be talking about it - Virtual In-Person Sales...
And why wouldn't we talk about a process that promises to give all of the benefits of traditional In-Person Sales, without all of the hassles?
Let's break down the pros and cons of Virtual In-Person Sales so you can decide if it's a good fit for you and your photography business.
Will Virtual IPS Fit My Business Model?
This one's pretty simple... the answer is probably "yes".
- Shoot and Burn - Virtual IPS gives you the opportunity to dip your toe into the print sales waters without the commitment and stress of traditional In-Person Sales.
- Sell Online - With Virtual IPS, you'll boost your profits and your service by offering an In-Person Sales process that is as convenient as selling online.
- Sell with Traditional IPS - Use Virtual IPS when a traditional IPS meeting isn't an option for those destination or hard-to schedule clients.
So let's consider this a "yes" across the board. No matter how you sell your work, Virtual IPS is probably going to help you do it better.
Is Virtual IPS a Good Replacement for Traditional IPS?
Ok, fine, I'll say more than that.
Virtual IPS is a great fallback for Traditional IPS. It's the next best thing. But it's not going to be as effective as Traditional IPS.
With that said, you may end up making more profit from Virtual IPS, even with lower sales. The time you spend on a Virtual IPS session is far less than the commitment to Traditional IPS, so you have more room to increase your profits, even with lower sales.
Ok, Gimme the Cons for Virtual IPS...
Well, other than lower sales as we just discussed, there are just a few more.
- Less personal connection with your client
- It's harder to set the expectation that the sales meeting is the time they place their order
- You have the added tech to worry about with a Virtual IPS meeting that you don't have with Traditional IPS
- There's more potential for your client to get distracted during a Virtual IPS meeting vs a Traditional IPS meeting
Hmmm... So What are the Pros for Virtual IPS?
The pros, in my opinion, far outweigh the cons. Here we go...
- Higher sales than shoot and burn or online sales
- Happier clients than shoot and burn or online sales
- Better service than shoot and burn or online sales
- The joy of seeing your work proudly displayed in your clients' homes
- No overwhelming time commitments like Traditional IPS
- No marathon cleaning sessions to prep for sales meetings like Traditional IPS
- You don't have to trade time with your family and friends to make more money in your business
Put simply, when done correctly, Virtual IPS is a great way to provide the service (and get the sales) of Traditional IPS, without many of the hassles of a Traditional IPS process.
Fill your calendar with clients who want your photos in their homes.
What Potential Pitfalls Do I Need to Look Out For with Virtual IPS?
There are a few spots that could be "gotchas" with Virtual IPS. Let's discuss them now...
This is, hands down, the #1 thing you need to do well with Virtual IPS. There are a few expectations that need to be set more firmly with Virtual IPS than with Traditional IPS.
Here are the expectations I would make sure to set and reinforce for Virtual IPS:
- The Sales Meeting is the only time to place your order
- All decision-makers need to be present for the Virtual IPS meeting
If you set those expectations well, your Virtual IPS meetings will go much more smoothly.
Tech. It's a four-letter word, amiright?
From signing up for the right tools and setting up those tools correctly in the first place, to making sure you're setting up your individual meetings properly, tech can be a big headache for some of our technically-challenged friends.
The flow of the actual Virtual IPS meeting is very similar to a Traditional IPS meeting, but you'll need to be sure to lead the meeting more than you would in a Traditional IPS meeting.
Your client has other shiny objects around them in their own home and on their computer, so you'll need to be sure to guide the conversation and keep the meeting moving forward.
But really... that's about it.
So, What Should I Do Next?
That's easy. You should go check out our newest mini-course, 1 Hour to Virtual In-Person Sales.
It'll walk you through:
- Where the Virtual IPS Meeting fits within a great In-Person Sales process
- Over-the-shoulder view of setting up the tools you need for successful Virtual IPS (step-by-step "click this, then this" instructions)
- A full mock Virtual IPS meeting going through our exact flow for the same IPS meeting that took us to $120,000 in sales in our first year of In-Person Sales
You'll also get these free bonuses:
- An interview with one of our members, Allie Siarto, about her Automated Virtual In-Person Sales process that lets her sell her work, without having to be present for a meeting at all.
- In-Depth IPS training to help you nail the pre-sales meeting process so your clients are guided naturally to purchasing products during your Virtual IPS meeting
- A "Before You Go Live" checklist that will walk you through making sure your tech, your meeting (and you) are ready for the Virtual IPS meeting
- A step-by-step Virtual IPS checklist that details every single step of the sales meeting. Have this out during your sales meeting and you'll be sure to cover every key step and every potential opportunity available to you in your Virtual IPS meeting.