Serenity. It’s under-rated.
This was one of those amazing winter days where the snow gently blanketed everything, the air was still, and despite how cold you’d think it was, it actually wasn’t bad (our past few Michigan winters have gifted me with the ability to think that anything above 0 degrees Fahrenheit that doesn’t involve a blustery sub-zero wind is quite bearable.)
The horses here were quiet and still that day, and seemed to enjoy my company as I took in the beautiful view along side them. One of them stopped, framing the woods in front of us, so that I could capture the sight to share with you. I thought to myself as I was with them that this must be what serenity feels like: peace, beauty, companionship – and I was so happy that I had my camera to document that moment.
This image is available as a gallery wrapped canvas or a matted and framed fine art print on my web site BY CLICKING HERE, just navigate to my equine fine art gallery, where you’ll find a wide variety of framing options to match an decor. This makes a stunning statement piece of wall art.
I love to share things with my fellow photographers, and this is a gem! So many people enter into our business, barely know how to use a camera, and have no business or sales experience. It’s kind of a disaster. That is why 80% of photographers are out of business within just a few years (!), and why people are able to find “fauxtographers” out there willing to do a $50 photo shoot that includes a CD (Dear Clients: I do not offer that service. I have a degree in visual arts, and have invested significant amounts of time, resources, and finances to provide you with amazing photography, art, and products that you will not find anywhere else. There is a lot of value in that, and I’m priced accordingly. That doesn’t usually appeal to bargain shoppers, but it does appeal to people who are looking for phenomenal images of their moments and loved ones!) So, when I first read this article I felt the need to share it with my colleagues – so many people just don’t follow up – and when we fail to do that, someone else gets the job. Don’t let that happen. This is brought to you by guest blogger (and my doppleganger womb-mate) Lana Adams, who specializes in motivating people to find and follow their sales leads, create sales opportunities, identify target markets, and increase sales and productivity. You can find Lana on LinkedIn (http://linkd.in/1h1jv1k) – be sure to check out her other articles on sales tips, techniques, and info, and follow her on Twitter (@LanaA001).
FOUR WAYS TO GET PROSPECTS RETURNING YOUR CALLS
By Guest Blogger, Lana Adams, GCA,CSA
With as many as 50 percent of all sales going to the first salesperson to reach the customer, it’s not only vital that we reply to prospective customers quickly but when we do, we must have a message and strategy in place that compels them to respond. As salespeople, it’s easy for us to blame the customer when they fail to respond to our follow-up attempts or stop returning our calls. “They’re busy”, “They weren’t that interested, anyway”. We’ve all heard the fabricated excuses designed to blame the customer for our failure: as sales professionals, we failed to sound different – be different – think differently – than our competitors’ sales force.
Here are four simple steps to create voicemail and email messages that customers can’t help but respond to:
- Think like a customer. What would get you to pick up the phone? Here’s a hint: it’s not the standard and boring “Hi it’s Lana with ABC Company and I’m calling to follow-up with you on your product inquiry. My number is 555-1212.” Yawn. They just got that very same voicemail message from three of your competitors. Your message needs to sound different. It needs to sound energetic and contagiously enthusiastic. “Hi Ms. Johnson. This is Lana with ABC Company and I’d love to learn more about your storage needs and whether our unique and exciting solutions might be the answer you’re looking for. My direct line is 555-1212.” Practice by leaving messages for yourself. Do you sound energetic? Is your enthusiasm for your product contagious? If not, keep practicing until you convince yourself.
- Give your prospective customer a reason to speak with you personally. If you tell them everything they need to know (pricing, availability, benefits) in your message, congratulations! You’ve just eliminated their need to speak with you. Instead, dangle a proverbial carrot and pique their curiosity so they’ll want to learn more. Share something of value, something relevant, something interesting — but don’t tell them what they want most, which is likely to be pricing. “Good morning, Ms. Johnson. This is Lana with ABC Company and our storage solutions help homeowners more than triple their storage capacity. I’m excited to tell you how.”
- Your message must be brief. Challenge yourself to use no more than three sentences and never, ever, give away your pricing, availability, or other pertinent details in a voicemail or email. If you’re leaving a voicemail message, do so in an environment with few distractions to avoid any hesitations, stammering, or breaks.
- Don’t give anything away. Only rookies start offering discounts right away. You don’t know that the customer has a price objection and the customer may not yet know or understand your value proposition. Discounts mean lower profits and lower profits mean less money for everyone. Using a discount to entice a prospect into calling you promises to turn your next conversation into price haggling.
Start building your own library of messages to use with customers based on your pipeline stage and where you’re at in the sales process. Have a minimum of three compelling messages that can be used for each stage and continually build your collection to keep the ones that work best and toss the ones that didn’t seem effective.
Improving the caliber of your messages not only helps you increase the number of customers you’re able to touch but also decreases the chances your prospects will fall off the radar or into your competitors’ hands.
If it seems like things have been quiet here the past two weeks, you’d be right. I had plans for a long overdue vacation with a wonderful group of my closest friends at a beautiful state park in Indiana, and thought that I’d be posting on here and Facebook while I was gone, but the remoteness of our location meant that we had no cell phone or internet service. For the record, it did make me twitchy now and again, but eventually I was able to get over it and enjoy the old feeling of being completely disconnected from social media. I’m not in a hurry to try it again, but it was refreshing in it’s own right!
But back to my vacation: picture a few days of fun and relaxation with your besties. One of my very best friends (and sometimes photo assistant extraordinaire) has another friend who lives in the area we were visiting. That amazingly beautiful young lady contacted me a while back on my Facebook business page (HERE: http://www.Facebook.com/LauraAdamsPhotographicArt) to inquire about a photo shoot and how to schedule it on my next trip down there. We touched base a few times, exchanged e-mails and FB messages, and made plans to get together when I got down there. Flash forward to Easter Sunday, and she arrived for her photo session.
…not only is she stunning, but she showed up with a wardrobe that would make any stylist for a western living magazine envious.
Oh, what I would have given to have had more time to work with her while I was down there, but we had some pretty specific images we wanted to capture during our session, and our time was limited. During her shoot, we were able to create some fantastic images of her with her barrel horse, Buggs, and her sweet little Jack Russell Terrier, Skip (doesn’t he have one of the sweetest faces ever?) We practically had the place to ourselves, and she is sooo gorgeous, she even had someone stop by our shoot to ask what magazine she was being photographed for!
I know I don’t say it enough (insert sarcasm there, because you’re probably sick of reading me say this), but I LOVE what I do, and helping people capture moments in their lives with their loved ones is by far the best part of it. Combining my vacation with a little bit of work was a lot of fun, and I’m always happy to consider travel to a destination to help YOU capture your moments, memories, and loved ones!
I’d also like to send a huge shout out and loads of gratitude to my photo assistant for this session. She always makes things easier for me while I work, and her never-ending support and constant encouragement are appreciated and cherished more than she will ever know.
Heidi with her barrel horse, Bugs, and Jack Russell Terrier, Skip.
It was a brisk fall evening and the sun was just getting ready to go down, We’d planned our shoot to take advantage of the warm sunset light and soft color palette of this marshy area, and I brought my studio lighting along so we could *really* capture the unusual color of this gelding while taking advantage of the beauty of the environment we were in.
One of the joys of being an equine photographer and working with horses is that I am lucky enough to have access to a pretty vast clientele that own everything from backyard companions, trail horses, and pleasure horses to competitive equine athletes. Champ is a nicely gaited trail and pleasure horse, with a color we don’t get to see every day, and combined with the background we were working with, I just fell in love with this image of him.
This is but a small example of some of the images I capture during my equine sessions, and is a fantastic example of an image that deserves to be printed L-A-R-G-E on museum-quality canvas and be a predominant piece of art on a highly visible wall or over a fireplace. There are usually so many shots of this caliber to choose from that it’s often hard to pick which one to invest in – of course, my answer is always ALL of them!
Go out and hug your horses today, and may everyone be enjoying the beautiful weather we’re having now that our horribly long winter is over with!
Champ, a gorgeous gaited horse with an unusual color, taken by Michigan professional Equine Photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art based out of south east Michigan.
©All rights reserved. Laura Adams and Laura Adams Photographic Art, 2014. Images and text on this site may NOT be duplicated, saved, scanned, screen captured, used, altered, posted, modified, or otherwise captured or used in any manner without express written permission from Laura Adams.
…GET OUT OF YOUR STALL!!! ~ Laura Adams, Michigan Equine Photographer
Here’s a very handsome Warmblood horse to celebrate your Saturday. I fell in love with that droopy lower lip and his alert expression. Then, there was that amazing sunset light that was filtering through some trees and lighting up his face – beautiful boy, yes?
Here’s wishing everyone an amazing weekend. Get out and take photographs of your favorite person, children, animal companions, and/or horses – I see some sunlight and spring is here (kind of).
Handsome Warmblood gelding photographed by professional equine photographer Laura Adams of Laura Adams Photographic Art in south east Michigan, based out of the Ann Arbor area.
©All rights reserved. Laura Adams and Laura Adams Photographic Art, 2014. Images and text on this site may NOT be duplicated, saved, scanned, screen captured, used, altered, posted, modified, or otherwise captured or used in any manner without express written permission from Laura Adams. (You may use the FB share feature on my Facebook page by using the FB button below OR pin this on Pinterest using the button below!)
Today, we’re doing more of a pic and less of a blog entry. A couple of weeks ago, I shared an image of a lovely mare that was owned by a friend of mine who exhibits somatic mutation. You can read more about that (and see my previously posted image of her) by clicking HERE.
I had numerous requests to see this mare’s lovely face, so I’m sharing this image today, but want to tell you that I have a really amazing image of her that will be posted shortly, so keep your eyes peeled and visit often – it’s one you won’t want to miss!
Lovely half Arab mare, DA Remote Control, who exhibits somatic mutation, giving her a very uniquely patterned coat. By Michigan professional equine photographer Laura Adams.
©All rights reserved. Laura Adams and Laura Adams Photographic Art, 2014. Images and text on this site may NOT be duplicated, saved, scanned, screen captured, used, altered, posted, modified, or otherwise captured or used in any manner without express written permission from Laura Adams. (You may use the FB share feature on my Facebook page OR pin this on Pinterest using the button below!)
A few pics from last night’s photography exhibition, hosted by GalleryOne on the campus of WCC. It was an amazing evening filled with incredible art. More details and some thoughts about the process to be posted on the blog at my web site here within the next few days. Right now: recovery!