What being a Dad can teach you about selling

You have a point-of-view, and so does everyone else you talk with. Along with that point-of-view comes a set of biases, past-experiences and an intimate perspective. This "clash of world-views" means that almost every conversation starts-off with a disconnect. You must effectively communicate your point-of-view if you want to persuade, influence or inspire.

We all have a point-of-view we want to communicate.

But … we don’t communicate in a bubble.

You have a point-of-view, and so does everyone else you talk with. Along with that point-of-view comes a set of biases, past-experiences and an intimate perspective.

This “clash of world-views” means that almost every conversation starts-off with a disconnect. You must effectively communicate your point-of-view if you want to persuade, influence or inspire.

This is what you do as a salesperson, and whether you like it or not, you are a salesperson.

I’ve been teaching “sales” for photographers for quite some time now, and I love the topic. However, having a 2-year-old daughter has made me more intentional and focused in my approach to communication. I believe that you can learn a lot from being a Dad, as I am to my daughter Ava.

Let me explain …

When I want Ava to play instead of watching Dora the Explorer, I have to talk about playing in a way that interests her. When we’re trying to potty train her, we have to talk about it like an exciting event to get her equally as excited about it. If we’re trying to get her to eat her food, we have to talk about how she’ll get bigger by eating it instead of telling her how yummy broccoli is (because she’ll never believe that).

When Ava throws a temper tantrum and won’t share when she’s playing with her cousin, Cooper, we have to tell her that if she keeps acting this way, then Cooper will have to go home. When we have to leave the park after playing, we have to get her saying “yes” to what we’ll do when we get home.

I really could go on and on, but you get the point.

Here are the 5 “selling” principles that being a Dad can teach you:

  1. Talk in terms of other’s interests
  2. Get excited about whatever it is you’re selling
  3. Focus on the outcome
  4. Make the alternative undesirable
  5. Get them saying yes

The point to this article is simple; effective communication is the foundation to “selling” as a photographer.

If you want to make a living from photography and create long-lasting success, then you must become an effective communicator. You must learn, practice and implement effective ways to convey your point-of-view.

You could be trying to “sell” yourself to a bride and groom looking to hire you as a wedding photographer, or you could be trying to “sell” an upgrade to a larger print size to a family. You could be trying to “sell” yourself to a magazine to do a featured cover shoot for them, or you could be trying to “sell” yourself to a wedding coordinator at a high-end venue to get on their referral list.

No matter what the situation, when you replace “sell” with “communicate”, it’s the same thing.

Learn how to communicate and you learn how to sell. It doesn’t have to be scary.

2 Comments

  • Flip Flops says:

    Nicely put, i agree with you and i’m a father and has helped me a lot in my current role.

  • Karey Wood says:

    Nice tips on selling Bryan. I agree with focusing on the outcome completely. You want to get your clients imagining how their lives will be better if they by your product or service. You don’t have to do the hard sell, just talk about how it will benefit them.

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