Landing Your First Sale
If you’ve taken Course 1: Understanding the FAA and Course 2: Becoming Professional your aerial photography company is ready to find its first sale.
The trick to getting your first sale is finding who is in need. Aerial photography/videography has a world of uses ranging from advertising to inspection. By looking at businesses in your area you will be able to tell where the market for your drone is.
Who should I target?
As a professional drone photographer there are numerous places that you could find your first sale such as:
Resorts And Hotels
Building And Construction Site Inspection
What Is My Sales Strategy?
Your main goal when approaching potential customers is to drive them to your online portfolio. Your online portfolio will make sales for you. The best way for you to improve your sales is by directing people to your portfolio.
If you have created your online portfolio with HiFly you have an easily shareable and unique URL. Sharing your portfolio is as easy as putting your URL in an email to a prospective customer, printing it on your business cards or posting it to an online forum.
Building A Contact List
The first step to getting a sale is finding people in need. The way you manage your search for these people is by creating a list. A list is simply a catalogue of all the potential customers you have. Having a list allows you to pursue multiple leads at the same time by keeping track of contact information such as company, name, number, site as well as the status of your relationship with them.
Contact lists can be managed easily on Google Sheets or Excel. Here is a sample list template:
Businesses in your area can easily be found by conducting a “niche + area” search online. Most of these websites will have contact information readily available. It is important to choose THE BEST contact information when visiting a site with multiple contacts.
If you’re looking at a real estate agency find the Principal Broker’s information not an agent’s.
If you’re calling a hotel/resort find the Marketing Director’s information not the front desk’s.
Don’t contact potential customers as you collect information. It is smart to develop a list ahead of time before contacting anyone; this allows you to group contacts by type and create approach methods tailored to whole groups.
Contacting The Customer
Now that you have a list of potential customers set up you are ready to begin the process of contacting them.
Before You Contact
Before initiating contact with a prospective customer there are steps that you should take. First and foremost, you must know your customer in order to most effectively offer them your services. For example, if your prospect is a realtor getting to know your client involves looking at all their listings in the area, seeing the kind of property they manage, in what capacity they work for the company, etc.
It is important that when you make contact with your prospective client you are able to effectively explain what your service is, and how it can help them specifically.
Sending The Right Message
Making human contact with a prospective customer is by far the most effective way to make an impression, and handing out a business card ensures that your information is readily available to them. Face-to-face meetings, however, are not usually necessary. A well drafted email or productive phone call can be just as effective at getting you that sale.
Email is a great method of communication to use to initiate contact with a prospective client. Depending on the situation, a phone call might be more effective, but most of the time people will need to think when faced with a proposition. Sending an email allows them to fully consider your proposal whereas a phone call might catch them off guard and spark a refusal just because they felt they did not have enough time to make a smart decision. If your contact has a secretary, leaving a message might be a good way to ensure that your email is not overlooked.
The email itself must be concise, informative and persuasive. It should be long enough to supply the reader with all the information they need, yet short enough to hold their interest.
Finally, you should end your message letting them know that you are expecting an answer (whether it be in the positive or the negative) and making yourself available to them in case they have further questions or concerns regarding the services offered.
The email should have a footer including your full name and contact information to make yourself available to them.
HERE IS A SAMPLE EMAIL FOR A REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Hello [ Name ],
I have been looking at your listings in [ Location ] and I had a few questions for you.
Do you currently use aerial photography to showcase any of your high value listings?
If not, have you ever considered using aerial photography to improve the number of positive leads generated by your listings?
With the use of drones, aerial photography is now more accessible and affordable than ever. Many realty companies already use aerial photography effectively to improve turn over on their more lucrative properties.
I’m contacting you today to see if you would be interested in setting up a meeting to discuss how aerial photography could be used to improve the amount and quality of leads generated by your listings.
Here is an example of aerial photo/video taken of a high value property: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB8R4mNx4V0
The video was taken in 4K HD using the same hardware that I use to capture my footage. You can view my portfolio online at: hiflyphotography.com/JohnDoe
You can contact me by responding to this email or using my contact information listed below.
Hope to hear back from you soon,
The stage following the initial contact is where sales are made. Success in the previous two stages comes in the form of having your email answered, this stage is the one where your savvy as salesperson will truly be tested.
The fact that your email was answered already gives you the upper hand, it shows that your potential client has shown interest in the service you are offering. The key to this stage is being attentive to your customer and developing a relationship with them. At this point, having a comprehensive understanding of what you do and the equipment you use to fulfill their needs is very important to complete the sale.
You want to establish yourself in their mind as not only an aerial photographer, you want them to look at you as a professional. You want to be someone that can answer all their questions and specifically outline a partnership that they cannot refuse. If you succeed in assuming this role in their eyes you will not have only made a sale today, but you may have earned yourself a sale tomorrow.
BOOMERANG FOR GMAIL
Many of you will begin your career as drone photographers while working a full time job. Scheduling your shoots shouldn’t be hard as long as you plan for them in advance. However, it might be complicated contacting prospective customers. Sending emails outside of business hours can look unprofessional and they may become buried by other emails that arrive at the inbox after yours. If you have created a gmail account for your business you can download a free plug in named “Boomerang”. Using Boomerang you can schedule emails to be sent out at specific times and dates and can ensure your email is sent at a reasonable hour and that it will be at the top of the inbox when opened.
SHOOT FOR FREE
Consider taking on some shoots for free. Yes, free. If you get it wrong they’ve lost nothing. If you get it right, warn them, the next one will cost them what your work is worth! Build the skills, Build the portfolio, Build your business processes until you can start selling Service, And THEN lay them away. Do not lowball yourself to get sales, there’s no light at the end of that tunnel.