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Maximize Your Portrait Sales with Suggestive Selling

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Do you remember the last time you went to the camera store and bought your last digital camera? Did the salesman also try to sell you memory cards, batteries or even a better model? As consumers we deal with this every day. This is what is referred to as cross-selling and up-selling. And if you aren’t using it as a part of your sales process you are missing out!

What exactly is the difference between cross-selling and up-selling?

Cross-selling is what happens when you are offered additional products to the product you are purchasing. For example, you go out to a movie and walk up to the snack counter and order some popcorn. The first thing the cashier will ask is “Would you like a soda with that?” She has added on to your sale by suggesting a product that you most likely will want while you are eating your popcorn.

Up-selling on the other hand is what happens when you are offered a bigger or better product other than the one you are purchasing. This is what happens when you go to McDonalds to order a #3 value meal and the cashier asks you if you would like to Supersize that for $.99. You say yes and she sold you a bigger and more expensive product, increasing the sale one more time.

Both methods will increase sales volume and in most instances will provide a valuable service to customers. How is it a valuable service to your clients? These sales methods can often save time, save money or make life easier with convenience. For example, let’s assume you picked up your popcorn and sat down for your movie. You were never asked to purchase a soda. Half-way through the movie, you have to get up, miss part of the movie, go stand in line again and order your drink. By up-selling she saved you time and it was a convenience not to miss the movie!

So how can we as photographers use this in our own businesses? The first thing to do is to look at your current product line and find out what other products you have that “go with it” or compliment it. The second thing to do is to find out what products you don’t carry and that your customers are going elsewhere to obtain. For example, when you sell a wall portrait are you cross-selling them a frame to go with it? Well, if not, think about this: Someone has to frame it for them and someone is taking that revenue. Why aren’t you? Or maybe you are framing prints but at a basic level frame. Why not up-sell them to a better more expensive frame? Or a family brings their baby to you for newborn portraits and they purchase plenty of prints but have you cross-sold them baby announcements or are they just on your price list as an independent item?

Remember, cross-selling and up-selling doesn’t just mean the items are on your product list. You must be actively suggesting both types of sales to your customers as you are going through the sales process. Do this proactively and you will see your sales increase considerably with these added products or upgrades.


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