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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › How to close a deal and get a signed contract?
05-03-2005 02:35 PM  13 years agoPost 1
Nonspectator

rrNovice

Illinois, USA

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I have been marketing my AP biz, and I have been getting an overwhelming positive response to our new industry and the technology that goes with it. Something like, oh wow that is so cool, you have a wireless video downlink? Are they hard to fly? I'm sure everyone here knows the rest.

Now the question for all of you. When you have the potential clients eating out of your hand, how do you get them to commit and sign a contract to seal the deal? I feel I am losing many clients by not being assertive enough. I have been offering discounts and coupons on my website www.aerialsolutionsUSA.com, but have not had any bites from the coupons on the website.

Maybe on this thread we could all share how to close a deal when you have the interest peaked from potential clients.

A suggestion I received from a local business guru said that you only share enough information a little bit at a time, wait for a response from the client. If they ask questions politely answer them, wait again to see if they ask how much it costs. Keep doing this but only share enough info to keep them interested then shut up. Allow them to ask you how much it costs. By no means mention cost until they do. I've tried this, but I have a tendency to talk to much. I even bring up that Peter Jennings did a bit on a guy in Florida on Feburary 17th on ABC's World News Tonight with the same platform we are using for AP.

Let's see what everyone has to say about closing sales and getting the contract!

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05-03-2005 02:49 PM  13 years agoPost 2
ReadyHeli

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Jupiter, FL

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nice website, lots of info and very clean...

here are a few points:

1. dont offer specials, discounts, coupons, deals...It cheapens your service...Instead offer a tiered-discount structure so after the first one in a calendar month offer a small discount on numbers 2-5 and again at 6-20 so they feel they are getting value if they continue to use you. Ruths Chris doesnt offer coupons on their surf 'n' turf, so why should you? They are paying you for a valuable service that they could not get from a real heli for twice as much.

2. April 15th just passed. Agents are both historically lazy and procrastinaters. Tax season slowed down our business too...plus your school is still in session...Most sales heat up around may/june, so just hang in there.

3. I advertise in my local newspaper in the real estate section. we also are partnered with virtual tour companies (mine included) to offer this service to them. We do not discount our service, instead we tell them to add whatever they need to the top of the price.

4. i wouldnt offer a free print with the basic service. i would offer an a la carte printing service per print, as some agents like to present gifts to their customers, and most will want bigger then a 5x7 to frame.

5. agents are very very tough to get a hold of...email campaigns, phone calls and mailings are futile in my honest opinion. look in your paper, see who is taking out large slicks and very prominent properties, and scehdule an appointment with them. then, bring some samples of your work and the pictures will sell themselves. i called an agent on thursday who i noticed had a listing in the paper for two months. i said i can help you sell that property if you just invest 199 with me for an aerial. he gave me 10 properties to shoot the next day.

6. most brokers do not want a contract, and to be quite honest, you shouldnt look for one either...most lock you into a revenue sharing agreement with the broker and i dont like sharing my dinner plate with someone who is already making 6 figures plus. they also expect deep discounting and this cheapens the value of your service...if you buy two mercedes benz's at the dealership, do they cut you a deal? hell no. and you shouldnt either. stick to your guns, your on the right track.

and most importantly, as the "trumpster" says, you can never give up. everyone has a niche in their own market, so it will be trial and error in the beginning. once you build up a repeat customer base then they will beg you to come out right away and shoot their new listings.

JG

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05-03-2005 05:46 PM  13 years agoPost 3
aambrose

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Pana, IL

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Nicely stated JG and good tips too!

We were at a local airshow over the weekend where the Blue Angels were performing (big crowd) and we had our helicam on display. We were with a group of RC guys (planes and helis) and our helicam got more attention that I had expected. I stood back and let people look at it then offered to answer any questions if they had any. We handed out a lot of business cards Saturday but havent heard from anyone yet. I have taken the advice of others and havent backed down on the price nor have I offered discounts except in the case where someone wants a print instead of the CD with the images burned on it. I think it's a matter of time before customers who are willing to pay the price will contact us. If anyone wants to read our pricing page on our website and give comments, please do so. We want to keep the pricing scheme simple yet we also want to give the customer something in their hands when we leave. We also want to give them a quality product, hence the offer to enhance their favorites. We've made several contacts in the aera lately but I think it's just a matter of time before someone realizes the benefits. For the most part, people have no clue what we do or that we even exist.


Tony

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05-03-2005 06:04 PM  13 years agoPost 4
ReadyHeli

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Jupiter, FL

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tony, ahh, your show stole the blue angels,,,hahaha. they fly here every year @ fort lauderdale except this year. i was wondering where they were.

yeah your point is valid.

one other thing, if someone beats you up over price, you DONT want them as a customer. move on. agents are bulldog salesmen and ALL try the used car approach. you will retain a nice portfolio of customers who dont mind paying honest dollar for a honest job. these will be your repeat customers...

ps: days like today, (AKA rainy days) give me the opportunity to goto blockbuster and grocery store and pickup the nice home magazines, and most new construction projects you can call and ask to speak to the person in charge of "sales and marketing". they will most likely will hire you just for a progression construction photo...something to add to your sales toolbox. I just called front to back the homes magazine here, got a few scheduled already...takes time, and patience most of all.

best of luck brother.

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05-03-2005 06:49 PM  13 years agoPost 5
DANNO

rrKey Veteran

St. Petersburg, Florida

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dont bother with coupons and discounts, i agree....

i always try and give the impression that we are pretty busy and we are often busy, but if they know their compatition is hiring you, then they wont want to miss out...

this also gets them thinkng that if they want this done anytime soon they better go ahead and order it....thats when you tell them that the company's policy is to take a 50% deposit before work is started....and payments due when images are delivered....ive learned the hardway to get a deposit! they are much less likey to change their mind after you do the job!

www.skypiximaging.com

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05-03-2005 07:24 PM  13 years agoPost 6
Nonspectator

rrNovice

Illinois, USA

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Good points so far guys, but I think we are getting off the original question of how to close a deal, i.e., get the ok and take the pics.

For example, I have a client that is thinking about a new aerial photograph to replace the one he had taken in Oct. 1997. The photograph was taken at the wrong time of day (front of the building is all shadows), unfocused, and shows most of the roof of the building.

Now here is my pitch:

"Well I see that the photograph was taken 8 years ago, and when I looked at your landscape as it is now it has changed a lot since then. When I take your photographs I can take them at any perspective or angle of the property "you" would like, and at a time of day where there would be very little shadows on the front of your building. Also RC helicopters can fly below conventional aircraft, giving a more oblique detailed view rather than a topical view. Conventional aircraft would be very expensive for a custom photograph of your property. Conventional aerial photographers need to photograph a large number of locations in a day to keep costs down (I don't discuss how much it would cost them), and they must photograph locations in a short period of time to do this. You may or may not be lucky enough to have them photograph your property at the right time of day for best lighting."

-- pause, wait for clients response --

This type of information is what I am looking to add to help sell my services and photographs. What do you all think about the above approach, and what other things/topics do you guys use to sell your stuff?

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05-03-2005 08:15 PM  13 years agoPost 7
tabbytabb

rrElite Veteran

seattle

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I disagree on the coupons issue.

I offer 50.00 off the first aerial someone does with me. This gives them a little nudge and gets them to try me out. They usually love the result and I now have a customer for life that gives me 3 or 4 aerials a month. Also I offer a referal program where I offer 50 dollars off to the refereing agent if the person they refer does an aerial with me. Same thought process, I now have the referee as a customer for life and it cost me 50 bucks, big deal.

I also disagree on the issue of flyers and mailers. I sent out a letter with a flyer to the top 10% of Real Estate agents in Washington State and the response has been huge.

As always results may vary based on geography etc. The market up here is really hot right now and agents dont mind spending money to market their properties.

Also, get in the phone book ASAP. I get at least 4 aerials a month just off my Dexonline listing. People looking in the phonebook are looking to buy, pretty easy sale.

Tabb

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05-03-2005 08:17 PM  13 years agoPost 8
ReadyHeli

rrVeteran

Jupiter, FL

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different strokes for different folks...

like i originally said, everybody has their own niche, and that kind of thing might work for you...i personally dont like offering discounts on something that is already too cheap.

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05-03-2005 08:21 PM  13 years agoPost 9
tabbytabb

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seattle

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JG, saying it is too cheap is ambiguous. Really depends on your starting price.

I just raised prices again out here so I feel I have some cushion to offer some pricing incentives without cutting into my bottom line to much.

Also, In a high end area like yours I usually price my services much more aggresively The agents can afford it!


Tabb

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