The Loss Leader
Last few months, I’ve been experimenting with the concept of a loss leader. Basically, you use a low-priced or free item to draw customers in, and recuperate those losses on the higher profit stuff that comes with it. Grocery stores do it by putting sale items and necessities at the furthest reaches of the grocery store, so you have to walk past all the higher profit items in the middle, and hopefully pick some up on the way.
While I am not advocating that you ever do work at a loss, photographers can use this concept. Try offering an introductory photo shoot at a low rate for new customers, and then present them with an opportunity to buy a multi-shoot package, or an upgrade on a print package.
Sure, you’ll get some customers that don’t upgrade, or buy something else. You’ll get customers that don’t call you back next time. But, you’ll also get those that do. It’s important to not concentrate on the reactions of each particular customer. Deliver excellent photographs promptly and professionally, and the averages will work out.