Three is a very powerful concept in our everyday lives. “One” symbolizes simplicity and unity, “two” symbolizes imbalance and tension, win or lose, while “three” symbolizes compromise and harmony. This post will take a look at the power the number three has, then offer some thought into how to capitalize on the power of three when creating your photography packages
Concept of Three
“Three” is a very powerful concept. Three represents balance. A stool with three legs will never rock. Three ideas are very easy to comprehend.
Three shows up over and over:
- In movies and literature: The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Musketeers, Three Blind Mice, The Three Stooges, three wishes
- In religion: Christianity’s Holy Trilogy and the Three Kings, the Hindu Trimurti and Tridevi, the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the three holy cities of Islam
- Past, Present, and Future
- Three dimensional
- Three primary colors
- Photography’s Rule of Thirds
There are always three parts to a well written essay or speech: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. A trick I learned in middle school is to have three main topics in a paper, and have three points to each topic. Each topic is a paragraph, each point is a sentence. This formula got me through college.
Three is so powerful because it is balanced. Three concepts are easy to remember. Phone numbers and social security numbers are easier to remember because they are broken into groups of three. A choice between three alternatives can be much easier to make than two alternatives as it allows compromise.
Decision Making Logic
For most people decision making is a stressful process. The conflict between the right brain emotional “I want” decision and the left brain “I should only spend” logical decision can cause much emotional angst. When you are dealing with a couple the stress can be multiplied.
During your sales process try to keep the stress from degenerating into conflict where one person takes a strong emotional right brain position and the other person takes the logical left brain position. If one of your clients is starting to take a strong logical position, such as “we don’t want to spend that much”, use logic instead of emotion. Of course everyone would agree that a 48” wide print is way more awesome than a smaller one, instead, show what a 20” print would look like on a 10 foot wall, and then what a 48” print looks like. Logic will dictate that the larger print really is needed.
Notice something here? Two items, “right brain” and “left brain”, are out of balance. Your goal during the sales process is to do the balancing act for the couple. One major way you can do this is to have the right number number of packages to facilitate the decision making process.
Three Packages for each Service You Offer
If you regularly market a variety of services, such as seniors, weddings, and family portraits, offer three packages for each.
- High End There are certain people in this world that want, and
can afford, the best. These people have enough money that the “I can only afford” logical decision just is not an issue. These people are predispositioned to buy the best. If you don’t have a high end package they may perceive you as less talented than one who does. A higher priced package gives you credibility (even if nobody ever buys it) and makes clients more comfortable buying your mid range package. Don’t price your high end package with the hope that most people will buy it. Ok, you can hope, but don’t expect it. If you’re selling a lot of your high end packages it’s probably time to move up the food chain and make it your mid range package. (Yeah!)
- Mid Range Your mid range package is what you expect people to buy. This is the package that puts food on the table. “Most people buy…” is a very powerful phrase during the initial consultation.
- Low End Your low end package gets people in the door. Don’t put enough in this package to make it attractive. If this is what most people are buying your business is probably in trouble. If you find yourself in this position you should take a hard look at your sales and marketing techniques, people need to value your work more.
The order you present your packages is important. During initial consultations lead with your top package, you just might have a buyer that will take it. More often than not, you’ll move on to “Most people buy the mid-range package.”
I’ve seen photographers recommend four packages, with the idea that the clients will choose between the middle two. This idea throws more stress into the decision process. Keep it simple instead. Let your clients customize their package. Make the hard “which package?” decision as easy as possible, smaller upgrade or a la cart decisions are much easier.
As you think about your three packages you will realize how useful the “concept of three” really is in everyday life. You’ll notice how frequent marketing messages have three main points, you’ll find yourself having three bullet points in your elevator speech, and writing three main ideas in each blog post.