Preparing for the Upcoming Sports Season

Preparing for the Upcoming Sports Season

The slow winter season is a great time to do the preparations to maximize your sales for spring! This downtime is a chance to reorganize your business and begin planning for the busy spring sports season. Organizing a matrix with last year’s events and their sales, along with prospects and their projected sales, is a good place to start. You can also evaluate next year’s goals and fine tune packages for the next season. Beginning your planning now will set the stage for success in the spring.

Creating a matrix will help you assess your sales calls for the upcoming season. To begin, list every event that you shot last spring, as well as new prospects for this spring; across the top create columns for last year’s sales, estimated sales for the new prospects and goals for this season. The new customer estimate can be gathered by figuring the average sale per player from last year and multiplying this by the estimated number of players on a school team. For an entire league you should also estimate the percentage of participation. In the corresponding boxes, place last year’s sales from the event and the estimate of the potential customers. By creating this matrix you can evaluate which jobs were the most successful, and which prospects should be aggressively sought after. Sales calls should be based around this matrix. Don’t limit yourself to the events that are the easiest to book; sometimes the most difficult jobs to book can turn out to be the most successful.

Goal setting is a great way to drive sales calls. Determine how many calls you can make in a day and how many should result in connecting with someone. Reach for this goal everyday to maximize your success in booking jobs. To further organize your sales calls, create a spreadsheet with the contacts along with their phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Referring to the matrix, determine which jobs from last year are your top leads and begin calling and sending out e-mails to your contacts. Although some of these contacts may not be ready to book for the spring, stay persistent, keeping in contact with each lead every four to six weeks. Continue to do this for 3-5 years if necessary to book a valuable league or school.

Finally, set goals for this next year. Determine which events you want to book and how many new jobs you want to attain. Consider leagues that you want to gain contracts with and other sports that you haven’t shot before. Set goals for sales calls per day and a desired percentage of jobs booked to result from these calls. Preparation several months in advance is the key to a successful spring!

*Candid Color Systems offers great tools for pre-paid and the View First™ sports programs. We offer online proofing, online ordering, order envelopes, password cards, mailing direct to your end customer, software to print paper proofs, an amazing array of sports products, photographer order entry and over 30 years of photography experience

The View First™ Program

The View First™ Program

Most of the sports photographed in the U.S. today are sold on a pre-pay basis. Coaches distribute envelopes, orders are marked on the envelope and payment is then enclosed. The envelope is handed in at the time the photographer takes the picture. Parents and players do not see their images before the prints arrive. Typically, only one picture is taken of each player who is placing an order, so those who forget, or can’t afford pictures, are not photographed. This system is almost universal among youth leagues and is prevalent among the middle and high school markets. But, there are other options!!

Candid Color Systems is offering View First! We have the tools you will need to present a completely different option to leagues, coaches, parents and players. Here is how it can work! 1) Market your products at the photo shoot! 2) Collect e-mail addresses and fresh home addresses for each player photographed. 3) Remember that you can photograph everyone! Shooting multiple poses is also important! It provides more incentive for parents to look at the proofs! Be sure to offer a group picture to every player photographed! 4) Advertise where and when images will be available! If images will be posted online, provide a web address and password on the day of the shoot. If you will be mailing proofs home.let the customer know when to expect them. Speed is important! The faster your images are available for ordering, the better your sales will be! 5) Set a deadline of no more than 10 to 14 days after the shoot and use the email addresses to send well-spaced reminders! 6) Fill orders promptly! Don’t wait to batch orders after the deadline date.

The pre-paid sports system is not very customer friendly and places a burden on the coaches by asking them to distribute the envelopes in advance. Offering the View First system can be a great selling point to leagues and coaches. The View FirstT system can be your point of difference when booking spring sports!

*Candid Color Systems offers great tools for pre-paid and the View First™ sports programs. We offer online proofing, online ordering, order envelopes, password cards, mailing direct to your end customer, software to print paper proofs, an amazing array of sports products, photographer order entry and over 30 years of photography experience!

For help or questions, please call Brian Speers at 800-336-4550, Ext. 251, or Dan Hays at Ext. 227.

Speculation Photography for Sports

Most of the sports photographed in the U.S. today are sold on a pre-pay basis. Coaches distribute envelopes to players or parents, orders are marked on the envelope and payment is then enclosed. The envelope is handed in at the time the photographer takes the picture.

Typically, only one picture is taken of each player who is placing an order, so those who forget, or can’t afford pictures, are not photographed.  This system is almost universal among youth leagues and is prevalent among the middle and high schools.  But times are changing! This pre-paid sports system places a burden on the coaches by asking them to distribute the envelopes in advance.  The system also requires parents to place an order without being able to view proofs. They also have no choice of poses. This is not very customer friendly. Photographers generally like the system, because the sales are good and they receive their money in advance.

Almost every photographer in the country can offer this program which creates stiff price competition and thin profit margins.  It also makes it difficult to retain business for a long period of time. League directors begin to select photographers based on the lowest available price or “freebies.”

Now, contrast a pre-paid system with the speculation system!  The speculation system was “made in heaven” for coaches!  Since coaches are the gatekeepers who make the decision about who photographs teams at most Middle and High Schools, this system is tailor made for those markets.  It is also attractive to league boards and coaches who make the decision about who shoots the youth sports leagues.

 

Here is how speculation sports photography works!

Market your products at the shoot! Take product samples to the shoot and display them prominently!  This will get the players and coaches fired up about your pictures!  Be sure to make check lists that include: samples, password cards, name/e-mail/mail sequence cards, extra pens, etc…

Collect e-mail addresses and fresh home addresses! Collect this information for each player photographed.  An administrative assistant will be necessary to do this at larger shoots.  Keep the email and/or address cards in the same sequence as you shoot the players to facilitate identification.

And remember- you can photograph everyone! Shooting multiple poses is also important! It provides more incentive for parents to look at the proofs! Be sure to offer a group picture to every player photographed also.

Advertise where and when images will be available! Post a web address and password at the school at the time of the photography session to allow players who do not have e-mail addresses to view the proofs.  Also, distribute password cards to each player with this information.  This is essential! Parents and players need to know where to find their images! Speed is also important! The faster your images are available for ordering, the better your sales will be! Posting your images on the internet is probably preferable to increase speed, lower proofing costs and to give more users access to their proofs. Sending paper or hard copy proofs are still an option.

Set a deadline and send reminders!  Setting a deadline date of no more than 10 to 14 days after the shoot helps to motivate parents to purchase! Extended deadline dates only encourage procrastination. Make sure that the deadline dates are the same online and for paper proofs. Plan an e-mail campaign and send out a minimum of two or three reminders to all of the players for whom you have e-mails, at well spaced intervals.  In that e-mail explain your ordering options and emphasize the deadline date.  Make it as convenient as possible for the customer to order!  You can also provide multiple ordering channels such as internet, mail-in and phone ordering.

Fill orders promptly! Don’t wait to batch orders after the deadline date.  As orders are received by players and parents they serve as reminders and incentive for others to place an order too! So, remember these things when considering a speculation sports program.

Why do coaches like this system? • They are not responsible for passing out envelopes or reminding kids to bring money. • The shooting typically goes faster because of the absence of collecting envelopes and money. • The prints can be mailed directly to the players’ homes, eliminating the need for the coach to pass out prints.

Why do players and kids like the system better? • Because they get to have several poses taken, buddy shots, and even posed action shots so that they have a number of choices.

Why do photographers like this system? • Because it is easy to sell, easy to shoot, and usually results in as good or better sales than the pre-pay system. • Customer satisfaction is usually higher because of the choices; because the players and parents view the proofs before purchasing; because the parents can decide what they want to purchase in the privacy of their own home; and because the prints can be mailed directly to the end customer (making a profit on shipping and handling to boot).

Candid Color Systems offers great tools for pre-paid and speculation sports programs. We offer online proofing, online ordering, order envelopes, password cards, mailing direct to your end customer, software to print paper proofs, an amazing array of sports products, photographer order entry and over 30 years of photography experience!

For help or questions, please call Brian Speers at 800-336-4550, Ext. 251, or Dan Hays at Ext. 227.

 

 

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