High volume photography industry must adopt standards of commission give aways. Each competitor is trying to outdo the other with higher commissions which is only killing the industry. Operators need to look at how they have worked in the past, change strategies and investigate other points of differences instead of shooting themselves in the foot and offering a higher commission than the current operator - Be more inventive and listen to consumer and school demands!
Should each region have an agreement between operators to cap school commissions to avoid commission 'wars'?
I would like to let you in on a little secret of the three most significant game changing points of difference that doesn't involve school/club commissions although have been winning high volume photography contracts:
1. Offer post online sales - Consumers are demanding more from high volume photography companies in the way of viewing and customising orders before purchase. Parents and schools are now demanding this sales strategy and those that don't change will loose contracts
Try yourself - Go to www.ordermyphotos.com.au
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2. Offer 'Home delivery - Schools and clubs love this as it it reduces their work load dealing with packages and risk of images being 'lost' in the deep dark depths of the school bag or elsewhere. The cost of delivery can either be absorbed in the product prices or being able to negotiate a lower school commission. Schools and sports clubs always want to reduce their workload.
3. Fast turn around times - I have heard nightmares stories of school photo operators taking months to deliver the products to the school after the last photo day. I teach my clients how to turn over a job in less than a week for parents to view online. Offer guaranteed fast turn around times!
A few other tips to help...
Learn to listen - One very important part of winning a schools or sports club photography contract is the ability to listen to what the school actually wants or needs.
You must ask the school about their previous challenges and experiences with other companies, so that you know NOT what to do and enhance on what they have already received.
Many companies give away signing bonus's of cash value and high commissions although is this really what the school or parents wants or needs?