Why You Need a Sports Car to Sell a Station Wagon

Your clients tell you your work is different.

It’s unique.

One-of-a-kind.

So then, why do they always buy the traditional portrait to hang up on their wall?

It makes no sense. Does it?

“You need a sports car to sell a station wagon,” the big-shot computer tycoon said on an episode of “Halt and Catch Fire.”

My brain-fog lifted.

My clients COME to me for my edgy senior portraits and soulful family portraits. These are my sports cars. But 80% of the time, they buy the classic art for their walls. These are my station wagons.

They come to you for unique. For the "sports car." This is what you should advertise.

They come to you for unique. For the "sports car." This is what you should advertise.

My guess is your clients do the same. They say they love the senior portrait where Johnny looks like he’s out of GQ.

And that family photo where they’re posed like the cover of Vanity Fair.

But those? End up in the album or as a 5x7 afterthought that gets stashed in a drawer.

The one on the wall is a close-up of Johnny smiling.

They CAME to you for the sports car, but ended up buying the station wagon.

They buy the traditional, the "station wagon." At least for their wall.

They buy the traditional, the "station wagon." At least for their wall.

So you might think hey, these traditional poses are what sell! I should post these to facebook, Instagram, use them in my marketing.

Because you give your clients what they really want, right? Isn’t that what all of the experts are saying?

WRONG.

You give them what they THINK they want (the sports car),

then sell them what they REALLY want (the station wagon).

Trust me. I own a minivan AND a station wagon (still ashamed of this fact).

And 3 years ago when I bought my van, I would have never walked into a dealership advertising, “the most comfortable, practical minivans sold HERE!”

In fact, we were looking for an SUV.

The mini-van thing just somehow happened.

I’m not talking about tricking people into coming to your studio.

I mean, the guy that sold us a van? He didn’t trick us.

He showed us what we asked for - the SUV’s.

Then, after talking with us and realizing what we really needed was comfort and ease of transporting children, he led us to the mini van.

This is what you need to do.

Give them what they want! Give them unique, different, artistic, or whatever it is your sports car is. They’ll likely love these images and purchase a few of them (or even an album of them).


But don’t forget to also give them what, deep down, is what they would buy to hang on their wall, and buy to give to grandma & grandpa.