This section is from the "Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923" book, by Sara F. T. Price. Also see Amazon: Studio light a magazine of information for the profession 1923.
"At any rate she was prepared for the telephone call when it came and the letter seemed to have taken away the antagonism one sometimes feels when a solicitation is made over the telephone.
"She was not told that the photographer had selected a number of the most beautiful children in town to he placed in an album to represent our city in the "Child Welfare Congress' or any such bunk, hut received a straight invitation to come to the studio,have some good pictures made and pay money for them.
"That girl who handles the telephone for the photographer is an artist - I mean a conversational artist. She also met my wife and daughter at the studio. She must be one of the original 'Greeters.'
"Another thing I noted about this studio was the fact that the photographer does not allow parents in the camera room where the pictures are being made. I suppose that is all right, too. because I can imagine children would be more self-conscious when their parents are with them to fuss about their appearance.
"It was only a day. or possibly two. when we received the proofs and they were great. There must have been eight or ten of them, all about 8 x 10 inches, except the two best ones and those two were about 10 or 17 inches the large way.
"The smaller sized pictures were about $35.00 per dozen, I believe, and the large ones were $15.00 each, so you can imagine what happened. We had thought of spending about thirty-five or forty dollars but we just had to have two of those large prints and a dozen smaller ones. But those are undoubtedly the finest photographs I ever saw and we were mighty glad to have them."
This conversation actually took place - it is not fiction. I have no idea who the man was but he looked prosperous and there are thousands more like him in every part of the country.
The people who have the money to spend are usually intelligent and are not at all impressed by tricky salesmanship. It isn't necessary to price a single picture at $14.95 when you mean $15.00. You don't need to make an apology for a charge for retouching extra negatives. You can make a straight sales talk without speculative inducements because these people have the desire for good pictures just the same as people who have only five or ten dollars to spend. Every customer is impressed by quality.
Use clever salesmanship to convince such people that you can please them and when you have an appointment for a sitting do your utmost to make that first experience in your studio an agreeable one, without overdoing it.
The idea of showing one or two enlargements along with your contact proofs is a very good one and will usually increase the order just as it did in the actual experience cited above. It is no trouble to make large proofs when you have modern enlarging equipment and it is certainly worth the cost of a sheet of paper to show a large proof from an excellent negative when you foresee some prospect of adding ten or fifteen dollars to your order. Any increase over the normal size of your print means considerably more than a normal increase in your profits.