photographerBlack Friday is next week (Thanksgiving is early this year), so make sure your digital camera is fully charged. You’ll want to take lots of photos that day.

You can literally put your buyer in the picture. I tell powersports retailers to take a digital photograph of their prospective buyers when they are considering which model to purchase. This is a fantastic opportunity for customers to see themselves on the motorcycle of their dreams (without having to invest in gigantic mirrors for the sales floor).

A photo positively differentiates that salesperson and that dealership from the competition, makes the prospect feel like he’s part of a fun family and gives the salesperson a wholly legitimate reason to capture contact information. Just make sure you use your own (or the store’s) camera; this won’t work with the customer’s camera. The idea is for you to have possession of the photo, obtain the contact information, and then follow up.

Think about how you might incorporate a famous employee, cool logo or unconventional office building nearby into photo opportunities for your customers. I can’t tell you how many Harley-Davidson enthusiasts pose next to the Motor Company’s iconic bar-and-shield logo each year at the corporate offices in Milwaukee – regardless of how much snow is on the ground.

These kinds of photographs aid the psychological phenomenon I call “ownership transference.” When someone sits on a motorcycle (or slips on a jacket), that person really is taking mental ownership. And having a digital photo to look at and share with friends enables people to relive and reinforce those positive feelings of ownership.

Putting your prospective buyer into the picture, both figuratively and literally, is a crucial step in your sales process.