Did you hear that? The ding from your phone? Look down and you might be surprised to find that it’s not another invite to a Zoom meeting but an actual wedding inquiry. From a new client, not a current one, who wants to reschedule.
I mean, when did an email that said, “My fiancé and I just got engaged and we’d love to know more about your pricing and availability” look so good?!?!
Make a compelling pitch for your services
Many wedding pros are finally starting to see inquiries come into the inbox. It’s been a while for most of you, so I thought it might be helpful to revisit some sales advice directed at converting these leads in the coming weeks.
Yesterday, Katy and I talked about sales proposals in our Ideaction Community coaching session. We dove deep into proposals to answer questions like:
For you who are reading this in our newsletter or blog, I thought it’d be helpful to at least know that you should be doing custom proposals for every potential client.
Yes, every qualified buyer you talk with should be getting information about your services that’s tailored to them and only them.
What not to do with your sales proposals
Now, before I share five reasons why you need to create custom proposals, I want to tell you what you should NOT be doing.
Stop sending out a generic pricing guide. I don’t care how pretty it looks.
Stop substituting a page on your website for a proper proposal. You’re scaring away potential buyers.
Stop giving them a menu of all your services and pricing. It’s overwhelming them and paralyzing progress toward a decision.
Start creating proposals that WOW!
A convincing proposal is a vital component of any solid sales process. It’s possibly the only thing that anyone is going to read. That’s hard for me to write because we know how important the copywriting on your website is – but it’s unlikely that everyone involved in making the decision for your services is even looking at your website. Do you know what they’re for sure looking at?
And you know where they should be seeing it for the first time in any kind of detail? In your proposal. So now you have to use a different kind of copywriting to persuade. It’s called a long-form sales page.
And if you don’t see your proposal as a sales page or sales pitch…
Well, you’re losing so many potential clients and leaving so much money on the table. I kid you not. Read on…
Sales proposal = Marriage proposal
Again, I’m not going to go into the details of the nine components to every great sales proposal. That kind of information is reserved for our clients. However, I am going to give you five solid reasons why your sales proposal MUST be custom – and how it will help you get higher rates, convert more clients, worry less about if you’re doing it right.
The easiest way I’ve found to explain custom pitches to potential clients is to use a metaphor we’re all familiar with in the wedding industry: a marriage proposal. Nobody wants a boring, generic, copy of what someone else did or said!
When you’re getting proposed to by your sweetie you want something
These are the same things your potential clients want from you too!
#1 – Personalize every proposal
A proposal needs to resonate immediately with the couple you’re sending it to. They want to know it’s for them, not someone else or all the others you sent it to. I’ve been married twice. Could you imagine if I proposed to Katy the same way I did my first wife, Alejandra? With the same diamond? Even worse, could you imagine if I got her the exact same ring?
Your clients want a personalized experience with their [insert what you do], and hopefully, you create that for them during the service process. But if you don’t show them through your actions and during the buying experience they won’t believe you no matter what you say on the phone or your past clients say in your reviews.
#2 – Make it unique
If you want to stand out you actually have to be different. And that doesn’t mean using a different color scheme on the same old template some influencer is selling to hundreds or thousands of other [insert what you do]. You didn’t want to get/give a ring that looks like all the others in her/his friend's group, right?
Set your proposals apart from the rest of your comp set by doing something unique. Present the proposal in a different way. Name the packages with one-of-a-kind titles you pulled from the conversation. Talk about things that are important to them and only them.
#3 – Memorable
All proposals – marriage and for your services – should be easy and interesting to remember. I can remember every moment of my proposal to Katy. It was the day after her birthday, on the beach where we met in Grand Cayman, walking along the water she asked me what I see for our future, and I pulled a loose ring out and got down on a knee. I can play it back in my mind to this day - and so can she.
You need to create moments within the sales proposal too. Vignettes that paint a picture, images that imprint, benefits that resonate. If you personalize it and make the presentation one-of-a-kind it should be easy.
#4 – Shareable
Social media has trained most people these days to share their most important moments. We may disagree on whether breakfast or a workout routine is super crucial to your life’s work, but we can all agree that a marriage proposal is worthy to be shared on social media, over a glass of wine with a friend, or at the dinner table with your family.
Sales proposals should be shared easily too. Probably not on social media, but certainly with other decision-makers. The person you email back-and-forth with or share 30 minutes on the phone isn’t the only one making the call on the [insert what you do]. Use a shareable link to a phone-friendly proposal and you’ll get more buy-in, more easily.
#5 – Do it right the first time
Hopefully, this one doesn’t need much explaining. If you screw up the marriage proposal, it’s unlikely you’re going to get a second chance from your sweetie. At this point, you’d be lucky to have a bed to sleep on while s/he moves all their worldly possessions to her/his best friend’s place.
You’ve got one chance to get the sales proposal right, so don’t blow it. Put time into it. Put thought into it. Put creativity into it. Put attention to detail into it. Yes, you do have 20 extra minutes a few times a week to book more business at higher rates with better proposals. Frankly, you don’t have time to waste NOT doing it.
“But I don’t have time!” - You
Wrong. You do have time. You have plenty of time. If you want to book 25 clients a year and you convert 25% of your inquiries that’s 100 potential clients a year you need to focus on and if it takes you 30 extra minutes to create a super compelling proposal that’s 50 hours a year.
See what I just did there?
So, if you feel like you don’t want to do custom proposals after reading this and you want to go back to your pretty pricing PDF, that’s fine. But don’t complain anymore about your clients. Or your competition. Or people undercutting you. Or even COVID-19.
You’d do best to look inside yourself and find out what’s creating your resistance to doing what every successful salesperson knows:
You have to do the work if you want the results.
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