Tips For Proposal Writing Season
The season for engagements is upon us, and with that comes a lot of proposal writing! I have been at this game for over 8 years now (a number that is both small and large) and have figured out a few helpful tricks along the way. I’m sharing some tips for proposal writing with you here!
Tip #1 – Don’t listen to your inner critic
Resist the urge to second guess your pricing, and lower it just in hopes of filling your calendar. I’ve done this, and it hurts. I have to remind myself that I am not always my target customer! Do the math, know your worth, and stand strong. Charge for it! But let’s be real – most of us serve average weddings that don’t have pie-in-the-sky budgets. Have options ready in case you need to compromise. Impress your clients with your creativity, not just with flowers but also with budget engineering.
Tip # 2 – Clarify your process
Make sure your proposal includes an outline of the steps required to book you. Let them know when the proposal expires, when/how to sign the contract, when what amount of money is due, how many revisions are allowed, etc. Make it easy for people to understand how to work with you.
Tip #3 – Follow Up
Don’t just send the proposal and wait to hear back. Follow up. I can’t recall the statistic, but it is something like a customer needs to connect with you/your brand 5 times before they will purchase. So get back in front of them and dazzle them with your customer service. Show them you are easy & proactive to deal with. Close that sale!
Tip # 4 – Automate what you can
Invest in a system that makes the whole process of proposal, contract, payments, and reminders easy for you. I used to do this all manually, with excel sheets and word docs and checks in the mail and trips to the bank and hoping I would remember to get the money in time or not drop any balls… But I am a mom and a solopreneur and all this was becoming too much. The balls were falling by the bucketloads…
Since I couldn’t afford to hire an assistant, I looked into automation systems. I purchased Honeybooks, and have been using it since 2016. This platform has saved me SO MUCH TIME over the years I’ve had it. It has more than paid for itself. I created a few brochures, emails, and proposal templates, and only have to tweak them for each client. Contracts are automatically attached and there’s a payment portal as well, with built in reminders you can set to flow. I highly recommend automation – and there’s many options to consider! If Honeybooks looks like it will work for you – then here’s a bonus link that will get you a discount – and, full disclosure, it gives me a kickback (and when you purchase, you get your own referral link as well). But I’m not sharing this because of the money – I mean who doesn’t like a bonus, of course – but because it really has been a huge help for my business!
I hope those tips help you close more sales easily & quickly! Remember that a huge part of being in business is making sure you are doing this sustainably. This doesn’t just mean sourcing local & working with no foam, it means making sure your systems work for you, and that you are profitable!