Suspiciously smoothly

My last 3 proposals have gone really smoothly — suspiciously smoothly.

In fact, in my latest one, I met with the client for the first time yesterday and by noon today I had a 50% deposit in hand.

Maybe it’s a fluke, and just me saying this aloud will will be enough to jinx me into filling in an application at McDonald’s by the end of the year… But I’ve been putting a ton into my sales process lately (probably my weakest role as a business owner), and I’m starting to feel like it just might be starting to work the way I had hoped it would.

I actually sat down to write down everything that happened with these last three proposals so I could try to pinpoint what was making things work so well… but I figured that while I’m writing it down anyway, I might as well share my experience in case it’s helpful to anyone else.

Here’s the big things I think have lead to such an uptick in conversions.

A clear offer – All three of these projects have came in with a very specific problem — one that I’m advertising I can solve in all facets of my marketing. Because I know exactly what their problem was, and how I’ve solved it dozens of times in the past — it allowed me to be very confident in my communication. Not only about the service, but the fee as well.

Giving a ballpark face-to-face (on Zoom) – The last thing I want to do is write a proposal for no good reason… And one good way to know how likely they are to sign on the dotted line is to see their reaction when you give them a range. I think I picked up this tip from Mike Killen, but my approach has been to say the range and then STFU. Body language alone seem like enough to know if it’s worth moving forward or not.

A touch of scarcity – Now I didn’t do this as a sales tactic — it just so happens my plate has been pretty full — but I’ve told all these prospects that I’m booked out for a few weeks and I couldn’t get them on my schedule until I have a deposit. I wouldn’t want to lie about this… but I can’t help but feel like that has helped motivate them to move things along quickly.

Less is more proposal – I’m still using my Easy-Peasy Proposal template — but I’ve cut down my typical word count by about 50% (not including the “contract” portion). A few short sentences in each section that explains what I’m doing in as few words as possible. I’m not saying that a well-crafted marketing message in a proposal won’t work… but I do think there is something to keeping things simple and easy to digest.

A guarantee & warranty – Ryan Golgosky posted about guarantees in the group a while back, and while I don’t feel like mine is quite compelling enough yet, I think having something guaranteed and a warranty on my work help put some of the fears clients have about hiring us to rest.

Now, I’m not trying to say I’ve “uncovered the secret” or “found the magic formula” — chances are I’ll run into a string of bad luck in the future — and my process is authentic to me, and may not be a good fit to anyone else…

But it’s been super helpful to go back and analyze these interactions to try to see what’s working and what could still be improved.

As a business owner we’re often in a constant state of “moving on to the next thing” or “putting out fires”. The universe has probably tried to teach us 1,000 lessons we were to busy to receive. For me, it’s been worth the time to just sit back and reflect.

If you’d like me to break down my sales process and show you what I’m doing — hit reply and let me know. Maybe I can do that over the next couple of newsletters.