CONVINCING POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO MEET IN PERSON
April 18, 2011
Today’s venting post is in response to one of you, my lovely readers, who wrote in asking for my help with brides who want a price quote before they’ll agree to meet with a vendor. We vendors typically prefer to meet with a potential client before quoting any prices. The reader who wrote to me said that she had tried sending these brides a polite reply inviting them to come in for a consultation, but she’s found that they rarely respond.
Before I tackle a solution, let’s consider the two sides to this issue:
On the one hand, there are the brides, who don’t want to waste your time or theirs by meeting if your services are beyond what they want to spend on their wedding.
On the other hand, there’s us, the vendors, who we want the opportunity to present our services to brides before naming a price. After all, we might be able to accommodate a potential client’s wedding budget and still make a sale. But we can’t know that unless we have a face-to-face meeting.
So considering both where we’re coming from and where budget-conscious brides are coming from, I suggest that instead of insisting on an in-person meeting, insist on at least a phone call before quoting any estimates. This will allow you to accomplish three important things:
1. You’ll be able to determine if this really is a potential client and not just a shopper.
2. You’ll be better informed.
3. You could end up with a new client. Assuming, that is, you ask the right questions and make a positive impression over the phone. (Tomorrow’s I’ll describe how to achieve this.)
Even after all these years, I still resent creating endless proposals before I know whether or not I’m going to get a job. However, it’s understandable that potential clients are concerned about cost and want to find out first and foremost if they can truly afford us. It’s not a good idea to quote a specific amount until after you have all of the event details. Instead, provide several price ranges. One note of caution, however: when you give a bride ranges, make sure you can stand by your lowest numbers, because most of the time, clients only remember the lowest number.
Now, a few questions for you:
Do you spend a considerable amount of time and effort drafting proposals? For ever 10 proposals you send out, how many of those jobs do you get? Do you list your prices on your website? Why or why not?
Please share your answers in the comments.