October 1, 2015
This one can be a little controversial in the flower world as to how to write a proposal — detail it out to the very stem count or to give a rough budget recommendation. I’m the latter. At first, I used to do the detailed one, and after YEARS of wasted time, and realizing ‘ain’t nobody got time fa’ that’, I now do the overall budget scope. Now, my bookings are actually every ⅘ that I talk with on the phone. I don’t meet with brides until they’re booked too! To each their own — and maybe you book better in person. For me, I like it this way — it works for my lifestyle, my business size, and I just like it! I do all of my proposals in a Google Drive Document that I’ve setup as a template. I have a ‘Proposal Calculator’ template that I’ve created in Google Sheets that I simply enter numbers into different lines for things like a bridal bouquet, or a grande centerpiece. This has all my pricing, tax, delivery already in place, so it takes me merely MINUTES, if that, to create a proposal. Of course, some things might need to be modified if, say, the bride wants something that isn’t the standard piece. For other custom things like garlands, I simply enter the foot length and it just calculates it by the foot! I also make sure to add extra just in case we need some cushion to play with when we meet later to get specific.
Oh, and if you haven’t yet heard, I’m launching a software app for florists next month, Proposey! This will allow you to do it whatever way you want, in minutes… so this whole process will be forever changed! Follow that link to get on the newsletter alert list!
2. online contract signing
I use HelloSign, and since I started, it has been a GAMECHANGER. You can email a contract and within minutes have it signed. You can also see if the potential client has viewed it so you can check in with them to see if they have any questions about it!
3. send a proposal within 24 hours
Nobody likes to wait for the info they need to make a major wedding decision! It just shows not only professionalism, but how they’ll expect you to care for them during the planning process. Brides don’t care you have 50 other brides — they want to feel like #1! If you do a comprehensive proposal system like I do vs. a detailed order that counts up every single stem, you will be able to send proposals FASTER. If a proposal takes you 2 hours to write a detailed one, and they don’t book, that’s two hours you could have spent giving a BOOKED client your time and attention, spending time with your kids if you’re a work from home mom, or even painting your nails!
4. phone consults instead of in person
Again, this is controversial in the flower world! Some people are firm believers of avoiding price shoppers by only meeting with people to make sure they’re serious. From my experience, I had more price shoppers when I met with people first. Now, your minimum also plays into which works best for you. For the price shopping bride, when I send her my initial info, usually the overall price tag of a 5k minimum will scare away a price shopper. So, there are arguments on both sides of the fence here, but I personally believe in a phone consult that takes 30 minutes and focusing on making a connection, with the proposal being your secondary focus. Doesn’t hurt to give it a try!
5. general consults instead of full planning up front
Again, controversy! I think that a bride is paying ME vs. betty down the street because they want ME. They want my talent, skill and design expertise and that’s what they are paying me for. I used to do full planning up front in order to provide them with a quote — that took 1-3 hours (depending on how much we talk!) for the meeting (again, not yet booked!), and an additional 1 hour (being liberal here) to price out the wedding and send the proposal. THEN, I would get a dreadful email ‘We met with ____ and they can do your designs and $____ so we’re booking them.’ First off, you and I both know that it’s like comparing apples and oranges when it comes to recipes – they may be doing less roses, less xyz. But, the client doesn’t know that. They also took any sketches, ideas, or concepts YOU came up with to Betty. How does that feel? Hurts in the bank account and the ego! So, I switched to VAGUE planning. I essentially really only hear THEIR wants and ideas. I tell them during this phone session that we will get into detail later in a more thorough meeting. This might sound like a bad idea to most, but I book ⅘ brides this way, so there’s something to be said for it! I don’t have my ideas stolen, and clients book me for ME.
Which ways do you do it?