Close The Deal With A Winning Proposal
Knowledge, talent and an event planning degree make up only part of the equation when it comes to being a successful event planner. You also need to be able to sell yourself.
You might decide to deliver your sales pitch when meeting with your prospective client, but you have a better chance of closing the deal with a winning proposal.
First Impressions Count
Your first encounter with a client will influence whether or not you get the contract. With this in mind, there are several things you can do before and during that initial meeting to increase your chances of closing the deal.
- Start by doing your research. Try to understand who the client is, what she or he aspires to and what their needs are prior to the meeting. This will help make you look informed and professional and will boost your confidence.
- Continue looking for clues. While at the meeting, look around the office. Can you see any mementos or pictures? Is the room tidy or does it look like a tornado hit? Pay attention to their style, whether it’s what they’re wearing, how they speak or how they present herself or himself. You need to be open enough to observe how the client thinks and makes decisions. Assess their verbal, non-verbal and behavioral cues. By gaining a better understanding of the personalities involved, you will be able to better adapt your own style and tailor your proposal accordingly.
- Ask questions. Rather than taking over the meeting, ask a lot of questions, focus on the answers, and make sure to clarify whenever needed. If anything is unclear, rephrase your question, answer differently or provide examples. This shows that you are genuinely interested and will help your prospect feel heard, understood and confident in your abilities to plan the best event for them.
Get Creative With Your Event Proposal
When developing an event planning proposal for a client, creativity is important to stand out. Be precise, lay out all of the details and make your presentation visually appealing. Your proposal of the event should be memorable; no one wants a cookie-cutter. Click To Tweet
Make sure your proposal conveys the customer experience that your event is going to generate and that it’s budget appropriate. If the budget is over the top, expectations will be high and the client will be expecting to be blown away.
Use creative writing to illustrate the event. Don’t use elaborate descriptions that don’t mean anything, but depict the event enough that the client can visualize it. Describe the lighting, the style of music, the vibe and the look of the room.
Include pictures of similar events you have organized and inspirational photos from Pinterest or other sources for the client to understand the vision.Always give a name to your event – one that is fun yet informative and representative of its goal and feel. Click To Tweet
Your event planning proposal should be inspirational, but also quite specific as to what you are offering.
Include These Nitty Gritty Details in Your Event Proposal
- Start your document with a short blurb presenting the event you are proposing. Be creative as well as descriptive.
- The body of the proposal is where you provide precise descriptions, photos of what you intend on providing and a room layout. Whenever possible, hire a professional to create these renderings.
- Clients appreciate line-item pricing because it’s straightforward and transparent. It also makes it easier for both parties when edits are required.
- Always go above and beyond what was initially discussed. Include optional selections the client may not have considered, the elements that contribute to making a statement and creating a wow factor. Even if these are over budget, your client will appreciate the effort and can always opt out.
- The last part of the proposal usually contains all of the non-creative, the must-have items such as labor, delivery, shipping, rigging, power, venue charges, and appropriate sales tax. This is also where you should identify who will be responsible for any on-site or additional charges that you are unaware of at the time of the proposal.
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on your way to building a lucrative event planning career!