If the number one job for your website is to generate inquiries, what’s the second most important thing it does for your business?
Here are some contenders:
1. Build authority – Every solid website needs an excellent blog on it. And I don’t mean one that only features images and vendor credits from real weddings. I’m talking about evergreen content that addresses your clients’ biggest desires and concerns. People trust – and pay – experts more than amateurs, so show them you’re worth it.
2. Showcase your portfolio – Clients want to see what the finished product will look like for them. They want to see what you’ve done for others because it’s the best way to know what’s in store if they book you. Make sure you focus on images that reflect your ideal client’s biggest desires.
3. Offer reassurance – People need to feel confident they’re making a good choice with you, and the “herd effect” is a great way to make this happen. You can do it through reviews, testimonials, case studies, awards, best-of lists, and as-seen-in badges. Social proof communicates others’ positive experiences, which makes it easier to feel comfortable saying yes to your services.
Will these three factors win more bookings? Yes.
Will they help you get bigger and better clients? Yes.
Will they speed up the sales process? Yes.
But there’s still something more important that your website does than any of these things:
Close the deal.
Why conventional wisdom is hurting your sales
The key to booking more couples is to provide 1) the right information at 2) the right time in 3) the right way. Do all three and you’ll see higher conversion rates and higher prices.
Are you getting ghosted?
Most likely, it’s when you’re sharing pricing information and how you’re sharing it.
Too many wedding pros share all the information immediately after a couple of inquiries. It’s
· Too much information
· All at once
· About topics they’re not ready for.
And PDFs are terrible ways to share information with people reading on their phones.
If you don’t want to get ghosted, stop scaring away potential clients with a 16-page pricing guide PDFS!
Be different to stand out
What’s the alternative to the traditional pricing guide going out right after someone inquires?
Sending out a custom proposal after you’ve qualified the potential client.
And your website is a huge asset to the process with one page: A custom proposal template.
This is the #2 most important contribution your website makes to booking more couples.
To be clear, what I’m talking about is different than what 90% of wedding pros currently do. And the perfect chance to stand out from the crowd.
Most of you get an inquiry and then send out some version of a pricing guide, which is a multi-page document with generic information about you, your packages, what they cost, and often a la carte add-ons. You toss in a few testimonials and badges showcasing awards you’ve won and scatter beautiful images of your work throughout.
Then you send it as an attachment to an email, or through a CRM like Dubsado or Honeybook, and hope the couple says yes.
The case against conventional pricing guides
First off, it’s important to qualify couples who inquire. You need to make sure they’re a good fit before you spend a lot of time trying to book them. Read more about that here if you want some suggestions. Or check out this one for ways to do it automatically with your website.
Second, what you send over is likely NOT phone-friendly. PDFs and many CRM documents are not responsive to the device, which means the recipient has to pinch and pull and toggle to read the information. People will most likely look at the proposal for the first time on their phone, and people want to scroll with a single thumb like they do everything else.
Third, most pros can’t track what’s going on with the proposal after they send it. Did they even get it? Open it? If so, how many times? And how long are they looking at it? Did they click on the links? Look at the gallery?
Fourth, the information on nearly every proposal I’ve seen misses the mark with the single most factor at this stage in the decision-making process: Why you? What are your competitive advantages and how do they help your clients get what they want?
Fifth, a generic pricing guide with generic packages and add-ons conveys a generic experience. How many couples want that? Right. None. So, give them the personalized service they deserve for the huge amount of money they’re paying you.
The best way to do this is through a dedicated webpage that acts as a personalized proposal for each client AFTER you’ve done a discovery call with them.
Step-by-step instructions for successful proposals
Here’s how it works:
· Make a template on your website. (Here’s a demo
of what we offer. Take a look for inspiration.)
· Fill in the photos, testimonials, packages, descriptions, benefits, and all the other areas. I recommend adding all your standard collections to the primary template.
· Embed Hotjar on the template page, which will allow you to watch individual screen records of how each couple interacts with their proposal.
· When you get an inquiry, duplicate the original template and create a unique URL for the couple. Keep it simple and use their names and wedding date. Hide the page from search engines.
· Personalize the proposal with an introduction to their wedding, what they want most, and any challenges their running into.
· Delete standard packages and pricing for all but the best three options. Tweak the packages and pricing as needed around the couples’ specific needs.
· Write a 100-200-word email introducing the proposal. Include a link to the hidden webpage. End with a question, hopefully, to confirm the appointment you have to review the proposal with them (eg. Any questions before we go over the proposal on Monday at 2:30pm?).
Save time on the sales process
That’s it. The whole thing should take 15-20 minutes.
And because you’re prequalifying couples before ever getting to this point, you should only do this for people who a) have the budget for your services, b) know what they need from a vendor like you, and c) desire your services enough to make a decision soon.
If you’ve done the discovery work well and you’re only sending out proposals to qualified couples, you can expect to see 40% conversion rates – or higher – by the time you’re sending out proposals.
Doing some quick math…that means if you want 20 weddings a year you might send out one of these each week. In other words, a lot less time than you’re currently stressing out about getting ghosted or filling your calendar with better clients.
Stop getting ghosted with long, boring PDF pricing guides. Stop spending so much time doing sales work your website could do for you. Done well, your site could close bookings better than you.
Want more on proposals that sell well? Check out my podcast episode on Own Your Business, where I discuss four essentials for every great proposal.