Episode 004 – The System We Use To Close 85-90% of Sales Calls We Have

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What We Talk About

In this episode, we’re talking about how we use a beefed-up sales proposal process to improve our close rates up to 85-90% – even on high-ticket projects! This process can be used for coaching, done-for-you services… even in-person services! (Alyson talks about how this would have impressed her when she got the addition put on her house.)

  • (0:38) What we used to do with our proposals
  • (2:40) Why our old proposals didn’t work
  • (4:51) Why hoops will tank your close rate
  • (5:37) Scope creep
  • (9:04) What to do before the sales call to improve your close rate
  • (10:52) How “The Plan” is essential to closing sales
  • (12:24) The information you must include in your proposal
  • (14:22) The software we use for our proposals
  • (14:56) The first section & how to personalize your proposal
  • (16:20) What goes into “The Plan” and how it helps add value
  • (16:49) Outlining client requirements to manage expectations
  • (18:38) How to present the investment
  • (19:51) How to present a discount to improve your close rate
  • (21:59) How you can put your proposal together 
  • (22:24) One line we include in every proposal we sent
  • (23:56) How to get a sample version of our proposal strategy (hint, it’s right here on this page – keep scrolling!)
  • (24:46) How this proposal process could translate to physical products or services
  • (26:34) How to track the progress of your proposal
  • (28:18) What we could do better in our sales process
  • (31:20) How Jennie books her follow up calls to improve client response speed
Resources

Better Proposals – https://systemtothrive.com/proposals

The THRIVE Collaborative FB Group – www.facebook.com/groups/thrivecollaborative

Our Proposal Template – this template will show you the step by step process we take our clients through that helps us deliver VALUE and close the deal. Grab it by clicking the button below:

Click here to get the resources from today's show

The Transcript

Alyson Lex  00:01

Do you send formalized proposals to your clients? Or do you just pitch them on the phone and hopefully they say yes? What’s your process? How’s well is it working for you? Here’s the thing. If you want to close higher end packages, you need to provide enough value and details that makes your prospect comfortable with making that buying decision with you. A simple 30 minute phone call with rattled off pricing is not going to close that $15,000 deal. You need a process if you want to improve your close rate on these. That’s what we’re here to help you with today. I’m Alyson Lex. I’m Jennie Wright. And let’s dive in.

What we used to do with our proposals

Jennie Wright  00:38

Here’s what we used to do. So I personally have done hundreds and hundreds of sales calls and closed lots and lots of clients. My old process was I would either email them my proposal right afterwards in just an email format when you’re actually just typing into your email system, or I would actually pitch them right on the call without any follow up. And this wasn’t working too well for me… how about you?

Alyson Lex  01:05

No. I actually did that and then I stepped up my game, I was doing the “email them the details” a lot. Then I stepped up my game and I was using a PDF that I created in Microsoft Word. So you know, it looked beautiful, and I would put in there, here’s what I’m going to deliver. And here’s what I’m going to deliver and if you want this call me. I didn’t really have a good process for actually making the close. And my close rate I mean, it was decent. Typically I pre qualified people when I got them on the phone or before I got them on the phone. So I still had a decent enough close rate that I wasn’t desperate for a solution, but then when I really got my proposals and that closing process down pat, I wish I had done it sooner. 

Jennie Wright  01:58

Oh yeah, and as I’ve grown my business over the years and my prices have gone up and packages have increased this process has allowed me to close those bigger end packages I was really struggling in my old process of just sending them an email or pitching it right on the phone to close those higher end packages. People needed more information and this is why we ended up having a different process. Funnily enough, you developed this process independently and showed it to me. I practically jaw dropped and freaked out. And I flat out stole it with your blessing.

Why our old proposals didn’t work

Jennie Wright  02:40

Totally watched my closing rates increase and my package prices go up. So here’s really what you know what’s going to work here. What didn’t work at the time prior to using a proper formalized sort of proposal, is that it didn’t lead your prospect through the process the right way. It didn’t lead them step by step by step. It didn’t show them the process of what you were going to do, and how it was going to help. They couldn’t envision that end goal, they were really struggling with that step by step of embracing that new process that you were creating for them. And it doesn’t matter how this applies. This could be for copywriting, like Alyson does, or funnels and implementation like I do. This could be for health coaching or anything. Yeah.

Alyson Lex  03:28

Another thing and we actually talked about this on the last episode, Episode Three, but we didn’t provide enough value during my sales call before I asked for the money. And if I did provide that value, I didn’t document it in a way that they could refer to later. I was really relying on the client to remember everything that we talked about, instead of noting it down for them, which is a really big deal because that client’s not going remember, especially with as fast as I talk. Right? I overwhelmed them a lot on sales calls because I’m just rapid fire giving ideas. And instead of giving them that value in a written format that they can refer to over and over again, when I asked them for money, it didn’t feel like I had provided any value to them yet, because they’d already forgotten about it.

Jennie Wright  04:22

Correct? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. 

Alyson Lex  04:26

As I mentioned, when I talked about my PDF, I didn’t have a built in way to do the close. It was a clunky process. It was like, Okay, well, now I need a credit card or mail me a check. Or I have to do something manually that required more back and forth with the client instead of just creating seamless experiences. Yeah, it really just bit me in the butt. 

Why hoops will tank your close rate

Jennie Wright  04:51

The more steps in hoops that you make your prospect jump through to close that sale increases the opportunity where they go, and “I’m not so sure about this”, and they’ll actually pull back. So, back in the day when I was using DocuSign. Back when I was first doing online summits, we were using a product called DocuSign, which was one of the first products that I remember being able to put my agreement in getting a digital signature, but then I still had to get the next step, I need to send them a payment form, get them to fill it out, send it back, you know, and so you’re giving people instructions, you’re going back and forth and email going, “Hey, did you sign the payment form?”. “Can you scan the payment form”, you know, blah, blah, blah.

Scope creep

Jennie Wright  05:37

And I was losing a lot of higher end clients. I was that way I was losing a lot of high ticket clients. Higher ticket clients really do expect that you’re going to have a process. The other thing is is that wasn’t working is the way that I was doing it. I think the way that Alyson was doing it too allowed for misinformation in some ways and for scope creep,because they were relying on our memories of what we’d said in a sales call, and we didn’t have this formalized process, people were thinking, “well, I thought that was included?” Like, where was that included? “Well, I remember in the conversation, we talked about it.” And then I’d say, “Yeah, but I told you that wasn’t included in the agreement that we were making.” “Oh, I thought it was.” And then you felt guilty. And then you’re like, well, I’ll throw it in. Right? And now you’ve gone above and beyond your current agreement. And now you’re reducing the value of actually the thing that you’re doing. monetarily for yourself, and it’s, you know, it’s painful.

Alyson Lex  06:39

Yeah, totally painful to have scope creep. And it’s not that it’s a malicious thing. It’s really just miscommunication and miss-remembering. I know that I know what the limits of my memory are, which is why I have notebooks and sticky notes and documents and to do lists everywhere. Not everybody is that aware of the limits of their memory, they think “I don’t need to write this down. I’ll remember it.” And I do that right before falling asleep. I have this fantastic idea. And I think I don’t need to write this down. I’ll remember it and I don’t remember it. Just before bed Alyson doesn’t remember anything.

Jennie Wright  07:15

Which is why just-before-bed Alyson messages Jennie.

Alyson Lex  07:17

Yeah. Just before bed Alyson messages just-before-bed Jennie to say I want to remember this in the morning. Exactly.

Jennie Wright  07:24

Exactly. 

Alyson Lex  07:26

Yeah, so I was gonna say and what we do now with the sales process that we have – with the sales call that we now charge for, like we talked about in Episode Three – it really does make a difference and my personal close rate since I began using this process that you unashamedly stole from me, is about 85%. Sometimes 90%, 

Jennie Wright  07:56

I would honestly say knowing how many people you actually close versus how many people you pitch. I think you’re more in the 90s, myself based on what I’ve seen. It’s possible and I don’t think it’s this is a weird thing people are, you know, people are listening to this or watching this and they’re going “90% close rate?!”  Well, I know it seems insane. But it actually is quite easy to get to, if you have a step by step process that leads your prospect through the whole thing. So everything that you’ve said on the sales call, this is this is actually the language that I use, I’ll actually say, “I’m going to send you a proposal. It’s going to include everything that we discussed today, as well as some extra stuff to help you understand, blah, blah, blah.”  And we’ll talk about this more a little bit later. And they get actually excited to get the proposal because then they don’t have to remember everything that we talked about. The proposal does a lot of the legwork for you to get them to the close. So that’s why we think this is so important. That’s why we’re spending an entire episode. Just talking about The value of having a formalized proposal process.

What to do before the sales call to improve your close rate

Alyson Lex  09:04

Absolutely. Now I do also want to just mention that part of that high close rate is pre qualifying the people that I get on the phone with. If I was to just hop on the phone with every single person who mentioned that they might be interested in hiring a copywriter, my close rate would dramatically plummet. So it is really important to at least have at least a slight conversation with someone before you hop on the phone with them to make sure that you’re in the same arena. You don’t want somebody who’s looking for, for example, I don’t write blog style content for clients. That’s just not my lane. I’m not the best person to hire for that. And so if I have a conversation with someone and they say, yeah, we’re looking for a content writer, I say, Can you tell me what you mean by that? I make sure that what they’re looking for is a service that I offer. I make sure that they are financially able to invest in me. Not everybody is and that’s okay. So there are some certain pre qualification things that you really must be doing. And we could do a whole episode on this. And we probably will in the future. But there are definitely things that you should be doing before the sales call even happens in order to improve your close rate.

Jennie Wright  10:23

Absolutely. So we always start with a sales call. And like Alyson said, we’ve lately been charging for them. And if that’s not your model, we totally understand and if you want to know more about charging for your sales calls, go listen to Episode Three, we talk about a lot more detail. And you’ll be able to see right in the show notes in Episode Three, what we’re talking about and also a free resource for you. So go check that out. And if you’ve already listened to it, great because we’re going to talk a little bit more deeply now about the process. 

How “The Plan” is essential to closing sales

Jennie Wright  10:52

So once you’ve done your sales call, whether or not you get people to pay for them or they’re free, now’s the time where you’re going to be sending out that proposal. We call this in capital letters THE PLAN. It’s really a big part of getting people to agree to your proposal. So we outline a very specific step by step plan that gives them exactly what they can do with or without us. And then we show them what it looks like for our help to implement it. And you can do this you can say, all sorts of things like, absolutely, here’s your step by step plan to help you, lose weight, or to find the love of your life or to do whatever. And here’s what it could look like for you. When you’re on the sales call, one of the things that you have to do is you got to take notes or record it or both, which we do, and you’re putting into the proposal notes from that call, sort of like here’s the plan. This is what we want you to do. If you do this, you’ll you’ll see some success. And you give them that step by step, but then you show them what it looks like if you do it. So you can try and do it. And if we do it, here’s what that would look like for you. And it allows them to make an informed decision. 

Jennie Wright  12:06

This really pairs incredibly well, when we’re charging for sales calls. Or if you’re charging for your sales calls, they get value from it, because now they’ve already paid for it. And they get a plan to go with it. And you get to show your expertise and you prove that that helps you close the sale.

The information you must include in your proposal

Alyson Lex  12:24

Absolutely. And so whether you are using a specific system, or like maybe you’re designing it in Canva, or you’re using a PDF that you generated in Word, I have a few sections that I think are really important to put in there and Jennie I think will agree with me –

Jennie Wright  12:49

Wholeheartedly since I basically ripped your whole plan.

Alyson Lex  12:53

I’m just trying to get her to say that as often as possible.

Jennie Wright  12:56

Look, it works. Okay. I literally … and it works. I mean, she had no problem giving it to me. That’s the great thing. Like, we I actually, here’s how it here’s the story. 

Jennie Wright  13:09

Here’s the backstory. Okay, this is the fun part, the backstory of this. Alyson sent out a proposal for a large amount to prospective client. And I was like, good luck with that. She’s like, no I got this in the bag. It’s good. I’m good. I pre qualified them. I did the call. It was really, really good. And I said, Okay, and she goes, I got it. And I’m like, how did you get it? She goes, I just walked them through my plan. I’m like, “Your what now?” she was like my plan. She goes here. Here’s the link to the proposal. I went and looked at the proposal. And she had it perfectly laid out step by step by step. And as I kept reading, I honestly wanted to pay her the money for the proposal because it was so perfect. 

Jennie Wright  13:46

So that’s what we’re going to lay out for you. Now. I know that if you’re listening on audio, all right, I want you to imagine this in your mind. We’re going to try and describe it as best as possible. And if you’re watching us on video, just imagine it in your mind as well. But I want you to imagine opening up a document, okay, like a Canva document or you know a Word doc or something along those lines, and it’s broken into steps, like it’s broken into paragraphs with a header. And in the software that we’re going to tell you about a little bit later, it breaks it down into an outline on the left hand side, which is fantastic. 

The software we use for our proposals

Alyson Lex  14:23

So actually, I’ll talk about the software now. It’s fantastic. It’s called Better Proposals. And I have a link to that on the show notes page as well. So you don’t have to try and remember it. Because again, not everybody’s memories are great. I know where the limits are. They have different plans and levels, I think their starter plan’s like $20 a month. The thing that I really like about them is and we’ll talk about it as I go through the sections, but they have that all inclusive process that includes payment. Without that clunky back and forth. 

The first section & how to personalize your proposal

Alyson Lex  14:56

Okay, so, my first section when you open it up as the introduction. And if [the sales call] was a phone call and not a zoom call, a lot of times I’ll shoot a quick personalized video and I do this anyway with additional thoughts and ramblings. That allows them to see my face. That allows them to hear my voice. It has that personal touch. Plus, it’s obvious that it’s hyper personalized, and not just here. 

Jennie Wright  15:22

You’re recording it right after you’re, you’re saying like it was great talking to you just now.

Alyson Lex  15:27

Yeah, it’s not a recording of our call. It’s me in my office on camera by myself kind of talking directly to them. And then I also give them a little tour through the system, because it isn’t something that people see every day. So I want to make sure that they know what to expect in each section. And if they haven’t seen my copy or haven’t experienced my marketing chops firsthand, I do also send them a link to some samples that I’ve put together for them.

Jennie Wright  15:58

And those samples are amazing.

Alyson Lex  15:59

Why thank you. Then I dive right into the plan, which in my head is said in Julia Stiles’ voice from 10 Things I Hate About You with, quote, fingers because she goes, “The Plan!” And that’s what’s in my head every time I type it out. It’s the little things that keep me going, 

What goes into “The Plan” and how it helps add value

Alyson Lex  16:20

But like we said it’s broken down into sections, it’s complete step by step, easy for them to understand I’ve done maybe a little research for them. So if, for instance, they’re talking about direct mail, and they want to have a lumpy, you know, a stress ball, I might go and give them some ideas or something like that, like it’s not necessarily just notes, it’s additional stuff too. That gives them additional value beyond what they got on the call with me

Outlining client requirements to manage expectations

Alyson Lex  16:49

Then the next section is the client requirements. This is really essential to setting boundaries and that is something that we talked about with scope creep. But boundaries, expectations are really important to set. And when you can stand and say “this is what’s required in order to have a successful working relationship together,” then your client is going to automatically respect you and see you as more professional or the expert.

Jennie Wright  17:18

This part alone has been a game changer for me. Because I am one of those people that has constantly said, Sure, no problem. Yes, no problem. gone into a martyr state where it’s like everybody, I call it my Cinderella state, “Jennierella,” where everybody’s just like, hey, before you can do anything for yourself, you got to do my stuff. And I never get to the ball. And that’s because I wasn’t using client requirements. I wasn’t saying look for us to have a successful relationship, etc. And, wow, using that one particular step is been a massive improvement to my own well being, where I don’t feel like people are constantly Reading and stepping over the line.

Alyson Lex  18:02

Absolutely. And another thing that it does is it gives the client a to do list, right? If we want to start work, these are the things that I’m going to need from you. And it can be super, I have some templated stuff in there. And that’s just normal, but I edit it as required. And one of the things that I require is a questionnaire, which is a Google document, I can link to it right from my Better Proposals. And it’s tailored to them, it’s theirs, they type in their answers, they have their To Do List.

How to present the investment

Alyson Lex  18:38

After that is now the timeline and investment. So the one thing about Better Proposals, especially if it’s on mobile, is you don’t necessarily have that side navigation. You just have arrows at the bottom. And so they’ve gone through all of these pages in order to get to the investment.

Jennie Wright  18:56

There’s no hamburger to be able to flip through, they have to go through it step by step, which I like.

Alyson Lex  19:02

And we’ve all done it where we’re like, hey, that thing looks really cool. How much is it? We don’t read it, we just look, we see, we make a snap decision. And what we want to do if we haven’t already pitched them on the phone, which is a decision you can make. Sometimes I do give them a price on the phone. But sometimes if it’s a complicated project, or it’s big, or I need other elements, I do some figuring. So they don’t get a price from me, I give them a ballpark. But the timeline and investment I give them the deadline or the timeline first. So they see exactly when they can expect it. Then I move into the investment section. I don’t want them to have to scroll forever. I tell them – I break it down. Here’s what you’re going to get here much, here’s how much that’s going to cost you. 

How to present a discount to improve your close rate

Alyson Lex  19:51

And I give them my rack rates for that, my regular rates, and then if they’re going to do a package, so if it’s a whole thing, then I’ll actually break out and put in the package discount, so they can see what they’re saving if they buy it all now. That’s a really cool little trick, because people like to save money. And so I can get a bigger project up front. Absolutely. And and then after that – we’re still on a timeline and investment page – I tell them everything they’re going to get. All the research I do, the fact that they get full copyright, that I’m going to help them with implementation or interface with their implementation team behind the scenes that I’m going to review in depth, their marketing materials, I’m going to, you know what I mean? Like it’s, I really flesh it out. So it’s like, “oh, I’m not just getting copy” because when you’re a copywriter, there’s more than just copy. There’s research and time and knowledge and all of that stuff. 

Alyson Lex  20:47

We’re almost done. Then I have the terms and conditions page. And because we can actually sign and pay through the system. This becomes a contract once it’s signed. So this is all the legalese. And I’m, you know, you should have your own legalese, don’t use mine. And then the next steps page, this is where they sign and are taken to the payment portal. So I’ve realized saying that, that this sounds like a Better Proposals advertisement.

Jennie Wright  21:18

I know, I know. And that’s not what we’re trying to do.

Alyson Lex  21:20

But there are other proposal software options out there if you go the software route. But this is what I used to do in a PDF, too.

Jennie Wright  21:30

Yeah, it’s just the process. It’s the step by step process.

Alyson Lex  21:33

I’m walking them through it. I’m not just saying, hey, to get your copy written, it’s going to be $5,000. Yeah. Because that’s not going to sell anything. And I’m going to deliver the copy to you on August xx, and it’s going to include this, this, this, this and this. The investment is, you know, here’s the plan that we talked about, and here’s what the investment is. I’m building up the value before I hit them with that dollar figure.

How you can put your proposal together 

Jennie Wright  21:59

Yep. And it’s very, very clear. It seems like a lot of stuff, a lot of steps to do. But the thing is, if you go with these steps, if you follow these steps and you do the plan, the client requirements, the timeline and investment, the terms and conditions in the next steps, if you just do those five things, actually six, because there’s an introduction. If you do those five or six things, you’re going to improve your closing rate, just by default on saying, wow, this is really organized, it has everything that I want as a potential client. It’s impressive. They’ve put time and effort into this. I feel like they understand me. You know, they’ve done the research. 

One line we include in every proposal we sent

Jennie Wright  22:44

One of the lines that we both use in our proposals is we say the work starts right now. Like, you know, as soon as the contract is signed, and the deposit is paid, somebody like Alyson and I, me doing funnels and implementation as well as strategy and Alyson doing copywriting in this, you know, strategy and a bunch of other things. The work begins as soon as we get a signed contract. We’re already starting to flesh out ideas and things like that so that when we get on a call with our new client, we’re able to start helping them right away. 

Jennie Wright  23:17

So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. And like I said, you could be a health coach, you could be somebody who sells a physical product, like not physical products, or like a coaching product or one of those things. This is going to help you with your closing rate. So if this has been interesting, if you’ve if you’re like, Okay, I get it girls, you got me What the heck? Then you’re like you’re nodding along going, Okay, we got it. We got it. Well, it’s all it’s I mean, it’s great for us to explain it to you, but it’s also really good if you could have something tangible that you can actually use to start upping your own proposal, like a way of doing proposals. 

How to get a sample version of our proposal strategy

Jennie Wright  23:56

So Alyson, I have put together something for you. It’s a sample version of the proposal strategy that we just explained to you, and you can get it on the notes page. So if you go to systemtothrive.com/4, you will be able to find it on the notes page is right there for you. And you can go ahead and download it. And then that’s the breakdown in more detail exactly how we set up our proposals. And you can use this in your own you can you can start creating your own whatever format fits you the best. Take these as like the six steps to getting a better closing rate. If you want to get up to those closing rate percentages, those 85 and those 90s or if you’re already in that percentage range, but you want to increase your prices, this is actually really going to help

Alyson Lex  24:40

And I will also say you know you mentioned something about physical products.

How this proposal process could translate to physical products or services

Alyson Lex  24:46

I got an addition put on my house last year, and I’m sure we’re going to talk about this more because it was kind of a nightmare, but my quote from the company was chicken scratch on one of those tri-copy pieces of paper, you know the white pink yellow pieces of paper, I got the pink copy, I could barely read it. It was just single lines. Now this was putting an addition on my house.

Jennie Wright  25:13

This is thousands of dollars.

Alyson Lex  25:15

I’m not ashamed to say that this was about an $80,000 project.

Alyson Lex  25:19

Actually, I’m a little ashamed of that.

Alyson Lex  25:22

By the time all was said and done, we were probably $70 or $80k in and I got one piece of paper.

Jennie Wright  25:33

That’s ridiculous

Alyson Lex  25:34

if they had come to me with a multi page proposal that outlined everything that I could expect, as well as terms, conditions, a place for me to sign even if it was paper, right because this is obviously a different situation. Sure, but this process translates to pretty much any industry unless you’re selling me a $1 bottle of water on my way into the baseball park. Nobody needs a proposal for that. I just need my water. Unless you’re selling me something of that low barrier – when you’re selling something high ticket, you need to have a little bit more. skin in the game. We want our clients to have skin in the game, but they want us to have skin in the game too.

Jennie Wright  26:23

Yep. They want to see that you’ve done the process and you’ve done the work and you understand them and all those things.

Alyson Lex  26:27

That you’re invested in their success. That’s a big deal. 

How to track the progress of your proposal

Jennie Wright  26:34

This is why you do this. It takes it from the next level of just doing a sales call. The other thing is when you do something like this, at least in the proposal software that we’re using, it allows us to see where they’re actually spending the time on their pages. We get like a little notification saying that so and so’s opened their proposal, and then we get to see that they spent – this is the fun part. It’ll actually say that they spent 24 seconds on the introduction, a minute 34 on the plan, two minutes on client requirements. And then if they go no further, then you’re like, what happened?

Jennie Wright  27:08

So you can always follow up and be like, Hey, how’s it going? Right? But the software also does let you know, when it’s been signed and a payment has been done. I love that part.Even if you don’t use this particular software, and you use any software that you want, it’s wonderful that you can actually get them through the steps to really understand the value of what it is that you’re talking about.

Alyson Lex  27:35

Absolutely. And you can implement some of the same technology. If you’re sending, for example, a PDF that you made in Canva, or word, put a Read Receipt on your email, so you know they’ve opened it, and that allows you to follow up. That just changes your follow up messaging. So instead of Hey, John, or Hey, Sue, or whatever, I was wondering if you have any questions about my proposal? You can change it if you didn’t get the Read Receipt to. Did you receive this? Following up with you? And it just meets them where they are. It’s a slight tweak in messaging, but it’s really important when you want to connect with that prospect. 

What we could do better in our sales process

Alyson Lex  28:18

Now, we’ve gone on and on about how great we are, Jennie. But we know we’re not perfect. (Don’t tell my husband.) But there are definitely things that we can do better. So, you know, 85% closing rate, I’ll take it any day of the week. But if I could bump that up to a 92% or 95% closing rate, there are definitely things that I could do better. One thing that’s been suggested to me by a few sales experts, which I am not, I’m just giving you my experience and what’s working for me. A few sales experts have said that I could actually review the proposal on a live follow up call instead. Instead of emailing it to them directly, so I would put it together, prepare it, get on a live call, maybe a zoom screen share, and review it with them live and then email it to them. And the reason is, is it puts me more in control of that process. They’re not just skimming to the timeline and investment page to see what the prices and making a jump decision. That’s one thing that we could do. I haven’t needed to do that or really [haven’t wanted to], because I’m interested in reducing the back and forth. So I have to decide if that feels right for me. I do have clients that request a follow up call once they receive it and I’m happy to do those.

Alyson Lex  29:47

I could add that welcome video more consistently. Sometimes I get really lazy or especially if it’s a phone call, I haven’t done the hair and face for the day and I don’t feel like getting on video. But doing that more consistently to build that relationship further. Remember, we’re all about the relationship. And I think the third thing that I could probably do better is if I’ve given them a firm price on the call to actually go ahead and close on the call, instead of sending them the proposal and waiting for them to close after. Can you think of anything else I can do better, Jennie?

Jennie Wright  30:28

Not at all. You know, because we’re in this great overlap industry, but we also have two different businesses. When Alyson’s working with a client, it’s usually: she does the process, she writes the copy, the client takes the copy, and off they go, right. I do a lot of work where it’s I’m working with people for three or four or six months, doing weekly strategy calls, and then possibly even implementation. So there’s a bit of a difference there. And in my proposals, I have to lay out the fact that we’re going to have these weekly calls, there’s no like, “Hey, your copy is going to be on your desk at this time.” And so mine has a bit of a little bit of a different feel. And what I normally end up doing is, I’d say about six times out of 10, I will have that follow up call. 

How Jennie books her follow up calls to improve client response speed

Jennie Wright  31:20

And this is the best part is I’ll actually book that follow up call whilst on the sales call. So I’ll actually say, you know what, if it’s okay with you, I’ll send you a proposal, you can take a look at everything that we’re going to do together. And if you like it, you sign it. What I’d also like to do is I’d like to plan our next call together. One, we can use this to review the proposal if you have any questions, but if you’re good to go, this will be our first coaching call.

Alyson Lex  31:45

That is so smart! I’m gonna steal that. I’m stealing that back. 

Jennie Wright  31:52

So I booked them their first call and I usually don’t wait a long time. This is not a five days later thing. This is a 48 hour or 72 hour later thing. By doing that I get them a little bit of urgency to read, review and sign the proposal. And that we’re going to start right away thing and it does work quite often I’d say it works more times than not, and it helps increase my closing rate because they’re like, Oh, yeah, I’m ready to get started. I want to get, you know, I want to get this project going. And, you know, all these kinds of things. And I’d be like, Oh, great. So if you’ve got questions, we’ll answer them on that call. If you don’t have any questions, that’s our first call. And we’re going to get started right away. What’s the email address associated with your Dropbox or your Google Drive? Because I’m setting it up now. And people like, “you’re going to start now like, yeah, we’re going, are you in? Oh, yeah, I’m in! Okay, let’s get going.” and I literally will wrap a call like that. Because it creates excitement. 

Alyson Lex  32:48

That’s sexy. Jennie. I’m not gonna lie.

Jennie Wright  32:50

It creates excitement. It shows that you’re just as excited as they are to get going. It creates this really cool vibe. Like we’re “Look, we’re team, you know, we’re team whatever, we’re team first name, person, let’s go.” And it really creates that camaraderie and, and people like “yeah, I’m like, let’s do this, I’m ready.” And you start working right away and I’ll literally create the, you know, I’ll literally be like, “okay, let’s get off the phone. You go ahead and you know, review that proposal, get that puppy signed up. Let’s get going. I’m going to start work. As soon as that’s done, as soon as I see it, come through my email that you’ve signed it and you’ve got your deposit in. I’m working. And we’ve got a call on Friday at four. So I’m going to see you then. Good? Awesome.” People like Yeah, let’s do it. And it’s really good for projects that I work on where it’s like, we’re doing a summit or building a funnel or we’re creating a sales page or we’re, I’m planning a project like they’re selling a book, you know, all these kinds of things. It gets people revved up and excited. So that’s the only thing I can add to that.

Alyson Lex  33:52

Thank you guys so much for listening. We’ll be back next episode with another big question. We’re actually going to be talking about everything you need to know to write a killer headline. See you next episode.

Listen Now

What We Talk About

In this episode, we’re talking about how we use a beefed-up sales proposal process to improve our close rates up to 85-90% – even on high-ticket projects! This process can be used for coaching, done-for-you services… even in-person services! (Alyson talks about how this would have impressed her when she got the addition put on her house.)

  • (0:38) What we used to do with our proposals
  • (2:40) Why our old proposals didn’t work
  • (4:51) Why hoops will tank your close rate
  • (5:37) Scope creep
  • (9:04) What to do before the sales call to improve your close rate
  • (10:52) How “The Plan” is essential to closing sales
  • (12:24) The information you must include in your proposal
  • (14:22) The software we use for our proposals
  • (14:56) The first section & how to personalize your proposal
  • (16:20) What goes into “The Plan” and how it helps add value
  • (16:49) Outlining client requirements to manage expectations
  • (18:38) How to present the investment
  • (19:51) How to present a discount to improve your close rate
  • (21:59) How you can put your proposal together 
  • (22:24) One line we include in every proposal we sent
  • (23:56) How to get a sample version of our proposal strategy (hint, it’s right here on this page – keep scrolling!)
  • (24:46) How this proposal process could translate to physical products or services
  • (26:34) How to track the progress of your proposal
  • (28:18) What we could do better in our sales process
  • (31:20) How Jennie books her follow up calls to improve client response speed
Resources

Better Proposals – https://systemtothrive.com/proposals

The THRIVE Collaborative FB Group – www.facebook.com/groups/thrivecollaborative

Our Proposal Template – this template will show you the step by step process we take our clients through that helps us deliver VALUE and close the deal. Grab it by clicking the button below:

Click here to get the resources from today's show

The Transcript

Alyson Lex  00:01

Do you send formalized proposals to your clients? Or do you just pitch them on the phone and hopefully they say yes? What’s your process? How’s well is it working for you? Here’s the thing. If you want to close higher end packages, you need to provide enough value and details that makes your prospect comfortable with making that buying decision with you. A simple 30 minute phone call with rattled off pricing is not going to close that $15,000 deal. You need a process if you want to improve your close rate on these. That’s what we’re here to help you with today. I’m Alyson Lex. I’m Jennie Wright. And let’s dive in.

What we used to do with our proposals

Jennie Wright  00:38

Here’s what we used to do. So I personally have done hundreds and hundreds of sales calls and closed lots and lots of clients. My old process was I would either email them my proposal right afterwards in just an email format when you’re actually just typing into your email system, or I would actually pitch them right on the call without any follow up. And this wasn’t working too well for me… how about you?

Alyson Lex  01:05

No. I actually did that and then I stepped up my game, I was doing the “email them the details” a lot. Then I stepped up my game and I was using a PDF that I created in Microsoft Word. So you know, it looked beautiful, and I would put in there, here’s what I’m going to deliver. And here’s what I’m going to deliver and if you want this call me. I didn’t really have a good process for actually making the close. And my close rate I mean, it was decent. Typically I pre qualified people when I got them on the phone or before I got them on the phone. So I still had a decent enough close rate that I wasn’t desperate for a solution, but then when I really got my proposals and that closing process down pat, I wish I had done it sooner. 

Jennie Wright  01:58

Oh yeah, and as I’ve grown my business over the years and my prices have gone up and packages have increased this process has allowed me to close those bigger end packages I was really struggling in my old process of just sending them an email or pitching it right on the phone to close those higher end packages. People needed more information and this is why we ended up having a different process. Funnily enough, you developed this process independently and showed it to me. I practically jaw dropped and freaked out. And I flat out stole it with your blessing.

Why our old proposals didn’t work

Jennie Wright  02:40

Totally watched my closing rates increase and my package prices go up. So here’s really what you know what’s going to work here. What didn’t work at the time prior to using a proper formalized sort of proposal, is that it didn’t lead your prospect through the process the right way. It didn’t lead them step by step by step. It didn’t show them the process of what you were going to do, and how it was going to help. They couldn’t envision that end goal, they were really struggling with that step by step of embracing that new process that you were creating for them. And it doesn’t matter how this applies. This could be for copywriting, like Alyson does, or funnels and implementation like I do. This could be for health coaching or anything. Yeah.

Alyson Lex  03:28

Another thing and we actually talked about this on the last episode, Episode Three, but we didn’t provide enough value during my sales call before I asked for the money. And if I did provide that value, I didn’t document it in a way that they could refer to later. I was really relying on the client to remember everything that we talked about, instead of noting it down for them, which is a really big deal because that client’s not going remember, especially with as fast as I talk. Right? I overwhelmed them a lot on sales calls because I’m just rapid fire giving ideas. And instead of giving them that value in a written format that they can refer to over and over again, when I asked them for money, it didn’t feel like I had provided any value to them yet, because they’d already forgotten about it.

Jennie Wright  04:22

Correct? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. 

Alyson Lex  04:26

As I mentioned, when I talked about my PDF, I didn’t have a built in way to do the close. It was a clunky process. It was like, Okay, well, now I need a credit card or mail me a check. Or I have to do something manually that required more back and forth with the client instead of just creating seamless experiences. Yeah, it really just bit me in the butt. 

Why hoops will tank your close rate

Jennie Wright  04:51

The more steps in hoops that you make your prospect jump through to close that sale increases the opportunity where they go, and “I’m not so sure about this”, and they’ll actually pull back. So, back in the day when I was using DocuSign. Back when I was first doing online summits, we were using a product called DocuSign, which was one of the first products that I remember being able to put my agreement in getting a digital signature, but then I still had to get the next step, I need to send them a payment form, get them to fill it out, send it back, you know, and so you’re giving people instructions, you’re going back and forth and email going, “Hey, did you sign the payment form?”. “Can you scan the payment form”, you know, blah, blah, blah.

Scope creep

Jennie Wright  05:37

And I was losing a lot of higher end clients. I was that way I was losing a lot of high ticket clients. Higher ticket clients really do expect that you’re going to have a process. The other thing is is that wasn’t working is the way that I was doing it. I think the way that Alyson was doing it too allowed for misinformation in some ways and for scope creep,because they were relying on our memories of what we’d said in a sales call, and we didn’t have this formalized process, people were thinking, “well, I thought that was included?” Like, where was that included? “Well, I remember in the conversation, we talked about it.” And then I’d say, “Yeah, but I told you that wasn’t included in the agreement that we were making.” “Oh, I thought it was.” And then you felt guilty. And then you’re like, well, I’ll throw it in. Right? And now you’ve gone above and beyond your current agreement. And now you’re reducing the value of actually the thing that you’re doing. monetarily for yourself, and it’s, you know, it’s painful.

Alyson Lex  06:39

Yeah, totally painful to have scope creep. And it’s not that it’s a malicious thing. It’s really just miscommunication and miss-remembering. I know that I know what the limits of my memory are, which is why I have notebooks and sticky notes and documents and to do lists everywhere. Not everybody is that aware of the limits of their memory, they think “I don’t need to write this down. I’ll remember it.” And I do that right before falling asleep. I have this fantastic idea. And I think I don’t need to write this down. I’ll remember it and I don’t remember it. Just before bed Alyson doesn’t remember anything.

Jennie Wright  07:15

Which is why just-before-bed Alyson messages Jennie.

Alyson Lex  07:17

Yeah. Just before bed Alyson messages just-before-bed Jennie to say I want to remember this in the morning. Exactly.

Jennie Wright  07:24

Exactly. 

Alyson Lex  07:26

Yeah, so I was gonna say and what we do now with the sales process that we have – with the sales call that we now charge for, like we talked about in Episode Three – it really does make a difference and my personal close rate since I began using this process that you unashamedly stole from me, is about 85%. Sometimes 90%, 

Jennie Wright  07:56

I would honestly say knowing how many people you actually close versus how many people you pitch. I think you’re more in the 90s, myself based on what I’ve seen. It’s possible and I don’t think it’s this is a weird thing people are, you know, people are listening to this or watching this and they’re going “90% close rate?!”  Well, I know it seems insane. But it actually is quite easy to get to, if you have a step by step process that leads your prospect through the whole thing. So everything that you’ve said on the sales call, this is this is actually the language that I use, I’ll actually say, “I’m going to send you a proposal. It’s going to include everything that we discussed today, as well as some extra stuff to help you understand, blah, blah, blah.”  And we’ll talk about this more a little bit later. And they get actually excited to get the proposal because then they don’t have to remember everything that we talked about. The proposal does a lot of the legwork for you to get them to the close. So that’s why we think this is so important. That’s why we’re spending an entire episode. Just talking about The value of having a formalized proposal process.

What to do before the sales call to improve your close rate

Alyson Lex  09:04

Absolutely. Now I do also want to just mention that part of that high close rate is pre qualifying the people that I get on the phone with. If I was to just hop on the phone with every single person who mentioned that they might be interested in hiring a copywriter, my close rate would dramatically plummet. So it is really important to at least have at least a slight conversation with someone before you hop on the phone with them to make sure that you’re in the same arena. You don’t want somebody who’s looking for, for example, I don’t write blog style content for clients. That’s just not my lane. I’m not the best person to hire for that. And so if I have a conversation with someone and they say, yeah, we’re looking for a content writer, I say, Can you tell me what you mean by that? I make sure that what they’re looking for is a service that I offer. I make sure that they are financially able to invest in me. Not everybody is and that’s okay. So there are some certain pre qualification things that you really must be doing. And we could do a whole episode on this. And we probably will in the future. But there are definitely things that you should be doing before the sales call even happens in order to improve your close rate.

Jennie Wright  10:23

Absolutely. So we always start with a sales call. And like Alyson said, we’ve lately been charging for them. And if that’s not your model, we totally understand and if you want to know more about charging for your sales calls, go listen to Episode Three, we talk about a lot more detail. And you’ll be able to see right in the show notes in Episode Three, what we’re talking about and also a free resource for you. So go check that out. And if you’ve already listened to it, great because we’re going to talk a little bit more deeply now about the process. 

How “The Plan” is essential to closing sales

Jennie Wright  10:52

So once you’ve done your sales call, whether or not you get people to pay for them or they’re free, now’s the time where you’re going to be sending out that proposal. We call this in capital letters THE PLAN. It’s really a big part of getting people to agree to your proposal. So we outline a very specific step by step plan that gives them exactly what they can do with or without us. And then we show them what it looks like for our help to implement it. And you can do this you can say, all sorts of things like, absolutely, here’s your step by step plan to help you, lose weight, or to find the love of your life or to do whatever. And here’s what it could look like for you. When you’re on the sales call, one of the things that you have to do is you got to take notes or record it or both, which we do, and you’re putting into the proposal notes from that call, sort of like here’s the plan. This is what we want you to do. If you do this, you’ll you’ll see some success. And you give them that step by step, but then you show them what it looks like if you do it. So you can try and do it. And if we do it, here’s what that would look like for you. And it allows them to make an informed decision. 

Jennie Wright  12:06

This really pairs incredibly well, when we’re charging for sales calls. Or if you’re charging for your sales calls, they get value from it, because now they’ve already paid for it. And they get a plan to go with it. And you get to show your expertise and you prove that that helps you close the sale.

The information you must include in your proposal

Alyson Lex  12:24

Absolutely. And so whether you are using a specific system, or like maybe you’re designing it in Canva, or you’re using a PDF that you generated in Word, I have a few sections that I think are really important to put in there and Jennie I think will agree with me –

Jennie Wright  12:49

Wholeheartedly since I basically ripped your whole plan.

Alyson Lex  12:53

I’m just trying to get her to say that as often as possible.

Jennie Wright  12:56

Look, it works. Okay. I literally … and it works. I mean, she had no problem giving it to me. That’s the great thing. Like, we I actually, here’s how it here’s the story. 

Jennie Wright  13:09

Here’s the backstory. Okay, this is the fun part, the backstory of this. Alyson sent out a proposal for a large amount to prospective client. And I was like, good luck with that. She’s like, no I got this in the bag. It’s good. I’m good. I pre qualified them. I did the call. It was really, really good. And I said, Okay, and she goes, I got it. And I’m like, how did you get it? She goes, I just walked them through my plan. I’m like, “Your what now?” she was like my plan. She goes here. Here’s the link to the proposal. I went and looked at the proposal. And she had it perfectly laid out step by step by step. And as I kept reading, I honestly wanted to pay her the money for the proposal because it was so perfect. 

Jennie Wright  13:46

So that’s what we’re going to lay out for you. Now. I know that if you’re listening on audio, all right, I want you to imagine this in your mind. We’re going to try and describe it as best as possible. And if you’re watching us on video, just imagine it in your mind as well. But I want you to imagine opening up a document, okay, like a Canva document or you know a Word doc or something along those lines, and it’s broken into steps, like it’s broken into paragraphs with a header. And in the software that we’re going to tell you about a little bit later, it breaks it down into an outline on the left hand side, which is fantastic. 

The software we use for our proposals

Alyson Lex  14:23

So actually, I’ll talk about the software now. It’s fantastic. It’s called Better Proposals. And I have a link to that on the show notes page as well. So you don’t have to try and remember it. Because again, not everybody’s memories are great. I know where the limits are. They have different plans and levels, I think their starter plan’s like $20 a month. The thing that I really like about them is and we’ll talk about it as I go through the sections, but they have that all inclusive process that includes payment. Without that clunky back and forth. 

The first section & how to personalize your proposal

Alyson Lex  14:56

Okay, so, my first section when you open it up as the introduction. And if [the sales call] was a phone call and not a zoom call, a lot of times I’ll shoot a quick personalized video and I do this anyway with additional thoughts and ramblings. That allows them to see my face. That allows them to hear my voice. It has that personal touch. Plus, it’s obvious that it’s hyper personalized, and not just here. 

Jennie Wright  15:22

You’re recording it right after you’re, you’re saying like it was great talking to you just now.

Alyson Lex  15:27

Yeah, it’s not a recording of our call. It’s me in my office on camera by myself kind of talking directly to them. And then I also give them a little tour through the system, because it isn’t something that people see every day. So I want to make sure that they know what to expect in each section. And if they haven’t seen my copy or haven’t experienced my marketing chops firsthand, I do also send them a link to some samples that I’ve put together for them.

Jennie Wright  15:58

And those samples are amazing.

Alyson Lex  15:59

Why thank you. Then I dive right into the plan, which in my head is said in Julia Stiles’ voice from 10 Things I Hate About You with, quote, fingers because she goes, “The Plan!” And that’s what’s in my head every time I type it out. It’s the little things that keep me going, 

What goes into “The Plan” and how it helps add value

Alyson Lex  16:20

But like we said it’s broken down into sections, it’s complete step by step, easy for them to understand I’ve done maybe a little research for them. So if, for instance, they’re talking about direct mail, and they want to have a lumpy, you know, a stress ball, I might go and give them some ideas or something like that, like it’s not necessarily just notes, it’s additional stuff too. That gives them additional value beyond what they got on the call with me

Outlining client requirements to manage expectations

Alyson Lex  16:49

Then the next section is the client requirements. This is really essential to setting boundaries and that is something that we talked about with scope creep. But boundaries, expectations are really important to set. And when you can stand and say “this is what’s required in order to have a successful working relationship together,” then your client is going to automatically respect you and see you as more professional or the expert.

Jennie Wright  17:18

This part alone has been a game changer for me. Because I am one of those people that has constantly said, Sure, no problem. Yes, no problem. gone into a martyr state where it’s like everybody, I call it my Cinderella state, “Jennierella,” where everybody’s just like, hey, before you can do anything for yourself, you got to do my stuff. And I never get to the ball. And that’s because I wasn’t using client requirements. I wasn’t saying look for us to have a successful relationship, etc. And, wow, using that one particular step is been a massive improvement to my own well being, where I don’t feel like people are constantly Reading and stepping over the line.

Alyson Lex  18:02

Absolutely. And another thing that it does is it gives the client a to do list, right? If we want to start work, these are the things that I’m going to need from you. And it can be super, I have some templated stuff in there. And that’s just normal, but I edit it as required. And one of the things that I require is a questionnaire, which is a Google document, I can link to it right from my Better Proposals. And it’s tailored to them, it’s theirs, they type in their answers, they have their To Do List.

How to present the investment

Alyson Lex  18:38

After that is now the timeline and investment. So the one thing about Better Proposals, especially if it’s on mobile, is you don’t necessarily have that side navigation. You just have arrows at the bottom. And so they’ve gone through all of these pages in order to get to the investment.

Jennie Wright  18:56

There’s no hamburger to be able to flip through, they have to go through it step by step, which I like.

Alyson Lex  19:02

And we’ve all done it where we’re like, hey, that thing looks really cool. How much is it? We don’t read it, we just look, we see, we make a snap decision. And what we want to do if we haven’t already pitched them on the phone, which is a decision you can make. Sometimes I do give them a price on the phone. But sometimes if it’s a complicated project, or it’s big, or I need other elements, I do some figuring. So they don’t get a price from me, I give them a ballpark. But the timeline and investment I give them the deadline or the timeline first. So they see exactly when they can expect it. Then I move into the investment section. I don’t want them to have to scroll forever. I tell them – I break it down. Here’s what you’re going to get here much, here’s how much that’s going to cost you. 

How to present a discount to improve your close rate

Alyson Lex  19:51

And I give them my rack rates for that, my regular rates, and then if they’re going to do a package, so if it’s a whole thing, then I’ll actually break out and put in the package discount, so they can see what they’re saving if they buy it all now. That’s a really cool little trick, because people like to save money. And so I can get a bigger project up front. Absolutely. And and then after that – we’re still on a timeline and investment page – I tell them everything they’re going to get. All the research I do, the fact that they get full copyright, that I’m going to help them with implementation or interface with their implementation team behind the scenes that I’m going to review in depth, their marketing materials, I’m going to, you know what I mean? Like it’s, I really flesh it out. So it’s like, “oh, I’m not just getting copy” because when you’re a copywriter, there’s more than just copy. There’s research and time and knowledge and all of that stuff. 

Alyson Lex  20:47

We’re almost done. Then I have the terms and conditions page. And because we can actually sign and pay through the system. This becomes a contract once it’s signed. So this is all the legalese. And I’m, you know, you should have your own legalese, don’t use mine. And then the next steps page, this is where they sign and are taken to the payment portal. So I’ve realized saying that, that this sounds like a Better Proposals advertisement.

Jennie Wright  21:18

I know, I know. And that’s not what we’re trying to do.

Alyson Lex  21:20

But there are other proposal software options out there if you go the software route. But this is what I used to do in a PDF, too.

Jennie Wright  21:30

Yeah, it’s just the process. It’s the step by step process.

Alyson Lex  21:33

I’m walking them through it. I’m not just saying, hey, to get your copy written, it’s going to be $5,000. Yeah. Because that’s not going to sell anything. And I’m going to deliver the copy to you on August xx, and it’s going to include this, this, this, this and this. The investment is, you know, here’s the plan that we talked about, and here’s what the investment is. I’m building up the value before I hit them with that dollar figure.

How you can put your proposal together 

Jennie Wright  21:59

Yep. And it’s very, very clear. It seems like a lot of stuff, a lot of steps to do. But the thing is, if you go with these steps, if you follow these steps and you do the plan, the client requirements, the timeline and investment, the terms and conditions in the next steps, if you just do those five things, actually six, because there’s an introduction. If you do those five or six things, you’re going to improve your closing rate, just by default on saying, wow, this is really organized, it has everything that I want as a potential client. It’s impressive. They’ve put time and effort into this. I feel like they understand me. You know, they’ve done the research. 

One line we include in every proposal we sent

Jennie Wright  22:44

One of the lines that we both use in our proposals is we say the work starts right now. Like, you know, as soon as the contract is signed, and the deposit is paid, somebody like Alyson and I, me doing funnels and implementation as well as strategy and Alyson doing copywriting in this, you know, strategy and a bunch of other things. The work begins as soon as we get a signed contract. We’re already starting to flesh out ideas and things like that so that when we get on a call with our new client, we’re able to start helping them right away. 

Jennie Wright  23:17

So it doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. And like I said, you could be a health coach, you could be somebody who sells a physical product, like not physical products, or like a coaching product or one of those things. This is going to help you with your closing rate. So if this has been interesting, if you’ve if you’re like, Okay, I get it girls, you got me What the heck? Then you’re like you’re nodding along going, Okay, we got it. We got it. Well, it’s all it’s I mean, it’s great for us to explain it to you, but it’s also really good if you could have something tangible that you can actually use to start upping your own proposal, like a way of doing proposals. 

How to get a sample version of our proposal strategy

Jennie Wright  23:56

So Alyson, I have put together something for you. It’s a sample version of the proposal strategy that we just explained to you, and you can get it on the notes page. So if you go to systemtothrive.com/4, you will be able to find it on the notes page is right there for you. And you can go ahead and download it. And then that’s the breakdown in more detail exactly how we set up our proposals. And you can use this in your own you can you can start creating your own whatever format fits you the best. Take these as like the six steps to getting a better closing rate. If you want to get up to those closing rate percentages, those 85 and those 90s or if you’re already in that percentage range, but you want to increase your prices, this is actually really going to help

Alyson Lex  24:40

And I will also say you know you mentioned something about physical products.

How this proposal process could translate to physical products or services

Alyson Lex  24:46

I got an addition put on my house last year, and I’m sure we’re going to talk about this more because it was kind of a nightmare, but my quote from the company was chicken scratch on one of those tri-copy pieces of paper, you know the white pink yellow pieces of paper, I got the pink copy, I could barely read it. It was just single lines. Now this was putting an addition on my house.

Jennie Wright  25:13

This is thousands of dollars.

Alyson Lex  25:15

I’m not ashamed to say that this was about an $80,000 project.

Alyson Lex  25:19

Actually, I’m a little ashamed of that.

Alyson Lex  25:22

By the time all was said and done, we were probably $70 or $80k in and I got one piece of paper.

Jennie Wright  25:33

That’s ridiculous

Alyson Lex  25:34

if they had come to me with a multi page proposal that outlined everything that I could expect, as well as terms, conditions, a place for me to sign even if it was paper, right because this is obviously a different situation. Sure, but this process translates to pretty much any industry unless you’re selling me a $1 bottle of water on my way into the baseball park. Nobody needs a proposal for that. I just need my water. Unless you’re selling me something of that low barrier – when you’re selling something high ticket, you need to have a little bit more. skin in the game. We want our clients to have skin in the game, but they want us to have skin in the game too.

Jennie Wright  26:23

Yep. They want to see that you’ve done the process and you’ve done the work and you understand them and all those things.

Alyson Lex  26:27

That you’re invested in their success. That’s a big deal. 

How to track the progress of your proposal

Jennie Wright  26:34

This is why you do this. It takes it from the next level of just doing a sales call. The other thing is when you do something like this, at least in the proposal software that we’re using, it allows us to see where they’re actually spending the time on their pages. We get like a little notification saying that so and so’s opened their proposal, and then we get to see that they spent – this is the fun part. It’ll actually say that they spent 24 seconds on the introduction, a minute 34 on the plan, two minutes on client requirements. And then if they go no further, then you’re like, what happened?

Jennie Wright  27:08

So you can always follow up and be like, Hey, how’s it going? Right? But the software also does let you know, when it’s been signed and a payment has been done. I love that part.Even if you don’t use this particular software, and you use any software that you want, it’s wonderful that you can actually get them through the steps to really understand the value of what it is that you’re talking about.

Alyson Lex  27:35

Absolutely. And you can implement some of the same technology. If you’re sending, for example, a PDF that you made in Canva, or word, put a Read Receipt on your email, so you know they’ve opened it, and that allows you to follow up. That just changes your follow up messaging. So instead of Hey, John, or Hey, Sue, or whatever, I was wondering if you have any questions about my proposal? You can change it if you didn’t get the Read Receipt to. Did you receive this? Following up with you? And it just meets them where they are. It’s a slight tweak in messaging, but it’s really important when you want to connect with that prospect. 

What we could do better in our sales process

Alyson Lex  28:18

Now, we’ve gone on and on about how great we are, Jennie. But we know we’re not perfect. (Don’t tell my husband.) But there are definitely things that we can do better. So, you know, 85% closing rate, I’ll take it any day of the week. But if I could bump that up to a 92% or 95% closing rate, there are definitely things that I could do better. One thing that’s been suggested to me by a few sales experts, which I am not, I’m just giving you my experience and what’s working for me. A few sales experts have said that I could actually review the proposal on a live follow up call instead. Instead of emailing it to them directly, so I would put it together, prepare it, get on a live call, maybe a zoom screen share, and review it with them live and then email it to them. And the reason is, is it puts me more in control of that process. They’re not just skimming to the timeline and investment page to see what the prices and making a jump decision. That’s one thing that we could do. I haven’t needed to do that or really [haven’t wanted to], because I’m interested in reducing the back and forth. So I have to decide if that feels right for me. I do have clients that request a follow up call once they receive it and I’m happy to do those.

Alyson Lex  29:47

I could add that welcome video more consistently. Sometimes I get really lazy or especially if it’s a phone call, I haven’t done the hair and face for the day and I don’t feel like getting on video. But doing that more consistently to build that relationship further. Remember, we’re all about the relationship. And I think the third thing that I could probably do better is if I’ve given them a firm price on the call to actually go ahead and close on the call, instead of sending them the proposal and waiting for them to close after. Can you think of anything else I can do better, Jennie?

Jennie Wright  30:28

Not at all. You know, because we’re in this great overlap industry, but we also have two different businesses. When Alyson’s working with a client, it’s usually: she does the process, she writes the copy, the client takes the copy, and off they go, right. I do a lot of work where it’s I’m working with people for three or four or six months, doing weekly strategy calls, and then possibly even implementation. So there’s a bit of a difference there. And in my proposals, I have to lay out the fact that we’re going to have these weekly calls, there’s no like, “Hey, your copy is going to be on your desk at this time.” And so mine has a bit of a little bit of a different feel. And what I normally end up doing is, I’d say about six times out of 10, I will have that follow up call. 

How Jennie books her follow up calls to improve client response speed

Jennie Wright  31:20

And this is the best part is I’ll actually book that follow up call whilst on the sales call. So I’ll actually say, you know what, if it’s okay with you, I’ll send you a proposal, you can take a look at everything that we’re going to do together. And if you like it, you sign it. What I’d also like to do is I’d like to plan our next call together. One, we can use this to review the proposal if you have any questions, but if you’re good to go, this will be our first coaching call.

Alyson Lex  31:45

That is so smart! I’m gonna steal that. I’m stealing that back. 

Jennie Wright  31:52

So I booked them their first call and I usually don’t wait a long time. This is not a five days later thing. This is a 48 hour or 72 hour later thing. By doing that I get them a little bit of urgency to read, review and sign the proposal. And that we’re going to start right away thing and it does work quite often I’d say it works more times than not, and it helps increase my closing rate because they’re like, Oh, yeah, I’m ready to get started. I want to get, you know, I want to get this project going. And, you know, all these kinds of things. And I’d be like, Oh, great. So if you’ve got questions, we’ll answer them on that call. If you don’t have any questions, that’s our first call. And we’re going to get started right away. What’s the email address associated with your Dropbox or your Google Drive? Because I’m setting it up now. And people like, “you’re going to start now like, yeah, we’re going, are you in? Oh, yeah, I’m in! Okay, let’s get going.” and I literally will wrap a call like that. Because it creates excitement. 

Alyson Lex  32:48

That’s sexy. Jennie. I’m not gonna lie.

Jennie Wright  32:50

It creates excitement. It shows that you’re just as excited as they are to get going. It creates this really cool vibe. Like we’re “Look, we’re team, you know, we’re team whatever, we’re team first name, person, let’s go.” And it really creates that camaraderie and, and people like “yeah, I’m like, let’s do this, I’m ready.” And you start working right away and I’ll literally create the, you know, I’ll literally be like, “okay, let’s get off the phone. You go ahead and you know, review that proposal, get that puppy signed up. Let’s get going. I’m going to start work. As soon as that’s done, as soon as I see it, come through my email that you’ve signed it and you’ve got your deposit in. I’m working. And we’ve got a call on Friday at four. So I’m going to see you then. Good? Awesome.” People like Yeah, let’s do it. And it’s really good for projects that I work on where it’s like, we’re doing a summit or building a funnel or we’re creating a sales page or we’re, I’m planning a project like they’re selling a book, you know, all these kinds of things. It gets people revved up and excited. So that’s the only thing I can add to that.

Alyson Lex  33:52

Thank you guys so much for listening. We’ll be back next episode with another big question. We’re actually going to be talking about everything you need to know to write a killer headline. See you next episode.


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