Make the Sale EVERY TIME!
“I’m not really a sales person. I love my work, but I hate the sales process.”
Can you relate to that feeling? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that same refrain from mentees, friends, and fellow floral designers.
In my experience, it seems that women, creatives, and especially female creatives have a harder time feeling confident making a sale. They tend to feel apologetic, hesitant, and uncomfortable when asking clients to pay them what they’re worth.
Here’s the truth: if you can’t make the sale, you’re not a business owner, you’re a hobbyist. And you have a VERY expensive hobby. So what can you do to change those limiting mindsets and confidently make the sale every time?
Here’s what works for me.
When I worked in a kitchen store (yes, a kitchen store), I worked with couples who were putting together their wedding registries. I remember the time when a bride-to-be was flipping through our catalogue and selected a beautiful ceramic bowl to put on her registry. When she asked me what I thought, I told her the truth: “You’re never going to use that bowl. It’s going to collect dust in your cabinet for five years before you guiltily send it to Goodwill.”
It’s always been easy for me to make the sale, because I prioritize what is best for the client. And I always tell the truth.
Step one to making the sale?
Tell the truth.
I know how hard I work for my clients, so when I present a pricing summary, I’m positive that what I’m presenting is what my client needs to invest in order to get the result they want.
When I have a client who thinks my delivery and set-up price seems high, I can honestly and confidently explain that I need to hire freelancers, rent vans to transport the designs, purchase supplies to execute the designs, etc.
I don’t need to feel apologetic about my pricing! I’m the expert!
If your mindset going into a sales meeting is that your clients would be doing you a favor by hiring you, you need to stop right there! You’re the expert. You can’t execute your role without being paid what you’re worth.
In 2013 and 2014, I remember walking out of sales meetings thinking, “I do not like how that went.”
I was showing up to meetings expecting to meet with a bride, and walking into a room filled with a bride, a mother, a mother-in-law, a few sisters, an aunt or two… you get the idea. It was unexpected, and I was outnumbered.
When something isn’t working, I fix it.
I decided that when we schedule our meetings, we’d specifically ask who the client was bringing to the meeting and explain that we’d only have room for three people, maximum. Since we made that change, I’ve never had this same problem. And I run my meetings, not my clients.
Since I’ve managed those expectations from the beginning, I don’t receive any push-back, and I’ve already set the standard that I’m the expert; they’re in capable hands.
The same thing is true for when I’m presenting a design proposal. I tell every bride that my proposal is going to be over budget initially. I explain that I’d rather they narrow down their design selections than I do that for them. They can pick and choose whatever they want to stay in budget, or if they fall in love with a specific design, they can adjust their budget. Since I’ve warned the brides that the proposal will be over budget, there’s no shock or indignation! We’re all on the same page.
When you make your booking process clear and straightforward, you project the attitude that you’re in charge, you know what you’re doing, and you can be trusted with this once-in-a-lifetime day!
Shift Your Mindset.
Ask yourself, do I want to be a business owner, or do I want to design flowers? If you’re not a floral designer, fill in the blank with whatever applies to you!
If you can’t make a sale, you’re not a business owner. You might be great at designing flowers, but if you can’t get anyone to hire you, it doesn't matter!
Ask yourself this: Am I not making the sale because I don’t think I’m worthy of a real paycheck?
If the answer is yes, then you need to check in with yourself and some limiting beliefs you might have about making money. I’ll just say this: you are an artist, and you deserve to make money to provide for yourself. If people don’t think you should make money doing what you do, they’re welcome to do it themselves. It’s not as easy as it looks!
If you know you deserve to make money and you just hate the sales process, then I’m gonna say this to you: maybe you don’t need to be a business owner.
Would it be a better fit for you to freelance for someone else? Do you need to hire someone to do the sales process for you? Should you work for a larger company where you can focus on executing designs?
You can make great money and focus on what you love most. Don’t let fear or shame keep you stuck doing work you hate!
If you loved this and want more guidance on how to book your ideal clients every time, check out my Booking Reboot web training here.