This week’s Art Marketing Action newsletter encourages you to put everything in writing, with a focus on agreements. I’d also like to encourage you to put your quotes and proposals in writing.
About a year and a half ago, I decided to put all of my proposals in writing. It used to be that I would discuss something with someone on the phone, tell them my price, and they could decide whether or not it was right for them. Boy, things have changed! I can’t remember where I read of this methodology, but I am so grateful for it.
Here’s what I do with an inquiry now:
- Someone calls or emails with a project they’d like help on: coaching, consulting, a workshop.
- I send them a standard questionnaire I use with every client. If they’re serious about the project, they’ll fill it out and return it to me.
- I offer a free, 20-minute phone consultation for those I think I can help. During this phone call, I gather as much information and spend most of my time listening to the client’s needs. I then say, “Let me think about this and get back to you. [and, if appropriate] I will send you a written proposal with some options in it. You can decide how you would like to proceed.” I almost always give options! I find that to be a powerful tool. This also allows me to think about the situation and weigh the pros and cons of it with myself instead of feeling pressured by the other person. No one has ever objected to the slight delay.
- I write up an official proposal and email it to them. In the case of workshops, I often put together printed packets because I have these cool envelopes that people love to receive.
That’s it! And, let me tell you, it works. I rarely have a proposal turned down.
Click on the continued story to see you can adapt this to your art business and career.
Steps for your artist proposal:
- Someone calls or emails with you with a commission or asks you to donate work to a favorite cause.
- Come up with a standard questionnaire, if appropriate. Make sure you want to proceed.
Offer a consultation for those you’re interested in. During this phone
call or in-person meeting, gather as much information and spend your
time listening to the client’s needs. Then say, “Let me think about
this and get back to you. [and, if appropriate] I will send you a
written proposal with some options in it. You can decide how you would
like to proceed.” Don’t feel pressured to come up with an answer for
them on the spot. You need the time to mull it over.
Write up an official proposal on your letterhead and email it to them.
Use a printed version if it’s more appropriate. Ask them to confirm the
receipt of it.
- Put a note on your calendar to follow up in a couple of weeks (or longer) if you haven’t heard from them.