If you've weighed the different factors and determined that your company should have a minimum, it's time to figure out how to tell potential clients that you have a minimum. This could be a really awkward conversation but we've found a few great ways to say it that makes it just another part of the conversation.
What Not To Say
Before giving suggestions on how to phrase your minimum requirements, here are a few ways not to say you have a minimum. Believe it or not, the team at Curate has actually seen some people use these:
- "Sorry but your budget isn't big enough for us to take you on as a client." Talk about a way to make a potential client feel bad! As an event professional, you have an idea of what the average event costs, but someone who is planning their first big event often has no clue of what to expect. There's a great opportunity to educate the client on what to expect in a much gentler way.
- "We only take on big events." Whether the potential client's budget is $500 or $50,000, their event is big to them--especially if it's their wedding. They deserve to have event professionals who understand the intrinsic value of their event and wants to help them out, even if it is a "small" event. Although your focus may be on luxury events, you'll want to make them feel as though their event is incredibly valuable to you, even if you aren't bringing them on as a client.
- "With your budget, we recommend DIYing everything. Here's how to do it." Kudos to this one for offering some help with a step-by-step how-to guide while gently popping their bubble of caviar dreams on an intimate budget. However, if a potential client is reaching out to a professional for help on their event, they most likely aren't interested in DIY projects and would sooner find someone who is newer to the industry and is more willing to work with their budget. This is where having other vendor friends who work across various styles and budgets is useful. It'd be better to tell the potential client that you aren't the best fit for them and recommend a vendor friend first and then say something along the lines of "Also, if you'd like to try your hand at (designing your florals, setting up a buffet line, etc), you might check out these DIY guides." This allows the client to feel valued and leaves them with the sense that you truly care about them and their event.
How To Say You Have A Minimum
Our budget calculator has made talking about our minimum a million times easier! Once a client has calculated their budget, they get one of two messages. The first is if they are a sales qualified lead that meets our minimum and the second is if their budget is below our minimum:
"Interested in seeing if your date is open? Check your date below. We specialize in exquisite events with flexible budgets and would love to hear more about your vision."
This really allows potential clients to self-qualify and gives them the opportunity to consider if their budget is flexible enough to stretch up to our minimum. If they think their budget can grow a little bit, they can fill out our Check My Date form and be pulled into a consultation. Having this sort of education up front about your minimum pricing really helps make the budget conversation easier in the consultation when they see the cost of your proposal.
Want to create your a budget calculator for your website?
We're sharing our secret recipe so you can do just that!
However, the budget calculator isn't perfect and, every once in a while, we do have a potential client say their budget meets our minimum requirements but then change their tune once they see their completed proposal. In fact, just last week, a potential client came in for a consultation after having filled out our budget calculator and told us that we were outside of their price range once we finished up the consultation. Whenever that happens, it's easy enough to point back to what the budget calculator said their projected budget was and encourage them to stretch up to that amount by saying something along the lines of "Well we typically work with clients in the $3-12K price range. But we totally understand if that doesn't work for you. We do have a few friends we can recommend to you." And then give them the contact info or do a personalized e-introduction to get them connected with our vendor friend. At the end of the day, even though they will not get to see your work in action at their big event, they will leave your consultation with a great impression about you because of your willingness to help make their day as amazing as possible and your vendor friend will surely remember you when they come across a client that isn't a great fit for them but may be fantastic for you.
On the other hand, if a person fills out our Check My Date form and includes a budget significantly under our minimum (typically these haven't checked out our budget calculator), we'll send them an email that is the same as if the date is full that doesn't give them a specific reason why we're declining the event and also recommend a few vendor friends they might consider:
"Thank you so much for your interest in Twisted Willow Design! We are so happy for you and your upcoming wedding! Unfortunately, we are unavailable to assist you with your wedding but we have a few other fabulous florists that we can recommend to you..."
This takes out the awkwardness of the conversation completely while also helping them find a fantastic vendor for their event.
Creating a proposal during the consultation is a great way to help your client understand the significance of their event investment up front. Curate.co can help you save up to 75% of wasted administrative time and help you increase your on-the-spot bookings! Schedule a consultation now to see how we can help.