Having lots of ideas is a common trait for many of us in the wedding industry—you have couples hiring you to create unique weddings and guest experiences for them, after all. But in addition to the ideas you need to present to your couples, it’s likely you’ve had more than an idea or two about ways to better (or build) the company you own or work for.
The thing is, pitching ideas to your clients is very different from pitching them to business partners, owners or higher-ups, and it can be difficult to get people to buy-in—even if the idea is a really good one. So today, we wanted to make sure you can walk into the proverbial board room with confidence and create buy-in like the best of them. Read on to learn more about why getting buy-in is important to seeing your ideas come to life as well as for tips to help you pitch your business proposal.
Why buy-in matters
Even when you have a great idea, it’s almost impossible to just start implementing it if you aren’t a business-party-of-1. Because when you have business partners, bosses or external stakeholders, you need to get people on board before making changes to a process, budget, brand, etc. If you have ever tried to make moves on an idea without support, you’ll know that ideas can fall flat or never gain the momentum you need. To gain that support, you need to build a case that explains why your idea is worthwhile so everyone can get on the same page as you. Once that happens, your idea can gain steam.
How to get decision-makers to buy-in
So, how can you get the support you need to start a project, make a change in your process or approve another line item in the budget? Let’s talk it through
It starts with a clear vision – Every strong business proposal starts with a clear vision and understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. For example, is there a process you feel could be more efficient because you personally (and repeatedly) experience a roadblock? Take some time to dive into what the problem is, why it is keeping the business from achieving its goals and how a different approach could be a positive change.
You have to sell your business proposal – If you want the chance of getting the approval you need, you need to sell your business partners, owners or decision makers on the outcome (or expected benefits). For example, if you want to start advertising on The Knot and WeddingWire as a way to get more leads, what are the benefits of doing so? You should be able to communicate those benefits (advertising as a low-touch way of getting a consistent stream of inquiries, allowing you to stay focused on nurturing your leads and potentially even lowering your cost of acquiring new bookings) clearly to your stakeholders.
Pro-tip: While we’re on the subject–are you interested in learning more about advertising with The Knot and WeddingWire? Sign up for a demo!
Make space for collaboration – People are more likely to buy into your business proposal if they feel like their input is valued and considered, so it is important that your pitch includes time for collaborative discussion. Listen to other’s ideas with genuine interest and resist the urge to get defensive if you are hearing constructive criticism. After all, sometimes, the best version of your idea will stem from it.
Time it right – Timing is everything when it comes to pitching ideas and getting people on-board—the best idea at the wrong time gets as much traction as no idea. For example, if you pitch a big idea in the middle of your wedding business’ busy season, it is likely to get lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, if you propose the same idea during a slower part of the year, everyone who might have something to contribute or complete would have ample time to do so—giving your idea a real chance at coming to life.
How to pitch your proposal
Now that we’ve talked through ways to create the right environment for creating buy-in, let’s talk through the nuts and bolts of how to structure your pitch.
Business Proposal Outline
No need to stress—you can follow this simple outline and get inspired by the example below; you can keep it simple and list out talking points or put together a longer version in a presentation deck.
- Lead with the problem
- Present your idea (the solution)
- Have examples, data or arguments
- Discuss the pros and cons
- Have a plan for tracking data
- Close with the benefit
Business Proposal Example
Problem: Our wedding venue needs to maintain a steady stream of leads.
Solution: Our venue starts advertising on The Knot and WeddingWire.
Data: 75% of couples use platforms like The Knot and WeddingWire to plan their weddings. That means it is likely comparable venues in the area are using it to get in front of these couples.
Cons: It costs money to advertise.
Pros: The Knot and WeddingWire have the largest audience of couples actively planning their weddings. So, when they find a venue they love, they are exponentially more likely to book it.
Tracking data: There are built in analytics when you advertise with The Knot and WeddingWire. The important metrics will be tracked automatically and we can constantly see how the platform is performing for us.
Biggest benefit: We can focus on refining our sales process instead of hunting for sales leads. We can potentially reduce our overall marketing costs.
Now that you have this simple breakdown, you can now apply your idea to it and turn it into a full-blown proposal. Remember, the one thing you need to accomplish right now is to get everyone on the same page so you’ll have support for your idea. Once that happens, you’ll have a much easier time getting the greenlight you need.
Think it’s time for advertising and looking to pitch The Knot and WeddingWire to your team? Get your proof points and pitch ready with consumer and vendor insights into both platforms so you can nail your pitch.
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