How to Get Better Clients with the Proposal Oreo Strategy – In Just 7 Minutes with Ilise Benun

Check out episode
  • Discover how you can gain back control of your business and avoid underselling yourself
  • Find out what are the marketing strategies that fit your business and guarantee high sales without the stress
  • Understand the importance of strategizing your proposal to turn prospects into high-paying clients

Resources/Links:

Summary

Do you feel like you’re underselling yourself; are you always being ghosted by your prospects?

Have you been struggling with looking for the right money-making marketing strategy?

How can you make an effective proposal that will turn your prospects into clients?

Ilise Benun is a business coach for creative professionals, a national speaker, the author of 7 books, and the founder of Marketing-Mentor.com.

In this episode, Ilise talks about how you can form better relationships with your prospects and turn them into high-paying clients through the proposal Oreo strategy.

Check out these episode highlights:

  • 01:34 – Ilise’s ideal client: “My ideal client is creative professionals. So, designers of all types, copywriters, who want, I like to say, better clients with bigger budgets or bigger clients with better budgets.”
  • 01:58 – The problem she solves: “So for the most part, my clients are not marketing themselves because they don’t like marketing. And they just think word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool and they end up just taking whatever comes along.”
  • 02:39 – The symptom of the problem: “They’re taking whatever comes along, and probably not being paid what they think they’re worth for their work. Often their clients or their prospects are ghosting them and not responding to their outreach or to their follow-up.”
  • 03:38 – Clients’ common mistakes before consulting Ilise: “Often, the thing is that there are too many marketing tools to be using and too many ways to find prospects. And so often people are just doing a little bit of everything, and that’s not what works.”
  • 04:41 – Ilise’s Valuable Free Action (VFA): “Well, this is where I want to describe the proposal Oreo strategy because it’s something anyone can do. And it’s like a sandwich cookie. So instead of when a prospect says just send me a proposal and then you spend a lot of time, invest a lot of time on a proposal and you don’t know if it’s a good thing to do.”
  • 06:56 – Ilise’s Valuable Free Resource (VFR): To get marketing-mentor.com
  • 07:19 – Q: What are the marketing tools that work? A: And they are strategic networking, targeted outreach, and content marketing, all focused on a particular niche or vertical market so that they see you over time.

Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“You have to focus. You have to figure out where are your ideal clients.” -Ilise Benun Click To Tweet

Transcript
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)

Tom Poland 00:10
Greetings, everyone, and a very warm welcome to another edition of Marketing the Invisible. I’m Tom Poland beaming out to you from the little sunshine coast in Queensland, Australia, joined today by Ilise Benin. Ilise, good day from down under. A very warm welcome. Where are you based?

Ilise Benun 00:24
Thank you so much, Tom. I’m happy to be here! And I am based in Savannah, Georgia in the US on the Southern Eastern coast.

Tom Poland 00:32
How’s the weather right now?

Ilise Benun 00:34
It’s lovely! Nice and warm for February, much warmer than usual but just how I like it.

Tom Poland 00:40
Just slipping into spring. Sounds nice! For those of you who don’t know Ilise, she’s a business coach for creative professionals. She is also a national speaker. She’s the author of, not one book, but seven books, and she’s the founder of Marketing-Mentor.com. Our subject today is, “How to Get Better Clients with the Proposal Oreo Strategy”. Now, for those of you who are not in the US, and Oreo is a, what is it, Ilise?

Ilise Benun 01:14
It’s a sandwich cookie.

Tom Poland 01:16
It’s a sandwich cookie and very yummy, I believe.

Ilise Benun 01:19
Yes, especially frozen.

Tom Poland 01:21
Oh, there’s a twist! Did not know that. “How to Get Better Clients with the Frozen Proposal Oreo Strategy”. Let’s rock and roll. Our seven minutes start now, Ilise. Question number one, who is your ideal client?

Ilise Benun 01:34
My ideal client is creative professionals. So, designers of all types, copywriters, who want, I like to say, better clients with bigger budgets or bigger clients with better budgets.

Tom Poland 01:48
Or c) both of the above? Question two, thank you for that. Very succinct, very precise. Question two, six and a half minutes left, what’s the problem you solve for them?

Ilise Benun 01:58
So, for the most part, my clients are not marketing themselves because they don’t like marketing. And they just think word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool and they end up just taking whatever comes along. And they get to a certain point where it’s not good enough. They know they can do better. And so, I basically help them identify who their ideal clients are, develop relationships with them, and then be there when their prospects are in their moment of need, so they can make the connection and do the project.

Tom Poland 02:27
Makes a lot of sense! So, question three, six minutes left, what are some of the typical symptoms that these creative professionals are going to be experiencing that would give them a heads up that they need to find out more about what you do?

Ilise Benun 02:39
I mean, they’re taking whatever comes along, and probably not being paid what they think they’re worth for their work. Often their clients or their prospects are ghosting them and not responding to their outreach or to their follow-up. Or even, sometimes, in the middle of a project, the client disappears because they’re not high-quality clients. And I think the worst thing is they feel like they’re not in control of their business because they’re not.

Tom Poland 03:10
Yeah, it sounds like they’re fighting a losing battle. They’re scratching their head, figuring out, “Well, why don’t I get better quality clients? And I’m doing such great work, why aren’t people more responsive, and so on?” So, we’re talking about professionals, they’re going to be making an effort. They’re going to be trying stuff. So, question four, what I’m interested in here is, what are some of the common mistakes that your clients, when they’re new to you, tell you that they made before they find your solution? We’ve got five minutes left.

Ilise Benun 03:38
Well, I mean, often, the thing is that there are too many marketing tools to be using and too many ways to find prospects. And so often people are just doing a little bit of everything, and that’s not what works. You have to focus. You have to figure out where are your ideal clients. How are you going to introduce yourself to them? And then how do you stay in touch with them over time. So, people are generally wasting time in a very haphazard, scattered way with their marketing tools, and then wasting time also on proposals that go nowhere.

Tom Poland 04:13
It’s so true. We see, you know, the latest flash thing and there are some amazing testimonials and people just go and take another squirrel. And they quite catch that one and go and chase another one. And yeah, it’s easy to be seduced into that. So, let’s flip it now. Let’s talk about some positive things that folks can do to move to solve the problem. We’ve got four minutes left, one valuable free action, like a top tip, that’s not going to solve the whole problem, but it might take folks a step in the right direction?

Ilise Benun 04:41
Well, this is where I want to describe the proposal Oreo strategy because it’s something anyone can do. And it’s like a sandwich cookie. So instead of when a prospect says just send me a proposal and then you spend a lot of time, invest a lot of time on a proposal and you don’t know if it’s a good thing to do. Instead, you use the proposal Oreo strategy. Cookie number one is the qualifying conversation where you gather the information to make sure that this is a good fit for you. And if it’s not, you decline and you don’t write the proposal. The cream in the middle is the proposal, the actual document that you write based on the information that you’ve gathered in cookie number one, the qualifying conversation. And the key to it is cookie number two, which is when you present in real-time, your proposal and you walk your prospect through it so that you can gauge their interest and respond to any objections and answer any questions, and therefore avoid being ghosted. And more and more this is what’s working because people just don’t read anymore. And they don’t have time to respond. But if you got them on a call, then you can build the relationship and figure out where is this going? So that’s the proposal Oreo strategy!

Tom Poland 06:04
And would there be some value in presenting the proposal as a draft, so the prospect feels they have some input on it?

Ilise Benun 06:12
Absolutely. I love that idea! And actually, you could even present it without pricing. And say, “I just want to make sure I’ve got everything we discussed in here before I put some prices to this.” And part of the qualifying conversation should be where you find out what they can afford, and what are they thinking number-wise, that again, you don’t waste your time on a project on a prospect that can’t afford you in the first place.

Tom Poland 06:41
There’s some gold in there. Thank you for that! There are some great top tips, more than one. Question six, and we’ve got 90 seconds left. What’s a valuable free resource? Where can we direct folks to? A website where they can find out more about what you do and perhaps get some more ideas?

Ilise Benun 06:56
Yeah, marketing-mentor.com. There are lots of free resources. My “quick tips” is the thing I suggest people sign up for. And that’s my email newsletter where I share content on a regular basis.

Tom Poland 07:09
Perfect! Marketing-mentor.com. Go get it, folks! Last question, 70 seconds left, what’s the one question I should have asked you, but didn’t?

Ilise Benun 07:19
Well, it’s kind of a big question, but I’ll distill it into what are the marketing tools that work? And they are strategic networking, targeted outreach, and content marketing, all focused on a particular niche or vertical market so that they see you over time, and then, again, are reminded that you’re there, and don’t forget about you when they have a need.

Tom Poland 07:45
Give me those three again, will you because we’ve got 30 seconds left?

Ilise Benun 07:48
Strategic networking. So, networking in a very strategic way, right, not just anywhere? right? Targeted outreach, which is hyper-customized, super-personalized outreach to the people who are the ideal clients that you want to work with. And then content marketing that speaks to their pain points. And that’s in the form of blogs, articles, or LinkedIn posts– all of the things that show that you know what you’re talking about.

Tom Poland 08:16
Ilise Benun, thank you so much for your time and your insights and for sharing so generously.

Ilise Benun 08:20
My pleasure, Tom. Thank you.

Tom Poland 08:22
Cheers.

Tom Poland 08:24
Thanks for checking out our Marketing The Invisible podcast. If you like what we’re doing here please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate us, and leave us a review. It’s very much appreciated. And if you want to generate five fresh leads in just five hours then check out www.fivehourchallenge.com.

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