Want To Make More Money? Raise Your “Evangelista Number”!

We have this expression, Christy [Turlington] and I. We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.

— Supermodel Linda Evangelista, interviewed in Vogue Magazine, 1990.

bigger sales means more money

photo by pathdoc/dpc

Evangelista may have been joking, but there is a serious principle behind what she said.

If you are a salesperson and want to make more money, you’ve got three options:

  1. Sell to more customers
  2. Increase the number of transactions to existing customers
  3. Increase the average dollar amount of each transaction

All three of these options have merit, but the fastest and most efficient way to increase your income is to increase the average dollar amount of each transaction.

How do you do that? Increase your Evangelista Number.

Ask for more in every proposal.

Here’s an exercise to get you started:

Assemble every direct proposal you made over the past three months (skip the RFP-driven agency ones — direct is under your control). Add up the total dollars you asked for, and divide it by the number of proposals you made.

An example with easy math (your numbers will be different):

  • Let’s say that over the last three months you did 50 direct proposals.
  • The total you asked for was $175,000.
  • This means that your average proposal “ask” was $3500 ($175,000 divided by 50).

If you’re happy with the money you’re making, you can stop right here. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll make what you’ve been making.

If you want to make more, ask yourself… what if you increased your average proposal size from $3500 to $5000?

What if you made $5000 your Evangelista Number?

To do this, you need to make a commitment to yourself — you won’t start a proposal unless you can ask for at least $5000.

If your workload stays the same, you’ll do another 50 proposals over the next three months.  But your total “ask” will increase from $175,000 to $250,000 — a 42% increase.

This doesn’t mean you won’t accept an order for less than $5000. There will still be negotiation.

But instead of negotiating down from $3500, you’ll be negotiating from $5000. More often than not, the number you wind up at will be larger than it was before.

Over time, you’ll see another benefit: more loyal customers, and more repeat business. That’s because customers who spend more with you will see stronger results, and that makes them much more likely to renew.

A warning: to make this work, you’ll need to shed the customers who can’t even consider a proposal at your Evangelista level.

This is a good thing — those are the customers who are least likely to get good results. They’re the ones who say,  “I tried [name of your medium] and it didn’t work.”

Let them go, and use the time you save to find bigger fish.

So there’s your exercise for the week. Figure out your average proposal “ask”, decide how much more money you want to make, and set a new minimum.

Question: How do you decide how much to ask for? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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