After emailing proposals clients often vanish with no feedback..how can I prevent this?
Lots of time clients seem interested in my promotional prodcuts over the phone tell me what will fill there needs I send the email for them to look over and then they are hiding from me...not even telling me what's wrong with it or any questions. How can I better get any type of response?
Lots of good advice here but here is some more points for you to consider
1. What constitute a proposal?
OK, I know this sounds crazy but there are distinct differences between sending a price vs sending a proposal. They are both bids, but they have different aspects.
Sending a price to a client is throwing your hat in the ring hoping your price and product will be a fit.
Proposals on the other hand are a custom made business opportunity document that specifies (or clarifies) client's aims & objective, alternative solutions, Pros-and-Cons of solutions, recommendation for course of action, the benefits of suggested solution, and finally the price which should include extensive explanation of how the price is arrived at. Proposals also have a timescales of delivery and stages of the process including any time critical deliverables from either parties.
2. Finally, you must identify the Compelling Event, which is a drop dead reason with a date for a client that they must make a decision. Compelling events are non-negotiable dates or events that the client has to meet which they cannot avoid or are inevitable, for example a Product Launch Event (an immovable date!), Office Move (you got to move out and into a new office, which is not optional),
3. What happens to a Proposal or Quotation?
In real world here is what happens. Client gets your Quotation, sees the price, thinks “On Budget”, “Over Budget”, “Under Budget” or “You must be kidding!”.
With proposals client has to look for a price specially if you create it cleverly so it is not a price list or price box. You walk the client through his objectives, options, benefits, and why they should choose you, and finally BTW here is the price! Still they think “On Budget”, “Over Budget”, “Under Budget” or “You must be kidding!”.
4. Life Happens
Whilst our bids and proposals are our priority as they are the life line of our business, you must remember spending money is not the top of the client's list. In fact quite the opposite, as businesses will not spend money unless they have a “Compelling Event” coming over the horizon. They get distracted by more urgent business, or they have to attend to other priorities, etc. Their boss could change, budgets could be cut, events could be cancelled, etc.
In our business we are always seeking to identify the “Compelling Event”. If there is no Compelling Event, we consider the bid as low probability bid. We then weight the proposals based on the proximity of the date for the Compelling Event and the risk for the client (loss of reputation, sunk costs, etc.). The closer the date and higher cost of cancellation, the higher the probability of success of any bid (this might not be ours but someone will get the business). This helps us forecast and prioritise our resources and efforts in pushing and chasing a proposal.
In essence not all bids are equal and not all bids are proposals. You need to really sort out the wheat from the chaff, so you focus on the business that is more likely to happen.
I hope this helps.
Hi Marc, how is your sales process going since you last asked this question?
I agree with what others have said. Don't send over your proposal unless the client is serious in doing business with you. Your proposal is the most leverage you have at this point in conversation. It's your secret to how your promotional products can help them. Hope this helps!
I have approached this differently. We are in business of Digital Marketing and raking for many of the High Ranking Keyword in Google search. We get many enquiries and we approach them all. After a quarter I realised that no conversions are happening despite of many leads.
Solution we came up with
1. I sat down and created an XL sheet containing 10 questions, which the client need to provide us the answers for. with this process we would filter the serious clients and the general enquirers.
2. One more this we started doing is on the telephonic conversation we started asking them about the budget they would like to assign for Digital Marketing.
These 2 small activities helped us filter our leads and gave us the idea which clients to focus our energy on.
I think first of all you should have the instinct to recognize the potential clients through his current business setup and past experiences then when you have sent him an email and offered your services already then take follow ups constantly. From here, if he starts ignoring you then its better that you shouldn't waste more time on this customer and spend more time on other prospects.
We need more details: what do you do? Who is your target market? Will you make a proposal and the email content available for us to analyze?
Quick feedbackI - your question has a spelling error, remember to spellcheck because you want to look professional, attention to detail. Yes?
I'll assume that the clients/prospects you are emailing proposals to are geographically out of driving distance for you. Because if a prospect is within reasonable driving distance you should be scheduling a time to get with them in person to present your proposal.
First of all, have you difinitively uncoved a need/pain which requires a solution? if not status quo is your biggest competitor and will win 99% of the time. So I would make sure that the prospect is in the market for you product or service before you even prepare a proposal.
Secondly, if you know they are in the market for your service or product its best to have a brief telephone meeting with them to uncover pain points and needs - as well as buying criteria, who makes the final decision, and what is driving their motivation for change. Then set some timeline guides. For example, you uncovered a prospect. Completed a needs analysis via the phone, understand who and how a decision will be made and by what date.
The bottom line is this: if you set the table properly you can sit down, eat, and finish the dinner....meaning make sure during the First Meeting phone call you have uncovered what they are looking for and why, how this purchase will help their business, who will ultimately decide yes or no, and when they by what date they will have a decision. Then email the proposal. When doing so make sure they understand that you welcome questions or concerns they may have about your proposal and that there may be some wiggle room if need be.
I have had the same experience and inevitably this will happen, though to mitigate the occurrences I have leveraged the information that I learned at a valuable sales training session. The emphasis is on qualifying potential clients before the proposal is sent or even created. They should understand the services, product, pricing, inclusions, exclusions, etc. up front so they don't get 'sticker shock' or have any other expectations that are not met in the proposal. Until you know they have the budget and resources required to successfully execute on your proposal it may not be worth your time to pursue. Good luck!
It's like baseball, you can't hit the ball unless you swing the bat. It's ok to respond to requests for proposal but realize that the positive response rate is low. Manage theses opportunities in you pipeline as such. Just think about it, the prospect asks for a proposal over the phone with no real investment in the discovery/analysis/solution process, similiar to "you get what you pay for". Treat the proposal in these cases as "beginnings" not "ends". Best of luck.
Marc, many potential customers "collect" proposals from multiple vendors for a comparative study before deciding which company to finally go with.
While proposals by themselves don't assure a sale, often a good proposal helps to win half the battle...but the timing of when to send the proposal is critical.
After all, a sale is made when a customer need is changed to a want, well, a want to buy from " you". To do this there needs to be continuity in personal engagement across the sales cycle
A proposal asked and proposal sent promptly closes a transaction without a predictable outcome.
Instead of "sending" details about your products, is it possible book time with customer to personally assist him to undersand your products?
Instead of "quickly" sending a proposal out, could a proposal be sent only at an advanced stage in the sales cycle?
After sending the proposal, can you book time with the prospect to personally take him through your proposal to highlight business benefits that will accrue if they bought your product?
Lastly is your proposal reaching the "MAN"? - A person with the Money; Authority and Need as Xerox corporation would say!
Just my two cents...
Hi Marc, I would never send a proposal via email. Meet with the customers and go over the proposal, then you can handle any objections or considerations right then and there. If you can't meet with the customer face to face, do it over Sykpe. Check out the Sandler sales training, it goes over this and more in detail.