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?
Dear friend, this is not unusual, in fact is very usual. People sometimes avoid to say that not really interested, or maybe this is not their priority...if the service or good is their priority, than they asnwer you back....but the sales are not that..so you need for sure 'strategy' this is the point.
Consider your clients as a 'club' those that are potentials and those that are yet your clients. Than try to be familiar to them somehow, of course that means working in that. As long as they have yet show some interest in your products, you have to go ahead and keeping the communication...but that means again, Marketing strategy....
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Have a nice day !
I completely relate because I have had the same thing happen to before. I didn't know what to do about it, until I recently came across this article:
The recommendation is not to give away free information with the low hope that the client will hire you. Instead it's to do a project evaluation and charge for it because whether or not the client selects you, they still benefit. Part of writing a proposal is sharing your expertise. So, why do it for free, especially when clients can use it to bargain with a cheaper competitor?
At least this way, you'll eliminate the tire-kickers and price-shoppers so that you can focus on serious, paying clients.
Marc...you've got a very sympathetic compadre in me. This is vicious condition across many services lines in the sales world. I have been premiums sales, litigation support sales, etc. I also see it in my own entrepreneurial endeavors. When what you describe happens once you can deal with it. Over time it can be a cancer, exasperating you making an already schizophrenic job that much harder. I can't figure out if it's always been that way or is it the challenging economic times we are in. Whatever, the new paradigm in business seems to suggest that clients are increasingly more detached and vendors are at the bottom of the totem pole. Getting back to us is optional at best. The last 2 years for me have been incredibly tumultuous for exactly this reason. I'm trying like hell to get out of sales. I know there are those out there who would say that this is the life you've chosen. You have to work through it. Things'll get better. A good salesman knows how to work around it. Whatever the platitude I no longer buy it. I'd love to see some one on the purchasing side chime to provide some intel.
Marc, If possible don't email but ask to meet so you can better understand the Client's needs. Face to face is always better as you can see the Client's reactions and change your approach accordingly.
You may also be giving too much away on the phone so the Client gets what they want for free
Marc, Today, you have to respect that people are on overload today. Wearing three hats and the like. So unless you're their number one priority you go to the bottom of the list. Be persistent and learn their schedule call early...... ,call late at quit time , before work etc.. I even had one supplier wait for me in the parking lot .....eventually he got the order and I almost hired him as my salesman..........
Hi Marc, let me start by first by empathising with you because unfortunately it's very common in my industry and its very disheartening. Having said that, here a few tips:
- Give as much information as you can on your website about what you have to offer and a price guide (e.g. price for so and so starts at six figures) so that the potential client can see/judge for themselves if you're the right fit for their needs. This will help in separating the wheat from the weed.
- Select a niche market and let your unique value proposition be clearly stated on your marketing materials and possibly stating the type of clients you're interested in serving and those you're not interested in. Some might mistake this as you sounding a bit cheeky but you'd be better off for it in the long run.
- Go with your gut feeling. If after exchanging a few emails (but before sending any proposals), phone calls or possibly meeting the client face-to-face and you have that gut feeling that they're just fishing for price and wasting your time, then dump them!
Hope this helps.
It sounds to me like you haven't fully explored the projects with your potential customers. Spend more time on the sales process, make sure you are speaking with the decision maker, set an appointment to deliver the proposal and go over it with them. If there are any questions or issues you can resolve them immediately. Then most importantly ask for the sale. If they say I have to show it to someone for approval you know they are NOT the decision maker. If they try to stall you can ask them why and probe for additional roadblocks. You might want to try some sales training. like Sandler. it will help a lot with uncovering techniques. The proposal should only be sent when you are sure the sale is already made.
I never send anyone a proposal unless i know that they are serious and if I do this that we have time scheduled to go over it in fuller details- many companies will use your information to get better deals with your competitors Your industry is notorious for this.. It is the way business works.. Just keep more people in your pipeline.. that is the key.
I just found about this- I would also track the email that is sent- Just discovered this company and it actually tracks opens - up to 100 tracking for no cost :) I am an affiliate for them but it is well worth it. I have been able to follow up immediately after they open the email... that is great way to get them when they are are at their office or just looked at your information. http://www.yesware.com/download?refer=3lflx57q - works with Gmail and most others CRM systems if it has a BCC function- That is really awesome.. pass it on. Earn credits from each refferal.. I think this is brilliant. I think it can help us all.
They are probably looking for competing offers. Don't give too much information, only if you have to: What do you need? This is who we are, and this is what we do. Want more? Let's meet!
A face-to-face meeting will allow you to see both their business, and their face.
You can follow the advice and perhaps decrease "hiding" to an extent.
The fundamentals are people basically hate to say "No".
When a prospective buyer asks for info, you have the choice of responding/not responding.
After this, the prospective buyer is in the driver's seat..
If you e-mail and call multiple times and there is no response, move on.
There are some great bits of software available now where you can send proposals / quotes, then notifies you when they have received, opened etc. can automate the reminders for you to chase up etc. i have a couple of clients that use them, will find out the ones they use.
but if you want oldschool (and depending on deal size) you should always call them ahead of sending the proposal or try and book a face to face to review...
failing that... and don't take this the wrong way... but there maybe something about the approach or content you are sending.. have you looked at your competitiveness in the market place? if you are over priced (or premium if you prefer) you may sever the ties when they see the numbers?
Are you speaking to decision makers or budget owners?
What kind of solution are you selling and who to?
You need to: 1.) Probe them for how and what they think it will solve.
2.) How important is the problem they are trying to solve
3.)What budget do they have set aside
4.) What is their time frame for making a decision.
5.) How/who makes the decision.
6Finally they have to agree to either commit to or say that solution isn't a fit before you review the proposal IN PERSON OR OVER THE PHONE!
Hi Marc, your question seemed a little vague about the actual sequence of events, so I would ask: "What are the frequently asked questions?" that you see as being interest in your products.
If you're getting asked the same questions over and over, it could be your website is not providing enough information. (E.g. the worst offence any business can make is not showing their prices. Doing so says one of two things: "I'm too small, weak and scared to show prices because competition is so tough or my supply prices fluctuate so much" or "If you have to ask - you can't afford it".)
By providing more information online you save yourself the time you waste dealing with illusory prospects.
If you're cold calling people who express interest and then vanish - then suck it up. You shouldn't be cold calling people AND expect them to be sociable.
On a more metaphysical level, "no feedback" is actually telling you something. :o)
As well as Eneid's comments I'd also say do follow up with your clients - call them and ask if they've had a chance to read your e-mail, and then take it from there.
If they haven't read your e-mail, and they sound receptive, make an appointment for another follow-up call. You'll be able to tell the receptive ones who haven't had time, from the ones who are unfortunately not interested!
I hope that helps!
Hi Mark. We live in a world where access to information is easier than ever before and alternatives are lining up for the clients at the blink of an eye. This has two consequences: one, clients will look up info about your products on their own and maybe decide not to pursue further or they will find out alternatives which better meet their needs and, again, will respond to your offering no further.
In order to successfully get feedback from clients you need to differentiate the approach to having them do so. Cold calling and email sales pitching is becoming ever more a burden on a salesman's precious time and rightly so. for example who wants to spend time to read a nicely prepared presentation which i know had been prepared to catch my attention in the first place in a world where my attention is being sought after by many other things, personal or business like. People are more inclined to respond favorably on physical meetings rather than emails.
So do the following:
1- after jnitial interest from clients, try to get them to committ to a meeting with you
2- if they ask you to send emails, kindly decline and ask for a meeting
3- once you get committment get a set date and time and don't get off the phone without one
4- meet the client and make the sales pitch at the meeting through a problem-solving approach which people respond best to
Hope this helps