Every year, I take a good look at my sales approach with client prospects – what’s working great and what’s not. During 2017, I was losing momentum at the proposal stage, which really shouldn’t be the case at all. Once the proposal is out, we really should be at a point of confirming scope, pricing and overcoming objections for final agreement.
However, it wasn’t the case. I was losing momentum after sending the proposal, even having some prospects “go dark” for long periods of time.
Looking back, I was working so hard to develop the proposal and so relieved it was done – I’d do a quick review and hit “send” to the prospect just to show activity and speed. That way of thinking was not serving me well.
Here’s the tweak:
Step 1: Complete the proposal.
Step 2: Send a note and a calendar invitation saying, “Hey, I’m very excited about the proposal. I can’t wait to go over it with you. Here’s a calendar invitation to discuss it for 15 minutes.”
This strategy enables you to really determine, first – if they are wasting your time (hopefully, not) and serious about considering your offer; but secondly, it ensures you have a defined environment to review the scope ; answer any questions; hear any objections to cost, and understand the steps in the sales process.
This approach maintains control and is particularly important if you’re in a shoot-out with someone else because you have a defined time to address any objections or competitive issues.
And, hey if they don’t respond to your calendar invite or decide they don’t want to proceed, they don’t get the proposal. It’s the ‘scarcity ploy’ – you won’t get the information or even know how much the service costs until you set up the time to go over it with me.
This approach will give you a distinct advantage in 2018.
For more advice on sales strategy and business development, schedule a complimentary 15- to 30-minute call to discuss association growth or any other pressing challenges.