Have you ever sent out a proposal to a client you were really excited to get started with, and then… crickets?
We are bringing you a new series, called “Quickie Convos” which are questions that have come up in our Facebook group, inside our certified Director of Operations (DOO) Alumni group, or our active students. These are the questions that are coming up most often.
Today, our question revolves around proposals that have not gotten a response yet. Those that you’ve sent the proposal out, and now you are in that limbo phase in which the client hasn’t gotten back to you.
I’ve Sent Out a Proposal, but I haven’t heard back. What should I do?
This is the process that I use when I’m in this situation.
You cannot be afraid to make follow up contact. Make sure you have a system in place, and if you don’t have one, here’s mine!
A few tips to start
When you first make contact with your prospect, make sure to get a secondary contact for them. It could be an email, phone number, or a Voxer.
I’d also encourage you to set an expiration date in your proposal.
When you are presenting how you can help someone and they are nodding along, you may feel confident that you will begin working with them almost immediately, so this step may not feel natural, but this is important!
I recommend two weeks to give them notice that you are going to hold space for them. Make sure you verbally communicate this as well as including it in the proposal.
My Follow Up System
- Twenty four hours after sending out the proposal, reach out to the primary contact and gently ask them if they have any questions. Also, give them a link to your calendar for a 15 minute call to touch base.
“It is important to give them an opportunity to connect with you if they have any further questions.”
2. Forty eight hours after the proposal, reach out to the secondary contact. Just remind them that you are touching base and checking that they saw the previous email. Keep it short and simple, and don’t let them think that this secondary contact method is going to be abused.
3. Seventy two hours after the proposal, go back to the primary contact, and reiterate what the benefits will be when you work together. Remind them of why they want to work with you. They are having some type of block, and you need to go back to the sales call and paint the picture of you both working together. Let them know what your 30 day goals and deliverables will be.
“If it has been 72 hours and they have not connected with you yet, there is some serious hesitation… there is some objection that they are having, so get in front of that.”
4. If you haven’t heard from them in a week, send a short follow up touching base and remind them of the expiration date of the proposal. Also, I blatantly ask what is holding them back from moving forward. Don’t hesitate to reach out to both the primary and the secondary contact.
“I want you to be the leader of this conversation, and to let them know that candor is something that you value.”
5. After this, I would not reach out until the expiration date of the proposal. You have given them ample opportunity to respond to you.
“This process will protect you from being absolutely annoying to someone, and it also protects your sanity because you have a process.”
6. At the time of expiration of the proposal, I send them a very short email that the hold has ended, and express to them that you are excited to work together when they are ready and that you realize it must not be a good time for them. Let them know that they can reach out when they are able to do so and that you will revisit the scope of the work that they need.
“I would be cautious about copying and pasting any scope of work for someone who has been hesitant for more than 2 weeks to move forward.”
Hopefully with this outreach plan, you will be able to close, and that you won’t get into a situation where your proposals will expire!
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