Quote and Proposal Success

Do Your Quotes or Proposals Go “Black Hole” When You Send Them to Clients?

Lack of response to quotes and proposals infuriates many sales professionals.

By Matthew Mewse, the Telephone Man

I often hear expressions of frustration and puzzlement from professionals I work with about the lack of response they get once a proposal has been sent out to a prospective client.

Sales manager Kyle explains:

“I had a great phone enquiry from a senior manager in a company that really fits our product range. We arranged a time for me to visit the business and I sent quality mail and content ahead of the meeting.

When we sat down together, it all went really well! We identified the areas we could add value and how the products and follow-up service could work for them and their business. We talked delivery, price, service and long-term provision. I agreed to go away and build a detailed quote and proposal.

It took me ages to get it looking good and sounding right. I really put an effort in for the prospect and I was very excited about the whole enquiry. I knew they needed our products and service; they could afford us and it would make a huge difference to their sales performance. So, it was with genuine enthusiasm I sent our proposal off by email.

Four days later – and no response. Not even a note to say they’d received it. I don’t want to push or seem to be hassling the guy but here I am heading toward the end of week two and I guess I just have to pick up the phone and find out where he is with it all. I have no idea if he’s even read what I sent; it doesn’t feel like a prospective sale anymore.”

Something is missing here and here’s what it is: a call to action.

For Kyle to get the response he seeks we need to wind back the sales handling process and patch in an extra phone call before we even send the proposal.

The call goes something like this:

“Hello Chris, it was great to meet you and hear how your business operates and how we could add a new dynamic with our service. I just wanted to touch base and let you know that I have spent time gathering all the information you shared with me and I’ve built you a detailed suggestion along with some good ideas that we could help you with in the future.

I’m going to send this off to you today and what I’ll do is give you a call next Tuesday around 2pm, just to make sure it’s arrived with you safely and in case you have any questions. Is that okay with you, Chris?”

Now, on the back of a positive face-to-face meeting, with rapport already established, Chris will usually just say, “Yes”.

Kyle now has a call-to-action process in place and an agreed time to call back to talk about the proposal in detail.

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Say good-bye to lack of response to proposals and quotes

Since Kyle has been patching in the extra call ahead of the proposal, quotes don’t go “black hole” any more; Kyles’ pipeline keeps moving and business has accelerated.

It adds just a few minutes to your process but it is the small things that sometimes make all the difference. It also builds confidence in the mind of your prospect about good communications and improves the customer service experience.

Try using this technique or a variation whenever you find yourself in Kyle’s position. You will be amazed how a simple planned, extra call can move you closer to successful sales.

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