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Unlock The Game   Sales Mini-Lesson
How To Follow-Up On A Proposal

 

The Scenario

Your potential client asked you to submit a proposal.
You sent it and now want to follow up.

Traditional Sales Approach

You call or send an e-mail to "check" on the "status" of the proposal. It's a good excuse that gives you a chance to do some more selling. So you call or e-mail and say something like,

  • "Hi, I'm just calling to follow up."
  • "I'm just calling to see how the proposal is going and what the status is."
Problems with the Traditional Sales Approach

It feels a bit pushy because there's an underlying sense of frenetic "hurry, hurry up, and close." The implicit message is often, "I'm really calling to see if you're going to buy from us."

The Unlock The Game™ Approach

You call to make sure that your proposal has met your potential client's needs and that they're clear and comfortable about what you've sent.

In Unlock The Game™, you shift your entire focus away from the status of the proposal and to the other person. Your goal is not to move the sale ahead but to make sure they're comfortable and have gotten answers to their questions. The traditional sales approach is about your future. The Unlock The Game™ approach is about their present.  Your goal is to make sure that they feel cared for.

A Note About E-Mail Follow Ups

I suggest that letters, notes, written material and e-mails should be your last option. Why? Because these are all one-way forms of communications. They're all you presenting information and you waiting for information back. There's no emotion, no human connection, so if you say one wrong word or phrase that signals "sales pressure" to your potential client, your communication will work against you rather than for you.

Instead, when you've send out a proposal and you want to follow up, pick up the phone. But focus on the Mindset and on your goal of problem-solving before you dial that number. Here are some phrases you can use when you make the call:

  • "Hi, I'm just calling to make sure you're comfortable and you have everything you need in terms of feeling that we understand the issues and problems you're trying to solve."

  • "Hi, it's Ari. I'm just giving you a call, not to move the sales process forward or anything like that, but just to see if there's anything missing from the information I gave to you, or if any questions have come up since the last time we spoke."

If someone came to you and communicated with this kind of sincerity, how would you react? You'd probably be grateful that they cared about what was going on in your world. You'd probably feel you could trust them and share the truth about the situation with them at that point.

Results
  • When you call, potential clients won't react by putting their guard up. They won't feel the need to shut you down because they're afraid you're going to exert sales pressure on them. They might realize they do have some follow up questions that they forgot to ask earlier, and they'll thank you for calling instead of trying to evade you.
  • Potential clients will feel taken care of. They think, "Here is someone who cares about me and my process."
  • You'll feel relaxed. Instead of a call in which sales pressure is barely hidden under the surface, you feel grounded, present, and totally focused on them, so you actually enjoy calling them.

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July 31, 2014         Quote Of The Day

"Learning to walk away may be the hardest part of selling because we've been so conditioned to pursue anyone who we believe could benefit from our solution or who shows interest in what we have to offer. The longer you've been in sales, the longer it may take you to rewind the tapes in your head."

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