What is an effective way to follow up after proposal is sent?

18 replies
Here is the scenario. We have done down to the client's place and presented our services. They understand how we work and the value of our services. With 3 days, we send them a proposal.

So now we want to learn how to follow up with client effectively? Should we give them a courtesy call? or is there a better, more effective way?
#effective #follow #proposal
  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
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    • Profile picture of the author Timaay
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      Most effective way ever .... NEVER EVER ... send a proposal.


      If your sales team know what they are doing. They will close then and there.

      not on a call back.
      THAT is how you follow up effectively... by never doing it.

      when the call / meeting is over .. don't follow up ... ( CLOSE )
      I respectively disagree with this comment. There's some markets/niches where this just doesn't work. I compete regularly in markets where this is seriously flawed advice.

      If you have a multi-step approach you will win every single time versus the "1 call close guy". Strategy and patience bring greater rewards than the "give me money now approach" in the higher end markets.

      I have monthly recurring clients that get calls from people trying to "close them" on the phone and they always defer and call me to discuss each and every time if they have any thoughts about purchasing something else.

      Again, not saying that '1 call closes' don't work.. they certainly do. But in my experience strategic, multi-step sales will lead to better clients and longer term relationships with your clients.

      To answer your original question i'd say set the expectation on next steps prior to getting off the phone (or in your face to face meeting). Live up to the expectation that you set and follow up accordingly. At the same time, set an expectation that you will hold the potential new client accountable for and also hold them accountable to that...

      An example;

      You wrap up a sales call and you say something like this... "well this has certainly been a productive call (or meeting) and I'm glad we went through all of this together. Let me ask you this, are you glad you spent this time with me today? (let them speak)

      After that then say... "based on our discussion today i will follow up with you with X, Y and Z (could be marketing analysis and proposal, etc...) within [time expectation which should be quick maybe less than 2 to 3 days]" when i do let's please schedule a call to review the document i send you. I plan to send it to you on Friday the xx of month, should we schedule a follow up appointment for that day so i can review and explain everything in the X, Y and Z document?

      Then you follow up accordingly...

      Hope this came out right, just speaking from experience on what works for me...
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
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        • Profile picture of the author Timaay
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          want to be on that?

          Disagreeing among professionals is NOT a problem for me.
          I LIKE to learn.

          However. .. . I would like to know,

          What do you consider higher end markets?
          the specific markets i'm referring to are;

          -plastic surgeons

          -oculoplastic surgeons

          -cosmetic dermatologists

          -general elective healthcare practitioners

          Overall, when dealing within this market segment (which is my main experience) you land higher end deals when you have a multi step approach. I've done both... I've had done the '1 call close' and now i have a multi step approach and my experience is that it takes some time to close these people. From my experience, the longer we dance (in terms of follow up) the higher the budget and monthly marketing contract.

          Just my experience though.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Timaay View Post

        hing like this... "well this has certainly been a productive call (or meeting) and I'm glad we went through all of this together. Let me ask you this, are you glad you spent this time with me today? (let them speak)

        After that then say... "based on our discussion today i will follow up with you with X, Y and Z (could be marketing analysis and proposal, etc...) within [time expectation which should be quick maybe less than 2 to 3 days]" when i do let's please schedule a call to review the document i send you. I plan to send it to you on Friday the xx of month, should we schedule a follow up appointment for that day so i can review and explain everything in the X, Y and Z document?

        Then you follow up accordingly...

        Hope this came out right, just speaking from experience on what works for me...
        hang on forum is acting woerd and posting wrong


        That is just never going to be said .. EVER ... by a pro
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        • Profile picture of the author Timaay
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          hang on forum is acting woerd and posting wrong


          That is just never going to be said .. EVER ... by a pro
          huh? this doesn't make sense Ken. Not sure where you're going with this... please explain
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by Timaay View Post

            huh? this doesn't make sense Ken. Not sure where you're going with this... please explain
            seriously .. the forum cut off more then 40% of what i typed. PLUS it did not quote the things i quoted...

            weird

            I like this discussion.. however ... I am having a problem offering a ( what I think is a ) legitimate argument
            because the WF is saying erasing my argument.
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      • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
        Originally Posted by Timaay View Post


        After that then say... "based on our discussion today i will follow up with you with X, Y and Z (could be marketing analysis and proposal, etc...) within [time expectation which should be quick maybe less than 2 to 3 days]" when i do let's please schedule a call to review the document i send you. I plan to send it to you on Friday the xx of month, should we schedule a follow up appointment for that day so i can review and explain everything in the X, Y and Z document?

        Then you follow up accordingly...

        Hope this came out right, just speaking from experience on what works for me...
        I agree with Ken 100%, one call closes should be your primary strategy in getting the business today. Why wait until three days after? Why put your entire deal in a document as Jason said that can be shopped around and compared?

        The aim in strategy is to get the highest return on equity, I believe when we refer to equity in sales we are talking about saving our time and most importantly improving conversions.

        I'd find it incredibly demotivating to call someone only to send them an email or a proposal. Where's the excitement? :confused:

        I've sold in the same markets as you without having to go thru the circus of emails and follow ups, only if it's a legitimate time-bound condition for not going ahead will I spend my time sending post-call emails. I'd rather spend my time with someone ready to buy today and most do if you'd just ask for the order. This isn't an ego thing either, we are not BSing you here. Right at the end of your pitch is when they are the most invested and excited to get the benefits you are offering them, a day or week later and the situation could completely change. Take charge.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bhekizwe
    Originally Posted by fated82 View Post

    Here is the scenario. We have done down to the client's place and presented our services. They understand how we work and the value of our services. With 3 days, we send them a proposal.

    So now we want to learn how to follow up with client effectively? Should we give them a courtesy call? or is there a better, more effective way?
    Yes , a courtesy call is appropriate while the proposal is fresh.Usually there is a window of opportunity
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    Thanks for the advice. The scenario happens when we meet our prospects face to face. We are selling online marketing solutions (web optimization and email marketing) and currently our prospects are retailers in the health and wellness niche.

    So we went down, have a lengthy chat and I am suppose to give them a proposal of the pricing and options.

    Now that the proposals are sent. I am stuck with the next step because I am not sure what to say during the follow up.

    I will try out the Timaay's approach. Call them and get them to review the proposal together with us.

    Guys, do you have any other way of following up that you think is effective for you? Would like to know.
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    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      Originally Posted by fated82 View Post

      Thanks for the advice. The scenario happens when we meet our prospects face to face. We are selling online marketing solutions (web optimization and email marketing) and currently our prospects are retailers in the health and wellness niche.

      So we went down, have a lengthy chat and I am suppose to give them a proposal of the pricing and options.

      Now that the proposals are sent. I am stuck with the next step because I am not sure what to say during the follow up.

      Just in case you're NOT doing this you should be sure and book a
      time to see them again in person if you're already seeing them in
      person.

      Generally speaking if you haven't finished your transactions you always
      book another appoinment from an appointment.

      Don't leave without that or you're going to get caught in phone tag
      hell.


      If I had already made a proposal and was back with the prospect
      again after making that proposal the first things I might say could
      be something like:

      "Before we start could I just share a couple of insights with you?"

      Then invest a couple of minutes in explaining the benefits of what
      the proposal suggests in different words or a different way than
      I've done before.

      Then I'd be looking for their feedback.

      From that point the ball is rolling and you've already set a positive
      tone by talking about potential benefits to the business of moving
      forward with the proposal.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

        Just in case you're NOT doing this you should be sure and book a
        time to see them again in person if you're already seeing them in
        person.

        Generally speaking if you haven't finished your transactions you always
        book another appoinment from an appointment.

        Don't leave without that or you're going to get caught in phone tag
        hell.


        If I had already made a proposal and was back with the prospect
        again after making that proposal the first things I might say could
        be something like:

        "Before we start could I just share a couple of insights with you?"

        Then invest a couple of minutes in explaining the benefits of what
        the proposal suggests in different words or a different way than
        I've done before.

        Then I'd be looking for their feedback.

        From that point the ball is rolling and you've already set a positive
        tone by talking about potential benefits to the business of moving
        forward with the proposal.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
        Right on, Andrew!

        Do NOT leave it up to chance: make sure you are there one way or another (screensharing, phone, in person) to hear and possibly see the live, uncensored responses of your prospect.

        Also, you can lead them through each section of the proposal. This gives you a chance to counter objections and nip things in the bud...which your competitors probably won't have the opportunity to.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    hey Fated.

    IMO put it all down in writing (pre prepared standard practice for all your clients) for them , eg what happens when, how many days later you will call them, what they can expect from you , what you would expect from them at various stages (decisions/ paperwork/ content etc), businesses like to know where they stand, no sudden surprises, layout the entire pathway from where you are now to when they become your nailed on fee paying clients so they know what to expect and what is expected when at each stage along the way, they appreciate it and makes it easier to bring up something later as their already partly aware of it .

    Otherwise you ring them 3 days later as you mention and part of what they're wondering is 'what does he want from us now' , 'what will he want from us next' , 'what are we expected to do to become his client' , ' it seems like we're doing all the work here, what the hell is he doing' , eradicate all (or at least some ) of that straight upfront.
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
    Originally Posted by fated82 View Post

    Here is the scenario. We have done down to the client's place and presented our services. They understand how we work and the value of our services. With 3 days, we send them a proposal.

    So now we want to learn how to follow up with client effectively? Should we give them a courtesy call? or is there a better, more effective way?
    First off, I would try to expedite the proposal to 24 hours, not 3 days. Even if you have to work all night, it serves two purposes:
    1. Shows that you are conscientious and want their business
    2. It's still very fresh in their mind

    As far as follow ups, I tend to drop off my proposal in person. Doesn't take long to do, and again, it shows we want their business.

    I wait about 48 hours after I have delivered the proposal, and then send them an email asking if they had any questions, and state in the email I will call them "tomorrow" to go over anything they want.

    I then call the next day. If they are interested this will take care of itself, if not, I move on, but contact them in a week or so to follow up and let them know that if and when they are ready to move forward to let me know. Then I usually just drop them a card thanking them for their time.

    There are enough clients out there that I don't badger anyone. But I am not a "high pressure" seller so you can't always go by what I do

    ~keith
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    • Profile picture of the author fated82
      Originally Posted by Keith Boisvert View Post

      First off, I would try to expedite the proposal to 24 hours, not 3 days. Even if you have to work all night, it serves two purposes:
      1. Shows that you are conscientious and want their business
      2. It's still very fresh in their mind

      As far as follow ups, I tend to drop off my proposal in person. Doesn't take long to do, and again, it shows we want their business.

      I wait about 48 hours after I have delivered the proposal, and then send them an email asking if they had any questions, and state in the email I will call them "tomorrow" to go over anything they want.

      I then call the next day. If they are interested this will take care of itself, if not, I move on, but contact them in a week or so to follow up and let them know that if and when they are ready to move forward to let me know. Then I usually just drop them a card thanking them for their time.

      There are enough clients out there that I don't badger anyone. But I am not a "high pressure" seller so you can't always go by what I do

      ~keith
      Originally Posted by mjbmedia View Post

      hey Fated.

      IMO put it all down in writing (pre prepared standard practice for all your clients) for them , eg what happens when, how many days later you will call them, what they can expect from you , what you would expect from them at various stages (decisions/ paperwork/ content etc), businesses like to know where they stand, no sudden surprises, layout the entire pathway from where you are now to when they become your nailed on fee paying clients so they know what to expect and what is expected when at each stage along the way, they appreciate it and makes it easier to bring up something later as their already partly aware of it .

      Otherwise you ring them 3 days later as you mention and part of what they're wondering is 'what does he want from us now' , 'what will he want from us next' , 'what are we expected to do to become his client' , ' it seems like we're doing all the work here, what the hell is he doing' , eradicate all (or at least some ) of that straight upfront.
      Hi, thanks for the above tips. it is very valuable. I will take action and see how it goes. THanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    If you had to send a proposal and you didn't know the outcome beforehand, you aren't getting the order.

    A proposal should be the final thing, the wrap-up, the in-writing agreement of what you and your prospect have already agreed upon. If you are submitting bids against other people, your proposal is going to be used as a negotiating tool. "This guy is offering me these things. What are you going to offer me to counter that?"

    People want to rush to the end, but the sale is made or lost earlier in the process.
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    • Profile picture of the author hirechrisgunn
      Honestly, I think if you are able to cater it to the customer, then I would go that route. Obviously you're talking to them one on one in the beginning, so I would guess you have a manageable amount of clients.

      Since that is the case, feel out their personality. If it is someone who seems to really thrive on the relationship aspect, give them the call, but if they seem a bit more guarded, reserved or private, shoot them an email.

      Something to consider with the follow up is to just go with the approach that you're just checking in to make sure a) everything is going well and b) that you can't do anything differently. Once you take that approach, see where they take you with the conversation. Just have an out for when you need it. Ask if they would be willing to let you follow up with them in x months from that point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    I have primarily sold doing one-call closes, but now in my corporate gig, I have learned the 2-step sales model when selling to businesses, specifically larger opportunities.

    There are reasons for it, specifically due to the nature of how one competes for business in this industry.

    However, the smaller deals can still be closed on one call, and truthfully, these deals are probably the same type of clients you guys are pitching SEO and Web Design, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    I get the understanding of why having multiple sales encounters works. It allows for more opportunities to build a bulkhead and get entrenched, raise interest, got it... but that still doesn't negate that presenting a proposal three days after a meeting allows for a cooling off period, permits time and life to interrupt, stall, delay or throw off the process, gives them ammo to shop your bid, allows an opportunity for a competitor to get in... why can't the proposal be what you can offer when you meet, at the time you meet, every time? To which they say either yes or no. And then if they say yes you don't need to try some more, and if they say no then you go ahead and meet again, because obviously the proposal didn't do what you had hoped because it wasn't what would sell them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    You can't close on a proposal in many cases when dealing with bigger B2B situations.

    I proposed a Food Quality Director today. He bought in conceptually and approves of our program. But ultimately the decision maker is the CFO.

    The goal is to use the Director as a Coach for our service and prep him to influence the CFO's decision beyond price.

    If you were to pitch the CFO directly he would punt you to the Director for Conceptual approval first anyway.

    That's how B2B deals are done every day outside of pitching owner-operators. Plus there are services that are contract-driven, so you can have buy-in today, but no deal until next year.

    More reason to prospect like a mofo.
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    David Duford -- Providing On-Going, Personalized Mentorship And Training From A Real Final Expense Producer To Agents New To The Final Expense Life Insurance Business.
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