sales

How to follow up with a prospective client after sending them a business proposal

March 24, 2016

Today, an individual may write a business proposal to a prospective client but they may not know how to follow up the proposal to find out whether they are selected over their competitors. The truth of the matter is everyone has experienced this situation, and waiting for a response from a potential client can create a lot of anxiety.

For that matter, it is important to learn some basic principles that can be put into use when it comes to business proposal follow up. This is the kind of follow up that needs to be done without irritating your potential client. Done correctly, one is in a position to find out whether the client was impressed by their proposal and the possibility of if they will be selected to win the contract. This will additionally go a great way in reducing the anxiety brought about by waiting.

Be Patient

It is important to note that the life cycle of a business proposal can extend weeks or even months past the point it’s sent to a client. The fact that you may really need to win new businesses shouldn’t allow you to make rash decisions and mistakes that may cause you to irritate the potential client and not win their business. In most cases, the client is very much aware that they need to act and the businesses that submitted business proposals to them should avoid pressuring them to make a decision. Not being patient can easily lead to the client not choosing your proposal.

It is wise to note that, that same client has received numerous other proposals that require their review. If the submission dates are still ahead, the client might just be giving other interested individuals an opportunity to send their proposals. In addition, the client might be engaging in some discussions about the whole matter, hence the delay.

Prospective clients should at all times be given ample time to re-read proposals, discuss them within their organization, and pick the best candidate. Choosing the best suited candidate can be a long process because they will have to gauge all the participants. Therefore, it is wise not to begin bothering the prospective client with emails and phone calls immediately after sending them your proposal. Give them time to do things at their own pace.

Consider following up after 7 days

After someone has waited for a reasonable amount of time, this could be at least 7 business days; it is time to start a follow up. Start by making a phone call to remind the potential client about the business proposal you submitted to them and find out whether they have some inquiries about the proposal. Phone calls can be very important because the client might have not finished reading it for they have busy schedules.

It is important to consider making your phone calls friendly and not pushy. This will ensure that the prospect thinks positively about you and your proposal. The outcome of follow up phone calls is that the prospect may revisit your proposal and that’s a great beginning. However, one shouldn’t expect much from a follow up phone call.

It is important to inquire for additional details

Once an individual has given their potential clients enough time as agreed upon during the previous follow up call, and they still haven’t responded, it is prudent to have a closer look at the analytics of the proposal to find out the things the prospects have gone through in the proposal since the last follow up. With the information, one can make another follow up call and employ an inquisitive approach this time. ClientPoint provides outstanding tracking and analytics tools that will show you how many times your prospect has viewed your business proposal. Click here to learn more about these tools.

It is important not to go straight to hard questions when making a follow up call. Instead, an individual should begin conversations with their prospects by asking them whether they mind answering some questions regarding the proposal.

If the prospect hasn't disqualified your proposal just yet, they are likely to invite your questions. On the other hand, if they were not impressed by the proposal, they are likely to turn the conversation invite down. In as much as this might be heart breaking, it is important to move on. One shouldn’t forget to thank them though.

To best deal with a client when trying to follow up on a previously submitted proposal is to ask questions. One should consider asking the client whether there is anything from the proposal that needs clarification. If at all there is, they are likely to point them out and let the owner of the proposal speak out and make clarifications.

At this point, an individual is in a position to learn about the possibility of objections and try to overcome them. On the other hand, if the client hasn’t come across any difficulties, they’ll inform the individual. This could serve as a positive sign that the prospects were impressed with the proposal. However, one shouldn’t get too over excited.

Accept the outcome

No matter what comes out the dialogue with potential clients after they’ve gone through the business proposal, it is wise to always extend gratitude and courtesy to them. Even when they fail to choose a particular proposal and opt for other proposals.

In addition, it is important to remember that extending courtesies such as offering to make some clarifications as well as follow up calls can go a great mile in winning the respect of the customers. That only can make them feel obligated to choose the proposal over any other.

Connect on Twitter and LinkedIn

Today, almost all business professionals run LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. These platforms can serve as effective tools to follow up on a submitted business proposals. With Twitter, one can easily learn about the interests of their prospects. An individual can participate on LinkedIn discussions where their prospects take part and demonstrate their expertise. This may help win the confidence of the potential clients. LinkedIn has an Inmail feature that can be used to approach prospects on a direct level.

Conclusion

A follow up after the submission of a business proposal can be very crucial. This may serve to prove to the client that a particular individual is passionate about working with them. In addition, the art of effective follow up should be mastered because it goes beyond automated emails and repetitive calling. Follow ups should demonstrate the knowledge and skills to solve matters at hand and not just mere talk, and they may end up building concrete relationships in the long run.

Here is a complimentary article you make enjoy: How to write a business proposal.

 

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