I would like to offer a suggestion as to how to address an issue that was raised by participants at a recent seminar I ran.
The issue is what to do in a situation where you get through to a prospect on the phone and they cut to “Look, can you just send me a proposal”.
Experience told the participants that the chance of getting the business after responding to this request was slim. Worse still, they had put other work on hold to take time to carefully prepare and dispatch the proposal.
If this sounds familiar, what can you do to minimise wasting your time and increase your chance of getting the business?
Take control of the situation.
You could say something like this:
“I could send you a proposal; however you probably get inundated with proposals that don’t meet your needs and I imagine that the last thing you want is another proposal like that. Would that be right?”
So what I would like to do is to ask you a few questions about what your objectives moving forward particularly around the launch of your new product and then I can put together some suggestions to really help you.”
Ask to meet face to face, at second best have the dialogue on the phone.
Whilst at first you might think that it is strange to turn down an invitation to send a proposal the benefits of this approach are:
- You give yourself a greater opportunity to fashion something that relates to what they are really looking for
- You don’t waste your time or energy on writing and sending proposals that have little chance of being taken up
- You don’t waste the mental space on a prospect that might not be right for you
- You increase your credibility with the prospect by taking the time to find out what it is they are trying to achieve
So next time
You hear the phrase “Can you just send me a proposal” take control of the situation and give yourself a chance to reap the reward