I had a client recently that asked me for help because she had put out a proposal to a client and they seemed really enthusiastic at the beginning but then nothing. They didn’t return her calls, they didn’t ring her back, they didn’t answer her emails, So what should she do?
Now a lot of people would assume they’re not interested and they’re just avoiding her but real life happens and there could be all sorts of reasons why they haven’t got back to her. They may be waiting for a big meeting to discuss her proposal to their partners. They may be amending their systems so that working with her is made easier. They may be preparing their clients so they can take on working with her. I had one client who delayed her decision to work with me because she knew it was going to change her life and she wanted to get other things in her life in order in preparation of that.
Other reasons for not replying may be because they are on holiday, they may be out of the office, they may be waiting for the right time to implement your products and services. The point is there could be loads of different reasons. You just don’t know.
The key is to find out what the reason is. Now the best way is to pick the phone up and ask them. That’s the easiest way and quickest way. So ring up and say, “I’ve sent you my proposal on 20th June, I wanted to check firstly that you had received it. Ye? Good. So I just wondered is this something I should be allocating time for in my scheduling for the next few months because my diary’s getting a bit full up, or is it something that’s really not on your radar any more, something that doesn’t interest you? “ Getting a yes or no answer can really help you to know how to follow that up or not.
Also, if they’re not answering the phone and it’s really hard to get through to them on the phone, sending a quick email, this often works. Send a quick email with three buttons, please can you just press the button that’s most appropriate,
- please get in touch now as we are ready to move ahead
- please stay in touch with me because I will be talking to you about your proposal in due course,
- no thank you – we won’t be taking the proposal any further
Give them just a limited number of options so it can be a quick and easy reply. That way you know what to do next.
Another strategy I’ve seen lately is to send an email with a quick question and ask them to say in their own words what they are thinking about your proposal – is it a yes, a no or a maybe? and why.
If neither of those work – dropping them a postcard to ask the same questions. I even wrote a poem to one client I couldn’t get an answer from. She really appreciated it and had been experiencing a lot of personal problems so there were valid reasons for not getting in touch but we had a real human conversation about it so I knew the situation and she appreciated the chat.
Nurturing your clients and being mindful of their time-frame as well as your own could be a really great way of getting them on board and getting them to work with you for the long term. Pushing them into a corner, telling them they’ve got to make a decision now or the offer’s off the table and all of that kind of pressurised selling, just doesn’t work any more. Be nurturing, keep them informed, keep them aware of your value and keep checking in with them as to where they are in the decision making process because that’s going to really help you and them make decisions too.
You can find more about nurturing in the 5th module of “Sell Like a Woman” and in the free download “21 ways to show you care” to the right of this post.