Do These Things to Stop a Lead Going Cold Post-proposal
You have spent a lot of time communicating with a potential client. You’ve been using all your skills to convince them that you should complete a project for them. They seemed interested, and you’ve drawn up a proposal to smooth things out. But once you send off the proposal, the just seem to disappear. Now it seems like you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy on wooing a client who changed their mind. So how can you prevent this from happening? How can you keep communication open and ensure that they get in touch after sending your proposal? Here’s how you can take steps to prevent your lead going cold.
Set the Tone for Communication
One of the reasons people can drop the ball after you send them a proposal is the speed of communication. They look at your proposal, perhaps read it through, and then think that they will reply to it later. Or, if you have emailed your proposal, they might not even get as far as opening the email. They have lots of other things to do and many emails to read. They won’t necessarily make replying to you a priority. There is a way you can help to fix this, by setting a tone for communication. When they contact you, reply to them as soon as you can. This will encourage them to follow along and be swift with their replies too. However, if they take days to reply, it could be an indication that you don’t want to work with them.
Boost Your Online Reputation
The information you provide online is vital for both before and after you send a proposal. It’s there to encourage people to get in touch for a quote. But it’s also valuable after you send a proposal, especially if you initially contacted them on a speculative basis. Once you’ve sent your proposal out, the potential client can then go online. They will try to find out as much as possible about you. They’ll start with your website. They will look at your clients, white papers, and any other useful material you have online. They will also look for information about you elsewhere to see what others think of you. Making sure your online image and reputation are positive is essential.
Track Your Website Visitors
When potential clients visit your website after a proposal, you might not realize. They are likely to visit your site anonymously, so you won’t know when they’re viewing it. If you use WordPress visitor tracking or another tool for your website, you can solve this problem. You will be able to identify the visitors who come to your site, so you will know when someone does it after a proposal. You’ll be able to see what they’re looking at and what they’re interested in. Once you know they have returned to your site, you’ll be able to make a well-timed follow-up email or phone call.
Set Timelines for Chasing Responses
Knowing when it’s appropriate to follow up on a proposal can be tricky. You don’t want to do it too soon or seem like you are harassing someone. It’s a good idea to set a sensible timeline for when you’re going to make contact. Some people make sure that they accompany an emailed proposal with a phone call. You could make it either before or after sending the email. This can be a good idea for some, but others might feel like phoning someone to talk about an email is unnecessary. It’s up to you whether you think it’s a good strategy or if it works when you try it out. If you find it hard to keep track of when to follow up, you can find software that will help you. It can send you reminders of when you need to email or call someone. However, you can just as easily make a note in your calendar.
Be Careful Who You Send a Proposal To
Before you spend time putting together and sending a proposal, you need to decide if it’s worth it. There will be some people who you know are unlikely to stay in touch after you’ve sent them your proposal. Likewise, there might be some people you’re not even sure you want to work with. You might be keen to get more clients. But it won’t happen by indiscriminately sending proposals to everyone. When you’re first talking to someone about a sale, you can use the time to gauge whether you think they will be worth the effort of making a proposal. You should soon be experienced at telling who could end up working with you and who will disappear.
Before You Write a Proposal
A lot of the work you should do to stop a lead going cold should be done before you send a proposal. You need to make sure you’re giving people the right information. You should be asking and answering the right questions. If you send out your proposal, but the client feels like they still don’t know enough about you, you haven’t done your job that well. It’s a good idea to have a list of questions to ask clients to ensure you know all you need to know about them too. You can tailor your proposal much better to make sure it suits their needs.
Creating Your Proposal
Of course, the proposal itself could make a significant difference to whether you get a reply. You have to spend time putting together a proposal that will speak to the client and convince them to accept. You might have a template you can use that you adjust for different clients. However, you should try to make sure your proposals aren’t too formulaic. You’re addressing a new client each time, so don’t treat them all the same. Another thing to consider is how your client can accept the proposal. Do they have to print it, sign it, scan it, then email it back to you? This is too much for some people, and they would much rather add a digital signature will one click.
Present Proposals in Person Where Possible
Many people who offer digital services won’t ever meet their client in person. However, there are people who will have clients close enough to visit. If you work with local businesses, you could make the effort to set up a meeting. If you’re able to present your proposal in person, you can make it clearer and more dynamic. The client has the opportunity to agree on the spot, and to arrange for further communication. It’s just much harder for a client to ignore you if they’re standing with you face to face.
Ask Lost Clients How to Improve
One tactic that some people use it to conduct a “post-mortem” after losing a client. Most clients won’t bother to email and tell you why they’re not choosing you. They’ll simply drop communication and move on to someone else. However, if you want to know more, you could call or email and ask them to elaborate on their reasons. Let them know that you’re aware you probably haven’t got the sale, but you would like to know how you can improve. They won’t always have the time to help you, but some will be happy to give you some tips. They could be willing to use your services in the future, as they will remember your efforts to improve.
It’s not pleasant when a lead goes cold, especially when you’ve already put in a lot of work. But if you’re smart about the steps you take and who you work with, you can reduce the chances of it happening.