Five opportunities are better than one
In advertising, the chances of all your prospects seeing the single advertisement you’ve placed in printed or online media at the exact moment they need your product or services are slim, which is why a series of multiple ads is more effective.
Similarly, following up a pitch or proposal will multiply your chances of a response. There is a fine line between increasing the opportunity of being heard and becoming an irritating nuisance – the difference between persistence and pestering! Here are some tips for following up on a proposal that may help secure that contract.
Always Follow Up
One email may be missed, “spammed” or not read by the intended recipient for a number of reasons. Follow up in a few days, carefully checking that the subject line is relevant and changing it if necessary. If the proposal is not time-critical, further emails may be sent at intervals.
Use more than one contact method
A telephone call is a reasonable way to establish whether your emails are getting through and being read and are fully understood. This is an opportunity to discuss any questions and, at the very least, confirm that you will re-send the pitch, which then has a better chance of being noticed.
Don’t make assumptions and don’t act desperate
Your targeted prospect is probably very busy and receives numerous pitches therefore, don’t assume that he or she has read or will remember every detail of yours. When following up or leaving a message, include a summary of your pitch. Also, just because you are getting frustrated, don’t waver from being polite, honest and helpful.
Be ready with secondary objectives
Your primary objective is a successful pitch but there may be a less positive reaction, such as a firm ‘No’ or an inconclusive or delaying response. Have a contingency plan in place for each possibility, such as “Can you provide some feedback please? It would be really helpful” or, “Do you mind if I contact you again at a future date?” or, better still, “I have another proposal regarding…”. Or, if you are told that someone will get back to you, try to close that time gap with an incentive, perhaps a time-limited offer. And, if that prospect doesn’t buy your proposal, pitch it to the next client.
Final Follow Up
… is a Thank You. Even if you don’t win the contract this time, you want to be considered favourably for a future encounter.
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