We’ve all been there. We give a prospective client a terrific proposal. Everyone’s excited. Your prospect is psyched. And you’re thrilled, too. Because this extra little bit of new revenue is coming at a great time for your agency.
But then…nothing. You hear…squat.
Well, clearly something’s happened, right? Maybe there was a shift in prospective client priorities. Or maybe there was a change in client-side staffing. Or maybe one of your competitors entered the picture, a long-lost friend of the prospect’s…
You should find yourself nodding your head to these reasons. And maybe even adding one or two deal-stoppers based on your own experiences. The key challenge: what can you do about it?
In some cases, there may not be much you can do. However, here are a couple of thought-starter questions that can get you thinking about some potential solutions. Things that can get the deal back on ye olde right track…
What is time sensitive?
Think broadly here. Is there anything on the prospect’s side that means they lose something if they don’t act now? Some competitive activity? A personal goal your prospect may have? Some internal resource that may go away? What might be gained? Sometimes that resource may just be the attention of their bosses.
Ask the same kinds of questions about your agency or the work itself. Is there any deadline to consider? A brand partnership? A calendar event? For more writing around this from Thunderclap, check this out.
How can this proposal be aligned to generating revenue?
Here’s a cool article from Forbes that explores the world of sales vs. marketing. I love the author’s perspective that marketing has an opportunity to behave like salespeople. Let’s apply that thinking to your proposal. How does hiring your agency impact revenue? In many recent presentations to both existing and prospective agency clients, I include a “show them the money” visual. Why not reflect this idea in your next proposal. It’s a very handy tool to link your agency’s efforts to corporate goals. And therefore, increase the sense of urgency on your prospect’s to-do list.
What can you follow up on?
And sometimes, you just have to stay on top of the situation. You’d be surprised how many agencies will simply present their wares or thinking, and then walk away, hoping to hear back from the prospect. Well, hope don’t pay the rent. Don’t be a pest. But stay on these guys. You never know. Maybe NOW is a better time to discuss the project than the first time you presented it.
Anywho, hope these questions can get you thinking that all may not be lost the next time you pitch something and find yourself frustrated by the lack of progress.