The Art of the Sales Follow Up
Have you ever sent a proposal and heard crickets? If you haven’t, it will probably happen at some point.
Sometimes potential clients aren’t fully ready to book because they’re just in the early stage of research. Sometimes they’re embarrassed by their initial budget, and because your stunning work doesn’t fall in step with their number dreams. And sometimes, they need a little more time to persuade the person holding the pocketbook (or to save up extra money!).
Either way, here are 5 tips to keep your follow up classy (Ron Burgundy style).
On the outset, set a project/proposal expiration date. This will show your potential client the services, products and/or pricing aren’t a book to open at their convenience.
Set a deadline to follow up or check in, and let them know you will touch base. I tend to touch based with my potential clients in 3-7 business days after they’ve received my proposal. You can easily build this into your workflow, so you’re not forced to remember who to follow up with and when. It gives you and the potential client space to talk through it with the appropriate parties (if any), but also makes it clear that you will continue to communicate. // Easy tip - you can even prepare your email in advance (I have a canned, but customizable email to save my brainpower to check in), just make sure you review it once more BEFORE the email goes out in case the client reaches out to you first!
Be patient. It can take a decent number of follow ups to get a response back! Make sure you have an email that is along the lines of “If you need some extra time to review the proposal, let me know and I can keep you penciled in for an extra week. If I haven’t heard from you by XX date, I will remove your date/project from the calendar.” If a potential client is highly considering your services, this usually gets them to respond; if they don’t respond then you have your answer.
Be persistent, but within reason. Be persistent and consistent, but don’t turn into the overaggressive sales person, because then you become a monster that looks desperate. We’ve all had that experience at the kiosks at the mall that you avoid/pretend to look busy when walking by….
Deliver with a smile, even if the final response is a no! It sucks to get a no, but a no response gives you a chance to learn why and gain confirmation to put the proposal to rest. If you get a no (and truly want the job), thank them for letting you know and let them know you would still love to work with them if anything changes!
Brooke Olsen Consulting is a pricing and business strategist team. We specialize in pricing + profitability, financial education and business strategy for creative business owners and entrepreneurs just like you! We're focused on creating an intentional business and life by breaking down the black box of your financials and system processes. Check out our core values for more of the heart behind our corner!