The stuck deal is the business development experts most frustrating situation. The prospect loved the discussion, wanted a proposal, and now nothing has happened. Nada. Not even a response from a desperate email plea.
In these situations, I suggest crafting a message to get a response, not trying to save the deal. Frankly, the opportunity might be gone anyway, and the prospect has not told you. Here is a suggestion.
1. Confirm where the process is.
This recognizes you have kept your part of the deal and acted responsibly.
“I’m sorry we have been unable to connect. Based on our last discussion, I was to draft a proposal and have a discussion regarding its specifics on ____?”
2. Give the prospect a safe place to say “no.”
Some of the “nicest” prospects will string you along forever. That’s not nice; it’s a waste of your time!
“You may have 1. decided to choose someone else; 2. concluded the proposal was ridiculous; 3. determined this isn’t a priority any longer.”
3. Demonstrate you’re a pro and deserve an answer.
“Or, it may be something else. Most importantly I just want to proceed to the next steps or not. Either is OK.”
My experience is this approach almost always gets a response. And, that is what you really need — an honest answer.
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