When I talk to associations about having us sell their memberships, sponsorships, ads, or exhibits, it is almost always met with some form of...
You are probably in two sales camps as September closes: you did a good deal of work and outreach in August, and you have a nice big pipeline in place, or you are in the other camp, in which you spent all your time at the beach, and are now scrambling to build out a feasible 4th quarter pipeline.
Currently, we’re generating proposals at quite a pace as associations look to engage us in Q4 and 2018. This is the budget time after all! And, I’ve noticed we start this “ping pong” game with the prospect: they call us – and, then we hit the ball back to them with a proposal, and they hit the ball back to us that they are interested, then we hit the ball back trying to close. But, often the momentum can lag and the prospect never actually gets back to us. We’re frustrated things aren’t closing and we have all these deals out on the street.
I have three tips to improve the process and move things along more smoothly:
#1 Send the proposal over via email and then immediately place a phone call to the prospect. Simply say, the proposal is now in your inbox; let’s discuss.
#2 Send the proposal over as an attachment to a calendar invite asking to them to meet or discuss the details in the next few days.
Or, and this is one I really like…
#3 Make a phone call to let them know you have the proposal and request a date to review it in person or on the phone. Then, send the proposal. This way, it’s incumbent upon the prospect to speak collaboratively about the offer.
What if they don’t respond to the invite to receive the proposal? Well, they were likely wasting your time any way. And time is the most valuable asset you have. So, let’s use it with the people who are actually committed to working with us.
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