You’ve been cultivating this lead for a while, truthfully, for years.
They finally have a project that would be perfect for you, and as luck would have it, you reached out just as they were thinking about how to get it done.
You’re in the door – and there’s an actual project on the table.
You’ve got this one; you can feel it!
But 3 months later, it didn’t close.
What went wrong?
1. You smelled of desperation
You’ve waited so long for it, you are the perfect resource for it, and so you start dancing like a puppy staring at a treat. This is not attractive!
Remember that if this is a perfect project for you, they will find that out as you conduct a sober discovery call. You can demonstrate that by answering their questions and bringing up things they haven’t seen yet.
Keep your cool; you are the expert.
2. You gave them what they wanted.
What clients ask you for is never what they need. You know that!
So why did you go and propose back to them exactly what they asked for?
A sober discovery call will help you find the need behind what they are telling you about. Your experience with clients like them will help you ask the right questions to uncover it. Wait until you get to the real ask, even if it takes 2 or 3 meetings!
3. You rushed to proposal.
For many agency BD teams, the goal is to get to the proposal. If I can get a proposal in front of them, then they’re about to say yes!
But the proposal is also your leverage; what they want from you is a proposal, or more precisely, a number. Why would you give that up easily?
When you create a proposal, it should reflect the agreement you have already made with them. Stay in conversation until you’ve heard them say, “Yes, that’s something we can say yes to…”
4. You didn’t have everyone in the room.
Have you ever delivered a proposal and the response back is, “Great, I’m going to take this back to my team…”
[Record scratch sound]
The only way to get the agreement you needed to have to make it safe for you to deliver the proposal was to have everyone in the room. You needed to have asked, “What’s your process for approving a project like this?” And make sure “the team” was all there!
5. There was no follow-up plan
Never, and I cannot emphasize this enough, NEVER deliver a proposal without a date on the calendar to reconvene.
It can be as simple as, “My process is to set a check-in call every two weeks. It could be just 15 min. We check in on your approval process so that we can plan our resources and help with any roadblocks. How’s every other Tuesday at 3?”
Without that you are left chasing, running after a buyer reeks of desperation!
How many of these are routinely happening in your BD process?
If you want to close more deals, hit reply, and let’s get on the phone so we can root out these deal killers for good!