Why were you contacted?
It used to be a dream contemplating the possibility of someone contacting you for a proposal versus having to go through all of the traditional steps to finally get to that point in time of presenting. Today that dream is reality, yet it sadly lacks perfection. However, merging the best of the traditional sales world with today’s online networking requests will produce excellent outcomes.
Reflecting back, in the traditional sales arena, a salesperson will prospect for clients, meet with them, and should the meeting go well, will be asked to present a proposal. Today, however, the process is the exact opposite. We are contacted for a proposal with never having met. In the old days it would seem too good to be true. In fact, the process is too good to be true.
Let’s take Thumbtack for example. You may have received a request for proposal whereby you are supposed to state precisely how much you will charge for a specified event. There are a lot of problems with this arrangement. Most notably you are blindly offering services, and shooting in the dark, without regard for the “who, what, when, where and why”. Once you quickly send your quote, the usual end result is no reply as in “not interested”.
Would you prefer to be seriously considered rather than quickly dismissed? This is where the traditional methods come into play when using the modern technology.
You are allowed the messaging option on Thumbtack to have a dialogue. I encourage you to use it! Ask the defining questions so you know how to position what you have to offer to your potential client’s interests.
Begin with thanking the person for contacting you and that you appreciate the opportunity. Let them know you may better target their interests and needs by having a few questions answered. This demonstrates your professionalism. Find out what the interaction will consist of, who will be involved, number in attendance, and what are they seeking in their ideal candidate?
Once you have the answers to the questions then you are ready to creatively develop three packages to choose from. Why three? If you only offer one quote, you only have a 50-50 chance of being chosen. By offering three packages with additions to each and seemingly discounted, you have a 75% chance of hearing Yes! as “No” is still an option.
Let the party know whichever package they choose, you will be happy to honor their request. The idea is to provide your best, and to be called back for additional business. Your personal brand will grow remarkably in the realm of perceived professionalism.
After you have delivered upon their request, write a note of thanks. If appropriate include a small gift such as a basket of fruit to demonstrate your appreciation. Everyone likes to be appreciated and those final touches will be the icing on the cake.
The end result is you will encourage larger sales, repeat business, referrals and testimonials – all of which will put you on the wave of the Smooth Sale!
Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and best selling, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press.