You’ve established a great relationship with your absolute dream boat of an ideal client (oo la la!), sent your proposal off, and then…
Not even crickets.
Pure. Unmistakable. SILENCE.
So now you’re freaking out, and every bad thought as to why your prospect has gone quiet is literally scream-running through your brain, and you don’t know what to do.
Let’s break it down.
Take a deep breath and stay calm
Breathe in…breathe out…
Remember: Panicking and feeling crazy will not help or make things happen faster.
Trust it’s going to happen
You want your proposal to be accepted and you want it now. I understand. But once you send out a proposal, it’s no longer in your hands.
Give people a chance to review your proposal, think things through, live their lives. Life happens, especially for a business owner who already has to prioritize the ongoing—and growing!—list of needs/wants in their business. The bigger the business, the more moving parts there are.
Plus, funding has to be kept in mind. (Even a big business has to manage their cash flow.)
(I’m thankful that I have Poul to make sure that our cash flow is OK, that our ROI is good…because otherwise I would spend a lot more on marketing stuff we don’t need right now.)
Back to business owners.
You need to think like them. Consider the questions they consider. What potential red tape do they need to deal with before they can give the OK to your proposal? What other items on their list need to be checked off before they have the time available to review?
Maybe they’re in the middle of a big project. Maybe they had to invest in something super important for them/their business. Maybe they’re on vacation. Life happens, even for the entrepreneur. So chill.
When to follow up
Allow your prospect at least two weeks to review your proposal. Don’t hound them (and don’t turn into an Instagram stalker, pretty please?). Sometimes you have to nurture a relationship with a prospect, and that nurturing period could take months!
So again: Be patient.
Building a business is like parenting
OK. I know it sounds totally crazy but hear me. Building a business is a lot like parenting. You have to figure things out on the fly, conquer messy and/or sticky situations, keep a cool head, learn to laugh things off, and figure out what you need and when you need it.
Even if you aren’t exactly building a business yourself right now, your prospect is—even if that business is 7-figures, 8-figures, or even 9-figures. Your prospect may need you…just not now. And they may know they need you, but not until months from now or even next year.
And that’s OK.
Instead, nurture that relationship with your prospect. Follow up, be kind, be courteous.
The subtle art of courteous follow-up
One of the biggest tips I can give you? Don’t let negative leak into your follow up. It’s so, so, so, so easy to do. Imposter Syndrome feeds off those feelings. Trust me when I say you absolutely do not want to encourage that. I’d say avoid the negative tone or defeatist attitude because your prospects WILL pick up on that energy.
Don’t be hyperactive. Don’t be rude. Don’t be demanding.
These are fast-track ways to burning bridges with your prospects.
Do be inquisitive and helpful in your follow-up. Show that you’re open and want to assist them in their business. That helps build the relationship. Avoid being pushy, however, or condescending. Just like you, your prospects want and deserve to be treated with respect.
Recommendation and using magic (AKA the follow-up 1-2)
Don’t worry. You don’t have to be Harry Houdini or Harry Potter for this kind of magic.
I’m referring to the magic FBI veteran Chris Voss uses in his “magic emails” thanks to well-practiced negotiation skills. I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris a while back (you can read part one here) where we discussed his incredible book Never Split the Difference.
One thing Chris said really stands out, and is a great tactic to use to get a response when the lines of contact with your prospect have gone silent.
Chris says, “[…] the phrase that we teach the people, ‘have you given up on this project? Have you given on x?’ Whatever it is, send it out as a one line text or one line email to somebody who stopped responding to you, they’re gonna respond very quickly.”
And I think that’s magic all on its own.
People don’t like to give up on things they truly care about. If your prospect really cares about the value you would bring to their business but have stopped replying, then they will respond.
It’s a lesson I had to learn, too
Everything above seems so simple. On the whole, it honestly is! Yet for some reason stepping back and taking a chill pill seems totally impossible sometimes.
I want you to believe me when I say that chilling out will be so good for you. I promise. I had a hard time learning this, too, and I really did not want to. It’s a thousand times easier to focus on what’s going wrong in life, in business, in whatever than it is to calm down, be patient, and trust yourself.
Stay positive and stay relaxed.
If you want to learn more about getting dream clients, check out this free resource: https://rachelpedersen.clickfunnels.com/80-ways