Depending on the type of offer you have submitted, the post-proposal phase could include customer evaluation, dealing with objections and negotiation.
You should not be passive during the evaluation phase! Now is the time for marketing to step back into the fray with detailed, specific information designed to add depth to the customers knowledge of your products and services.
This could take the form of…
- Case Studies
- White Papers
…and so on. Remember that this information should be targeted at the customer who is evaluating your offer. There is little to be gained by sending a case study focusing on the use of your product in power stations if your customer is involved in river water quality, for example.
Objections are your friend
If your customers aren’t asking you questions about your proposal, don’t kid yourself that you got it perfectly right. The likelihood is that you got is so wrong that they don’t want to take things further with you.
Objections will teach about your products and services AND your proposals. Use the knowledge to refine what you are offering and how you offer it.
“Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests of the people or parties involved in the process.”
Reams and reams have been written on how to negotiate and we don’t intend to reproduce it here!
Preparation is the key to successful negotiation. Ask yourself the following questions (and provide the answers!) before you enter a negotiation:
- What are your ‘must haves’?
- What are you prepared to give up?
- What is your absolute bottom line?
Never give away something for nothing. If you have nothing material to trade, look at payment terms, delivery terms etc. Identify items you can trade which have little value to you but are important to the customer. Last but not least, as scary as it is never, NEVER be afraid to walk away.
Contact us to find out more about creating appropriate content, overcoming objections and developing negotiating positions to improve your post-proposal processes.