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Closing the Deal: How to Follow Up Proposals and Avoid Getting Ghosted
Episode 3159th October 2023 • Your Dream Business • Teresa Heath-Wareing
00:00:00 00:13:00

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In today’s episode of the podcast I am talking you through how to follow up with proposals and how to avoid being ghosted, and get an answer, so that you can save time and move forward.



  1. What you need to qualify, before sending the proposal
  2. My step by step process for sending out a proposal
  3. The importance of setting boundaries and managing expectations
  Did you take something from this episode that you're going to put into practice? Please do connect with me over on my socials and let me know, I'd love to hear from you!  


Navigating Boundaries as a Business Owner podcast episode Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter  


Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the Your Dream Business Podcast. And I am Teresa Heath-Wareing your host. So on this week's episode, in my quest to come up with episode ideas, because after 300, and this is episode 315, after 315 episodes, it's sometimes slightly testing to come up with some new content ideas. I went back to the archive of all of my coaching calls. So I do lots of coaching calls with my members. And obviously the whole point of a coaching call is that they come on, they ask a question. And when I went back, there were some that were way too specific. So, the whole point of working with me is that you asked me one question and inevitably I ask you about four or five back in order to make sure that the answers that I'm giving are the best answers for you and for your business. So I decided to look back and I found a question that is suitable, that kind of works in its own kind of podcast format. Which I do get asked a lot, actually, and it's often from people who have businesses where they send out proposals. So you could be a freelance marketer, a social media person, you could be a consultant, you could be, in fact, I think this is from a nutritionist. Someone who gave it, no, someone who did websites that's who gave the, ask the question. And basically what happens is they send that proposals and they get ghosted. So they kind of asked, what do you do to stop being ghosted or what's the process for proposals? So today, what I'm going to talk you through is how I would follow up with proposals, which I've done in the past when I had an agency, and how you make sure that you're not being ghosted and you get the answer you require. Because at the end of the day, you kind of don't care whether the answer is yes or no, you just need an answer because then you can move on. Obviously, we'd love it to be yes. So the first thing I check with them is I qualify with them before They actually have sent the proposal before they even get to that stage. How much does the customer know? And the reason I qualify this is because if you have had an inquiry from a customer and a customer has come on and had a call with you and they don't know what you cost, And then you suddenly give them the cost and then they ghost you, there's a fair chance that probably they were not expecting the cost that you gave them. And that doesn't necessarily mean it's always too expensive. It could just be actually for that level of work that was not what I was expecting either more or less either way. So in my in my experience, and what I've done is I've always made sure they've got an element of understanding at where I'm pitched from a price point of view. So this could be either on your website, this could be in the initial inquiry. So if you don't have the pricing on your website, and even if you have to do a proposal because it differs, giving them a price from or giving them a rough cost straight off the bat is, is helpful to understand where they're at or asking for their budget. Now, not everyone wants to give a budget and you know, that's kind of fine, but getting some kind of idea straight off the bat in terms of the, the amount of money they're willing to spend on this project or the amount of money you charge is really, really useful. So it could be that someone contacts you and says, I'd love to have a chat with you about doing X amount of work for me. And you go back to them and go, "Absolutely fine. No worries." Just thought I'd send you a few bits of boops over, i. e. this is how I work. This is how I normally charge. But the best thing is that we get on a call. Do you want to get on a call? Then that way, you know, by that point that you're qualifying someone or you're having a call with someone that actually is willing to pay the money that you want to charge. Which also helps generally with your time management and your time being very valuable, because you're not getting all these calls and doing all these discovery calls with people who can't afford your service or who would be willing to pay a lot more for your service. So that's the first thing, that's the first question I asked them. Do they have an idea of your price? And in this particular case, they did, it did say on their website or I think on a, on a form that they filled in. This is what we start from. So then we talked about the process of sending out a proposal. Now what I tend to do, and people are different, and this is just what I do, so this isn't like set in stone, but basically once I have had a meeting with someone, I would give them the price on the call, if it was appropriate. Now, it's not always appropriate to do that because you might need to go away and work some stuff out. You might be waiting on some more information from them. You might not be 100 percent sure what that price is going to be. So, if I can give them the quote or the price on the call, I will do that. If I can't, I will say to them, That I will be following up with an email and in that email, I'll give you the quote. Either way, if they don't give me a straight answer there or then I say to them, I am going to be following up with an email. Now, where it comes to being ghosted and people not responding, you need to help manage their expectations of what you expect. And this comes down to boundaries and we could talk a whole nother podcast about boundaries, which we have. So go check out that episode of the podcast. It comes down to you saying to them, this is how I work. So let's say you've had a call, regardless of whether you've given them the price on the call or not. The next thing you're going to do is say, I am going to send you an email and confirm what we have discussed and the price in the email. And then I will give you X amount a day. So this is all depending on you. Now, personally, if I was doing a proposal, I would try and get it out that same day, if not in the next day, I wouldn't make him the, you know, unless there was a lot of work that I had to do to get that price together, I wouldn't be making them wait. So you could be saying to them, okay, I'll get the email over to you later today, or confirm all the pricing. And then what I will do is if I haven't heard anything from you by, and I give them a day. So if I've had a call with someone on a Thursday, I would say. I'll wait till Monday. If I've had a call on a Monday, I might say, I'll wait till Friday, whatever it is. But tell them when you're going to follow up with them, if you haven't heard anything. So, then they are expecting your follow up. So, if they don't get back to you, which I have to say, when I give people a deadline of when I'm going to get back to them, they actually get back to me before that deadline, because they know I'm going to chase them regardless. If they haven't, that is the point I would chase them, I would stick to what I said, I'd put it in my diary or my asana or wherever it is as a reminder to say, contact them if I haven't heard anything. So I would email them and I would just follow up saying, as discussed, you know, I said I would follow up, have you had a chance to have a look at it, let me know what you think, and then email that. So the hope is that they come back to you and they say yes, or no, or whatever it is. If they don't come back to you, then I would give it a number of days again. Now, I wouldn't give it, like, two, three weeks. Unless they have specifically said, I am not going to be able to give you an answer until three weeks time, because they're waiting on something, then... Put something in the diary for three weeks time. But if they haven't said anything, then I put it back in my diary for a few days ahead. So maybe three or four days again, and then what I would try and do is email them, but I would try and email them something of value that they might find useful, or if I've given it a bit more thought, or if I've come up with an idea for them, and I don't give them everything. Because you don't want to give them all the stuff that they don't need you. But you could say, Oh, I saw this ad today, and I think this would work really well with you. Obviously if you're in that industry, don't say that randomly, if that's not your industry. But whatever it is that you're going to help them with, try and add a bit of value. Or I was just thinking about the conversation we had, and I wrote a blog about such and such that you might be interested. Also, please let me know if you've got any questions about the proposal. I'm really keen to get started. Oh, the other thing I should have said straight off the bat was when you do that proposal, make sure you have a deadline date of when that price is no longer valid. So you could say in the email, this is my price to do the work. This price is valid for 30 days, or this price is valid for two months, whatever it is, and whatever you need for your business, because what you don't want is someone coming back to you in six months time going, Yeah, I want that. And you being a completely different price and therefore feeling like you've got to give it them at that price. So, and also that gives you a timeframe in which you can chase them. It also helps with that timeframe. So like I said. The first email, here's the price. The second email is the, I said I was going to contact you because I've not heard from you. How have you got on? What's your thoughts? The, next email is, Oh, here's something that I think might be value to you. Oh, by the way, haven't heard from you. And then if you haven't heard from them again, if they still have not contacted you, then I would probably give it another week. And I would probably get to the point where either in that email or tell them it's the next email coming where you say to them. This is my last email. You could even confirm the price runs out in 30 days. If you do want to work with me, then great. I can give you a new quote if it's after those 30 days, or if you get back to me in the next week or so, then you'll still be in date. But please let me know. And then I might send another email that says, I'm not going to bother you again. I'm going to assume you don't want it. And therefore I'll take you off my To do list or whatever it is, and then you close it down. So don't just leave them sat there hanging, you know, almost say to them, I'm going to not bug you again if you don't get back to me. So the whole point is that you are setting the boundaries. You are setting the rules and you're saying to them, this is what I expect. This is what I need from you. So if you're not doing that, then there's no expectation. And also you're not setting them up to know that you're going to hear from them. And you could even say to them on the call, depending on how you feel, listen, if it's not for you, that's fine. And again, write that in an email. If it's not for you, that's fine. Just email me back and let me know, and I'll stop bothering you. All you really want is an answer. You don't want them to ghost you. But like I said, if you're not getting responses, have almost like, whether it's a spreadsheet, whether it's a system in Asana or whatever it might be, have something that goes, okay, Day one, I sent the proposal. Day four, I chased them. If I've not heard anything, I'll chase them on day nine. If I've not heard anything, I'll chase them on day 15. And you know what emails you're going to send at each point. So you've got that in. And then at the end of it, if they've not got back to you, you shut it down. It's gone. They're off your thing. Stop wasting your time on them. So like I said, the, the aim of this whole process is to get a response either way, whether it's a yes or no, either one is going to be helpful to you. I know it doesn't feel like it because you really want to get that work. And that is totally understandable, but not knowing either way is just as bad. So then, then a no, You might as well just know whether it's a no or a yes. So those are the kind of things that I go through with, my club members in terms of what I would do and the process I did when I had, agency clients. But the key thing to remember here in all of this, it's nothing to do with you. And even if it is to do with you, it's still not to do with you. Let me explain. So it could be a million reasons why they haven't bought your product or service. It could be that actually they just needed to get three quotes and they knew who were going to get it. It could be that they've decided they didn't want the work anymore. It could be that they realized they can't afford it. None of those things are to do with you. And therefore. Don't worry about it. And if they get on a call and think I don't like you or you're not for me or I don't want to work with you or I don't like the way you do it. Even though it is to do with us, it's still nothing to do with us because that's just that one person and who they are and how they like to work. There are other people out there who will like the way you work, who do like you, and therefore let's go and focus and worry about them. So regardless of the outcome, do not let this reflect how you feel about the work that you're doing. You are doing brilliant work. You are showing up. You are doing things for your clients. And just because someone doesn't want to work with you does not mean that you're no good at what you do. So putting your validation in someone else's action, it's really dangerous. Because it's basically saying that if you don't want me, I think I'm rubbish. So regardless of the outcome, still remind yourself, go back to your love folder. If you've heard me talk about a love folder or go back to emails that you've had that says you're brilliant and reread them, remember you're brilliant and move on to the next one. So hopefully that's helped. Hopefully I've given you some ideas in terms of chasing up those, proposals. If you put proposals out there, I will be back next week. We are going to be talking about audience and why a bit like location, location, location, why audience, audience, audience is the main thing that you should be focusing on. Also as a little heads up, I'm going to be bringing back some interviews because it's pretty tiring talking to yourself all day, every day when you do these podcasts. So I'm going to be bringing back some interviews soon. So keep an eye out for them as they will be coming. Until next time. Have a wonderful week.




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