This is from a conversation on LinkedIn. The discussion group is LinkedIn Sales / Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO).
How would you interpret this scenario?
By Mitch Emerson Co-founder, Compelligence, Inc.
You’ve gone through a pretty thorough sales process with a potential customer–multiple meetings and demos for the end users and decision makers of your product or service; they say they love it and it’s what they need. They then ask for a bid so they can get it into their budget planning…and then they totally disappear–no replies to e-mails or phone calls for multiple months. They put time and interest in from multiple people at the beginning so it doesn’t -appear- to be just a competitive bid request or a fishing trip. Any tips for what you would do with that situation?
By Jacques Werth
Author “High Probability Selling”
Mitch – That situation presents a valuable lesson. Many prospects take advantage of salespeople who do a lot of work in hope of getting their business.
Never do work for a prospect, unless you have an assurance from the *top decision maker* that you will get their business if you can meet his/her requirements. Then, find out what their requirements are, and figure out whether you can meet them, or not. That does not “guarantee” you’ll get their business, but it can minimize your exposure.
Regarding the described situation, respond to the request for a bid, with an offer to help them write the Request for Quotations. Then, design the RFQ so that it’s very difficult for any competitor to meet its requirements.
Using that strategy, I have sold $100s of millions, of everything from waterproofing dams, tunnels, and ballistic missile silos, to high tech capital equipment, and sales training.