You nurtured the relationship, you cold called your dream client and made an appointment, you diagnosed their needs, you built the relationships, and you built a shared vision of a better outcome.
And now you made your big boardroom presentation. You used everything that you learned to make it a great presentation, you performed well, and you answered all of the questions.
Now, the whole thing is out of your hands and you must simply await the buying team’s decision, right? Wrong!
You don’t stop selling until the decision is made (and even then, should you not be awarded the business, you move your dream client right back on to your nurture list and keep selling . . . they’re still a dream client, after all).
After your big presentation, you need to send a thank you letter. But saying thank you could be so much more, if you let it.
You certainly want to send personal card to each person to whom you presented. Fine. But that isn’t enough and it isn’t selling. You need to send a formal thank you letter that continues to sell your message.
Reinforce the Value that You Create
You have a solution that will help them generate better results. You had some dialogue with them during the presentation that clarified their vision, and you heard the challenges that they made to your solution in the form of questions.
Your follow up letter needs to reinforce your ability to generate the result that you and your solution will provide. It needs to spell out how the conversation you had has strengthened your proposal. It needs to outline the changes to your plan and to your solution based on the buying team’s questions and what you have learned.
More than anything else, you have to reiterate and reinforce your differentiation. Your dream client may have seen only you, or you might have been one of ten presentations. Your follow up letter is your chance to sell, and it is your chance to remind your dream client of the differences that will make the difference.
You had solutions. Your competitor had solutions. Both seemed pretty reasonable. Your follow up letter has to say more than thank you; it is has to say that your solution is right, that it will produce the results that your dream client needs, and that you are committed to helping them achieve that result.
Respond to Their Questions in Writing
If you are super sharp, and if you have a great team, you will have taken exceptional notes, including who asked what questions and who made what comments. Your letter will include a list of the questions that were asked with written answers reiterating and expanding on what you said when your time was limited to the presentation and the follow up—now you time is no longer limited.
The fact that you bothered to take notes, to remember what was important to each buying team member, and that you felt it was important enough to require a written response, demonstrates that you are detail-oriented, professional, caring, and concerned with the implementation and execution after you make the sales. It proves that you are listening.
This alone will differentiate you from your competitors, most of whom will send a thank you, and many of whom will do so by email only.
Ask for the Business
The closing of your letter needs again to ask for your dream client’s business. You need to say, “We very much look forward to working with you on this project, we will achieve the results that we discussed and presented, and we ask you to give us the opportunity to be part of your team.”
If you are a long time reader of this blog (and if you have taken action on what you read), you didn’t leave your presentation without scheduling a follow up appointment of some kind. I know your dream client’s buying team told you that they would be contacting you, but waiting is not an option; you must continue to sell until the final decision is made.
Your dream client has to know that you want the business more than your competitors. They have to know that you are more serious about producing the results—results that are better than your largest and fiercest competitors—and that you will act as part of their team.
Your thank you card isn’t enough.
Your follow up letter needs to sell in your absence. It needs to differentiate you and your offering. You can say thank you, or you can say something real—like how passionately committed you are to helping your dream client produce better results.
Take the time to write the follow up sales letter. Say thank you. And make it rock!
- When does the sale really end?
- Do you use every opportunity and every contact with your dream client as a chance to create value for them? Do you use those same opportunities and contacts to demonstrate that you do create value and to demonstrate your passionate desire to help them achieve the business results that they need and that you can provide?
- What do you believe are the benefits of waiting passively for a buying team to make a decision? What if you competitors are taking actions and receiving commitments that you aren’t asking for or obtaining after the presentations have been made?
- Do you take every opportunity to differentiate yourself as a professional? What does your follow up say about you? Does it say that you are about equal to your competitors? What could it say about your desire to be a part of their team? What could say about how much you care? What could it say about your ability to listen to your dream client’s needs?
- What does your follow up suggest about what your dream client can expect from you should they choose you?
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