As an entrepreneur, you may find competition to be fierce at times. It comes with the territory and is evident in most industries and niches. Even as an employee, you may have experienced the competition when trying to secure a job in the midst of hundreds, or possibly thousands of other applicants.
I have experienced this as an author submitting proposals to the publisher. My experience with this type of competition goes back even further as my first endeavor as an entrepreneur in a computer networking company, bidding consistently against four or five companies per project. As the entrepreneur behind a computer forensics company, competition was not only fierce, but the projects were always urgent and short on time.
Whether you have already taken the leap to entrepreneurship or you are still working a day job while you consider it, you will be faced with competition. However, I found a method of increasing closing ratios by 25% to not only get your foot in the door, but making you stand out in a sea of proposals. The secret is in the timing.
Perfectly Timed Delivery
Use all of your available resources and get to know your prospect. Who are you sending the proposal to? Do an online search to learn more about this decision maker. Read any posts, blogs, or articles written by this individual. People feel a certain kinship to another person who mirrors their body language and values. You can make this evident in your proposal by the language and vernacular you use to write the proposal.
If you notice your new prospective client on social media, updating their posts with details about the upcoming children’s football game, then do not email the prospect during the game. However, you could allude in your email that you know it is football season and you just wanted to make sure your proposal made it to the prospective client’s desk before the next wave of football games begin.
Perfectly Timed Follow-Up
It has been said the fortune is in the follow-up. This is especially true in business, specifically in sales. You must take the time to follow up with leads and clients. Sometimes a person needs to be exposed to your business or opportunity 5 to 7 times before they are ready to make a commitment. However, I found a way to cut that rate in half by sending a follow-up email at the perfect time.
I have a secret weapon that I pull out only when I am sending proposals through email. It is difficult to see if the prospective client has opened the email. My secret weapon is YesWare.com. This program works for both Gmail and Outlook. When the email is opened, the service notifies you. This timing is perfect. After notification, give the prospective client a call or send another email with some useful information.
The prospective client will draw a serendipitous opinion about you. This can only work in your favor as the client will have your name still in their mind. Work hard to sound professional in your email and perfect your pitch. Anything that makes your proposal stand out from the crowd is a good thing.
Perfectly Timed Response
To make people feel important and honored it is imperative that you do what the majority of entrepreneurs do not do. The task that is so easily ignored is focusing on your client and placing their needs first. Do not make a client wait for an answer for a long period of time. Respond as quickly as possible and the client will get the impression you are a professional and ahead of the game.
Even if you still doubt yourself because you are new to entrepreneurship or new to a particular industry or niche, by showing your willingness to help the client, you will be light years ahead of the competition. Dani Johnson, multimillionaire and featured on “The Secret Millionaire”, says it pays to treat each client like royalty. If you have limited experience in a skill or background, the client may still pick you and your proposal simply because of the way you made them feel.
Always be on the lookout to serve your clients and your closing rates will increase. I work really hard to keep my clients happy and to answer questions from prospective clients. I created a document with the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and when a prospect has a question, I copy, paste, and personalize this answer. It saves me time and I can answer more people at once.
Just make sure you spend just a moment with each person’s email before sending it. Nothing is worse than realizing you are just part of some mass email campaign.
Amit V. Agrawal is known as the most sought after Life Coach, Career Coach and Business Coach in the service industry and business community. He is famous for helping his students and clients to rise to the top of their niche in terms of Branding, Marketing, Finance, Sales, Leadership, Delivery and Management. You can follow him on Linkedin, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter