3 Ways to Respond to a Surprise Request from Your Satisfied Prospect

three_wallDoes this sound familiar?

Out of the blue I just received an email from a ‘marquis’ prospect inviting us to provide pricing for a one day training event. The will be in October at their national sales meeting. Our response is required within the next week.

Here is where it gets interesting, so let me provide a little background for you.

We began our initial conversation last July at a trade show here in San Francisco. Since then we have developed very deep relationships at all levels within their sales organization that understand how our experience and model can benefit them.

However with the internal support of these relationships we were able to schedule an appointment with their key decision maker, let’s call her Pam. I think Pam agreed to our appointment out of courtesy to her peers, plus maybe a little bit out of curiosity. Hey, some of her peers have more of my business cards than I do!

The meeting began with the typical introductory and transitioned to a rich conversation that reveled more about her requirements and expectations. The 45 minutes that was scheduled extended into an hour and a half conversation.

At the end of our meeting while driving to the airport my business associate and I felt that we had connected with Pam and her team, we understand her industry and have a clear understanding of her needs, but we both agreed that the ‘timing’ was simply not in our favor.

Sound familiar?

Moreover Pam was happy with her current training source and had renewed their two year contract effective January of this year. My thoughts were for them to remain in our pipeline and with my new information I am now better equipped to create a strategic follow up process.

So that is the background. In reading Pam’s email, we may or may not have a long awaited opportunity. With the above facts, let’s look at a few potential responses. How would you react?

  1. Do we offer an immediate and enthusiastic response with our standard pricing? Thought process: this may be a trial to see how we will respond and for Pam to compare pricing.
  2. Should I take a moment to call Pam and express our interest and to find out more information about the event, their sales team’s goals and objectives and of course our ‘out of the blue’ opportunity? Thought process: I thought they were happy with their supplier, but their event may be focusing on a set of needs unique to their supplier, or conflicting schedules with company and supplier. Let’s find out more.
  3. Perhaps contact our close relationships; they may have some helpful information. If so we can then respond accordingly.

Thought process:

  • What has transpired internally that has created this request?
  • Has the political climate shifted?
  • Has the incumbent dropped the ball subsequent to our meeting?

What do you think about when a similar situation occurs? Feel free to hit reply. We would like to hear what you have to say.

(You can view the video to see which option provided the best solution.)

Own your success!

-Andy

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