Monday, April 2, 2012

Win or Lose – Don’t Forget to Follow Up!

Just because you’ve lost a potential project doesn’t mean it’s the end-all between you and the client. You need information and a critique about your proposal and interview to improve future proposals. More importantly, it may still be worth fostering a relationship with the client and his organization. Ask yourself, “What are the long-term benefits and actions relative to this prospect?”

If You WIN: Sit down with the client for an interview debriefing. Find out what they liked about you and what they felt were the weaknesses of your team and/or firm. Ask how much “marketing interaction” the client would like. If the client wants to see you once a month, be there. If they prefer another level of engagement, agree on how to approach them in a way, and at a frequency, that they appreciate.

If You LOSE: Ask for a debriefing and, as part of that meeting, ask how you could have improved your performance or presentation materials to better meet their selection criteria. Let them know you’d like to follow up in the coming months to hear about how their project is proceeding.

The BOTTOM LINE: Either way, ask for a debriefing. You’ll get some additional face time with the client. If you’ve identified the prospect as a quality client, you’ll want to add to them to your “satisfied client list.” Learn from each client interaction. Plan the strategy beforehand. Know what you will do if you win. Know what you will do if you lose. Use both options to increase your firm’s future success!

Debriefing is a great way to continue to develop your relationship with your clients. For more tips on how to foster and grow client relations, join PSMJ this spring for our Business Development for A/E/C Firms seminar. We only have 4 more locations across North America left this spring. Get the tools and confidence you need to succeed in bringing in more work for the firm – register today!

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