April 6, 2022
We chat about all this and more in The Design & Prosper Podcast, episode 59 where we discuss:
We truly hope this is a helpful episode for you!
Kris & Donna xo
[00:00:00] Kris: Hello and welcome to podcast episode 59. We had a little pause from our podcast because we’ve been very, very busy bees. We have been unfurling the latest round of the academy, which has a new format where all the modules are prerecorded. And do you know what, we didn’t realize it would take quite as long as it takes
[00:00:23] Donna: it’s a job it’s a to do. It’s a bit of a big to-do.
[00:00:28] Kris: Yes, but we’ve had the most wonderful feedback and everybody loves it. All the past academy students who had the live delivery experience before and who are now getting the modules, they’re all broken down into these really juicy little sections. So it’s so easy to go and find what you need to find. And we also still have our Q and A live sessions four times a month. So they’re still getting Kris and Don
[00:00:53] Donna: yeah. Getting double Kris and Don and
[00:00:56] Kris: For our Q&A.
[00:00:57] Donna: Yeah. It’s and it’s, it’s just so great. So it’s worth it. It has taken us away from the podcast for a little beat, but it is so worth it. The academy is so juicy right now, so loving it.
[00:01:10] Kris: We have just made sure these videos are so spot on because we really wanted to make sure it was going to be an efficient learning experience for all our academy people. And if you are interested in the academy, we’ve decided to keep it open all year round now. Yes, because It’s prerecorded.
[00:01:31] Donna: It’s time. It’s time. Yeah, we’re ready. We’re ready to offer it in this capacity. And we know there are so many people who have been ready outside our twice a year launch periods where they’ve like, oh, do I have to wait now until September? No, you don’t. You don’t anymore. You can come on in. So we’re so excited about that.
[00:01:52] Kris: So right now we have a link on the academy page. So if you go to designandprosper.co/theacademy, there’s a link where you can book in a time to chat with us. So you can chat with one of us we can discuss your situation and unpack whether the academy is right for you and you can find out more about it. If you’ve got any specific questions and you just want to have a chat,
[00:02:15] Donna: Yep. You can share where you are at and we can speak to how we believe the academy will help you if it’s a good fit for you or not. We are completely authentic when it comes to whether the academy will be a good fit. We’ll let you know. We’ll talk to you about it and we’ll share with you how we believe it will elevate your business. So if you’re interested at all, go and head to the link and let’s book in a chat and we’ll have a one-to-one zoom.
[00:02:40] Kris: And if you are new to the podcast, welcome. And if you’re thinking, what is this academy? We’ll go and check it out. The link will be in the show notes and go and check it out. And it’s essentially the business course for graphic designers. We cover all the essentials, all the essential systems. It’s a complete roadmap to running a graphic design business.
[00:03:02] Donna: With a massive toolkit, you will, you will complete the academy with a bursting at the seams toolkit with everything you need to run a highly functioning graphic design studio.
[00:03:14] Kris: Okay. Well we better get into this episode. So this one is something that has actually come up a fair bit in the academy. It’s a question that gets asked, not just in the academy, but within our design community at large. So you’ve sent a proposal and now you’ve got crickets. What do you do? So the things we’re going to cover in this podcast are what to do when it happens, how to avoid it from happening in the first place. And also, we’re going to talk about the appropriate length of time to do the follow-up because I think a lot of designers feel like, Oh it’s too soon, or it’s been too long or whatever.
[00:03:53] Donna: Exactly. Oh, am I annoying them? If I call them today or contact them today and or, am I leaving them hanging if I don’t reach out. So today we’ll just share with you what we believe is the appropriate length of time and how we would go about reaching out to our clients when there’s crickets. Yeah.
[00:04:10] Kris: Because it’s a big thing, isn’t it Don, to send out a proposal? It’s a bit nerve wracking, especially if it’s a bigger price than you’ve quoted before. And you’re not sure how this potential lead, how this potential client is going to feel about it. So there’s a few things that we like to do prior to sending out a proposal. First of all, we would never send out a proposal without the client having a pretty clear idea of the budget required to work with us. The investment required to work with us. So you don’t want that to be a big surprise. So make sure that is part of your nurture beforehand.
[00:04:44] Donna: Yes, it’s it’s pre-qualifying, that’s what you’re looking for there. We want to pre-qualify our clients and make sure that they are really clear on the investment that they will need to make in order to work with you. So once that’s there upfront, we like to talk about money straight away. This is a business. There is going to be a fiscal exchange. So we want to talk about that money straight up and make sure that, you know, we’re not hiding that because a lot of people get too scared to talk about money, but it’s essential for that to be discussed straight away. And that will eliminate like a major percentage of crickets. If you’re having crickets a lot and never talking about money until that reach out, that could be a reason why. We want to pre-qualify and make sure people are really fully aware of what it is to invest in a project and invest in working with you.
[00:05:34] Kris: Another reason there might be crickets is that there’s been not enough nurture prior to the exchange of this proposal, the sending of this proposal. So there’s a detachment there. So the client isn’t really feeling like they have an obligation or responsibility to follow up with you because they just haven’t got that relationship going. So it’s really important to have all those nurture steps prior to sending out that proposal so that we’re not just asking this client to essentially marry us on the first date. We need to be wooing this client and having those first dates and really letting them know you care before you get to that stage. Otherwise they’ve got no skin in the game, I guess. They’ve got no emotional attachment and we make decisions based on emotions.
[00:06:19] Donna: Absolutely. And the thing is if you are building that relationship with the client, there’s anticipation for your proposal to land. They can’t wait. They’re excited by it. And so that anticipation will make sure that then there’s a reaction to that estimate. honestly, I don’t believe that I have ever put out an estimate and got crickets because of the nurture sequence beforehand. I’m trying, I’m racking my brain thinking about it now, but my clients or potential clients were always expecting a proposal to come from me. So it was, it was expected and the anticipation was there. And then there was that correspondence that happens, that engagement that happens fairly quickly. So what we’re seeing here, Kris, I think a lot of the time is where there’s a lot of automation around that initial reach out where that they haven’t had that nurture, that humanistic connection with the client. And so maybe that’s the thing that needs to be addressed. Maybe.
[00:07:17] Kris: Well, we always describe a design business as it needs to be a beautiful ecosystem of lots of different things going on. So that could be a factor. Lack of nurture, or it could be the fact that they didn’t know anything about budget before they got the proposal. They had no clue. They thought it was going to be 500 and you’ve quoted 5,000. There was just a real disconnect between expectation and was delivered. So that could happen. I have had people who have given me crickets. We were making all these assumptions about what it was, what happened. And it was actually that it had gone into spam. So spam is a big one. It’s a really big one. And it can happen a lot. A lot more than you think. So the follow up is absolutely essential. If you haven’t heard anything, it is absolutely essential. So much so that we would actually recommend that you build it into the system. When you send the proposal, you say in the email, when you’re going to follow up. I’ll be in touch with you in say two days time. I’ll follow up with an email. I’ll follow up with a phone call, whatever it’s going to be to run through any questions that you may have.
[00:08:20] Donna: Yeah, and actually pop a date on there. I love that. So we, we want them to know exactly when we’re going to follow up and even a rough time, if you want you to like really get specific, because then they’re expecting it. That anticipation happens again, which is really important. And spam is a real thing. I have had relationships with clients long-term and friends long-term in an email correspondence. And then when I’m checking my spam folder, I’ll have those people in spam. Spam has just decided for whatever reason, that particular subject line that that friend wrote or that client wrote it’s spam. And in it goes. You can miss things, even if you think I’m already in email correspondence with this person. So it wouldn’t have gone to spam. It quite possibly could have. That does happen. So, so really it is a thing. So double-check on that.
[00:09:08] Kris: It can go into spam after you’ve had an established email relationship with somebody. If the subject line is flagged, sometimes there just might be something in the subject line. For example, things to do with money and costs can get flagged as spam because you know, the stuff that we get all the time in our emails about the Bitcoin and the, this, and the, that, you know, it’s all to do with money and make money. And so anything that might sound a little bit scammy, not saying that you’re sounding scammy, but if it says cost proposal, the word cost might throw it into spam.
That can be really frustrating and it’s, it’s awful even then too, to follow up with the client. and then they said, oh, it went into spam. It’s a bit of an icky feeling like, oh,
[00:09:50] Donna: Why did I land there?
[00:09:51] Kris: into the spam.
[00:09:54] Donna: absolutely. So yeah, definitely think, consider that subject line, because that is often what will flick it to spam and we don’t want that.
[00:10:03] Kris: No, we don’t want that. So you can see how important it is to follow up. And sometimes clients will just be really busy too. We’ve talked about this on previous podcasts. Don’t assume that they hate you or they don’t like the proposal or whatever. Sometimes they have just got a lot going on and following up is not annoying. So if you’ve got crickets, follow up and don’t leave it too long, I think some people were like, Ooh, I better wait a week. I better wait. Oh, it’s been 10 days. Maybe now I can contact them. No, do it sooner. Contact them after two days. Say, how you go? Did you get it? Contact them if you don’t hear from them again, just say you’ve rung them and it’s gone to voicemail, or, it’s gone to messages or if you’ve sent them an email and you haven’t had a response back, follow up again in another couple of days. Do not leave it too long and don’t see it as annoying. It’s caring. You’re caring and looking out for them. Yeah,
[00:10:58] Donna: Yeah, it’s nurture. So we have a beautiful process that we use to follow up, and that is in 48 hours. If we haven’t heard anything back, and this is proposals or design concepts or, or whatever. If you’ve sent an email, this goes across the board and you are expecting a response, in 48 hours, send an email out saying hello, beautiful client. Just checking in that you received my email, sent on this date and pop the date in there and wanting to see if you have any questions and then send that off. And it’s short and it’s sweet. And it’s another touch point. And then at the end of that week, so another three days after that, if there is still no word, still hearing crickets, that’s when we recommend you get on the phone. So that’s, first an email follow-up and secondly a phone follow-up and that phone follow-up then says, hello, I’m just checking that you have received my emails. I sent an email on this day, and then again, on this day, just checking that they didn’t land in spam and wanting to check in to see if you’ve got any questions. So at that point, you should have established exactly what’s going on and where, where your email is. It could be that they’re just very busy. It could be that it went into spam, but what’s essential is that follow-up and having a system built into your business, that gives you that permission to follow up in 48 hours and then again, at the end of the week or, or another 48 hours or another three days, whatever it is.
[00:12:23] Kris: So some of you might have international clients and you might not be on a phone basis with them. It might be other means of communication. But what we recommend in that situation is just mix up the communication. So if you’ve been emailing, try a different form of communication, like a DM into Instagram, because it might be just that your emails keep on going into spam. So they’re not getting the follow up emails. So that could be an issue. And so when do you give up, when do you give up on the client?
[00:12:50] Donna: So I think at the end of the two week mark, if you are still hearing crickets, it’s time to put that one to bed, just shelve it and let it go. And at that point we write our final email where we write hello, beautiful soul. As I haven’t heard from you I will now put this particular proposal, this particular thing, whatever it is on pause until I hear back from you.
[00:13:14] Kris: You could even say because I haven’t heard from you, I’m assuming you’re not interested in pursuing the project at this stage. I’m here for you if you change your mind or if your situation changes, something like that. So keep it really simple and sweet, but let them know that this is going to be filed from your end.
[00:13:34] Donna: It’s done. We’re putting this one to bed. That’s it? That’s, that’s all you have to do. And the other thing is if you have different systems in place like Dubsado, a system where you can actually put an expiry on a proposal, you can say this particular quote expires in three days. So that is a beautiful gatekeeper and it, and it lets them know, okay, I’ve got three days for this to happen.
[00:13:57] Kris: Yeah, you can set things up on autopilot. So reminder emails, reminder. So it’s automated. Reminder, this quote is going to expire and it’s hands off from you. You don’t have to think about pressing the button. It’ll just happen automatically. Hmm.
[00:14:13] Donna: So that’s it. In a nutshell, we get out ahead of it. At the beginning, we let our clients know that we will be touching base with them on a particular date, so they can expect that. But even prior to that, we’re nurturing them. So they’re expecting this proposal. Then once we’ve sent it, we wait those two days, send them an email. Then after another two or three days, we mix up our communication, whether it be a phone call or a DM, just in case it’s gone to spam. And then at the end of the two week mark, if there are still crickets. We put ourselves first, we write that last little email where you say you’re shelving it or putting it on pause, and that’s pretty much it. Now, the other thing that we did chat about just now are those subject lines, making sure you avoid words and phrases like cost and things like that in your proposal subject lines, so that you are making sure it doesn’t hit the spam, the best that you can. Yeah.
[00:15:08] Kris: A business coach that I had early on in business said, no now doesn’t mean no forever. And I’ve always thought about that as well, because it could be that they really wanted to work with you. Maybe they’re embarrassed to say I can’t afford it now or something’s come up. So hopefully they’re part of your email nurture sequence and that they’ve, they’ve entered in through your, your beautiful lead magnet or whatever you’ve got on your website. And that they’ll be hearing from you regularly anyway, through your regular touch points that you’ve got. So you’ll be on their radar anyway, moving forward. And you never know in six months time, 12 months time, things may change. So don’t lose hope. No now doesn’t mean no forever.
[00:15:49] Donna: Absolutely. Okay. That brings us to the end. So thank you so much for your time and sharing your time with us whilst listening to this podcast, have a beautiful week.
[00:15:58] Kris: okay, bye.
[00:15:59] Donna: Bye.
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