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Business Growth Through Lost Proposals? Yes You Can!


As small business accountants and advisors we often ask clients how they are travelling when it comes to winning new business. After all if they want to get business growth and great cash flow then they need to test and measure. Gazelles Institute who we use for accessing tools such as the One Page Strategic Plan recently posted a very good article by Caryn Kopp. In her post she talks about what happens if you don't win a proposal and what your next steps should be. Here are the 4 key things you should do.

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Figure 1: Resurrecting a 'lost deal' will see a few fist pumps in your office!

1. Follow Up & If No "Is It Signed?"

Hopefully with any proposal you will have a system in place to follow up. If you have been told that you have been unsuccessful, Caryn states that you should ask if the contract has been signed yet. If the answer is "No", have a list of reasons why they should reconsider their decision. This won't always work but it does in fact occasionally happen.

2. Keep The Door Open With Warning Signs

If the prospect has signed and it can't be changed, offer to give them a call in about a month to see how it is going. Give them some warning signs to look for that might indicate the contract is not going so well. Offer to step in and help if the opportunity arises.

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Figure 2: You probably shouldn't be as direct as Dirty Harry but politely asking questions after a decision has been made may create some doubt with their choice. Keep the door open.

3. Can We Work Together On Something Else?

If the answer is "No" for the initial proposal, don't be afraid to ask if you could work with the prospect in other areas. Ask "How can we work together?" and let the prospect talk. You will be amazed at the amount of times they might provide you with an opportunity on another project.

4. Anybody Else?

Asking if the prospect might know somebody else who would be looking for your services is always worth a go. Asking for an email introduction might be forthcoming.

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Figure 3: What goes around comes around. Don't be frightened to ask if they might know of someone who can use your products or services. Scolari Comerford Small Business Accountants Sydney & Dubbo


Rejection is both disappointing and tough to swallow but the last thing you should do is run away and sulk. How do you and your sales team handle rejection? Do you try any of the above suggestions? When performing your cash flow forecasts and three way budget with your small business accountant Sydney and Dubbo, factor in a small increase in business projects won using the above techniques.

At worst give these points a shot and keep track of results. Getting out of your comfort zone is the first step to massive business growth and will be great for your character and your bank balance!

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