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This is NOT what business development looks like
24 October 2016, by , in Rants and Kudos, 3 comments

A client of mine wanted to send an RFP for redesign of their website to a design company I had not previously worked with. Because I had no contacts there, I used their online form, which included a category for “new business” and submitted my name and some details, in order to find out who I should be working with.

A week passed with no response. I submitted another form. A week more, and no response.

So I called the company. Naturally, no human answered the phone, but I was able to talk to someone who told me she was in charge of business development. I got her email and sent her the RFP, asking her to confirm receipt. I received no response.

I sent two more emails over the next two weeks, with no response.

I called an left a voice mail (naturally, because no humans answer their phones) in the woman’s voice mail box. No response.

And she is in charge of business development.

At any point during this process she could have emailed me or called and said “Thanks, but we’re not interested.” Instead I’m met with complete silence, wondering whether she ever got my voice mails or emails.

So how about you and your organization? Do you answer all calls and emails? Do you have a human answering phones, or do you send your members and customers into voice mail hell? And do you tell your vendors when you’re not interested in doing work with them, as a simple matter of courtesy?

Because I can tell you, what I just experience is NOT what business development looks like.

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  • Marianne Rhett

    Perhaps, they are savvy enough to know, consultants only elongate the sales cycle combined with adding no value.

    • Wes Trochlil

      Perhaps. But how would I know that? Common courtesy would suggest they tell me “We don’t work with consultants” or “We don’t respond to RFPs.” Even a simple “Thanks, but not thanks” would do. What’s the point of having a form on your website if you don’t reply to it?

  • Again, ouch! I don’t agree that consultants elongate the sales cycle, it has been my experience that they often shorten it, and remove often ineffective steps. On the business development example, I would be curious to hear the other side of the story, since there usually is one.

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