Four sales pros share their secrets on changing proposals.
Dann Ilicic, Wow Branding We usually accommodate these requests; proposals are rarely perfect. Sometimes, if the clients are uncomfortable, we'll ask them to take smaller steps than what we've proposed. For example, we'll do a brand workshop with them for free, and if they don't get value out of it, they don't pay, and we both walk away.
Peter Click, Click Wine Group If it's feedback on the label, we listen. If their retailers aren't selling something, they'll have a reason why, and if we hear it often enough, we'll change it.
Selina Lo, Ruckus Wireless I dive down to see why they need what they ask for. I would know whether it's something that's in our plan or not, whether it's doable or not. You offer alternatives; if they feel there's no alternative, then it's just a business decision: Is this business worth your doing something out of the ordinary for this customer?
Tom Szaky, Terracycle We tell them the rules of our product development: It has to be made and packaged out of waste, it has to work better than competitors' products, and it has to be priced well. If they have an idea that works within those constraints, we'll do it, hands down. We'll make almost any change for a large retailer. For small retailers, we unfortunately can't afford it, but I never just say no. I say, For us to change a label will cost this, and if you order a truckload, we can consider it, but if you can't, we can't. The important thing is to give a reason, and then they understand.