Well, the results are in. You know, for THAT proposal, the one I stayed up all night working on. No, I seriously didn't do that (this time — I've learned my lesson), but still, I got my hopes up. A lot. More than I had realized. And then the e-mail bomb dropped:
"After my senior staff reviewed all of the proposals, they have decided to go a different direction for (project name).
I believe your proposal was a good introduction to my team and they will be in contact with you about future projects.
If you are ever in (city name) please let me know because I would love to set up an in-person meeting."
So, I didn't get the gig, and I was soooo right for it. They are right, square in the middle of my target market. A perfect fit. So, what happened? He sounds like he still likes me, and the fact that he notified me right away means there is some respect there for me as a human being. And, he's talking about the future, so I'm going to assume he's telling the truth and all hope is not lost.
After my stomach stopped turning, I wrote him back, thanking him for his time and for being conscientious enough to let me know so quickly. And then I asked him, point blank, why they didn't choose me. This is something I have never done in the past, and I am so glad I followed Ilise's advice on this, because I received VERY valuable information. I'm just not sure what to do with it at this point.
I received an IMMEDIATE email response. Their decision had to do with money and location. They chose to go with a firm located the next state over, which means whenever they have meetings, that firm's trip is only a train ride away, compared to my having to fly, with hotel accommodations and a food allowance.
I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with this one, especially since travel was never mentioned prior to the proposal. If I had known this were an issue, I would have addressed it in the proposal. Lesson learned! Long-distance solutions can become part of my proposal strategy for out-of-towners. But how to do that? That will take some creative thinking.
It certainly makes sense that long distance relationships take more time to develop and mature, and it makes sense to me why they would choose a firm that is closer in proximity.
Anyone have any similar experiences? What strategies do you have in place to handle long-distance relationship building with prospects who believe the best way to work is in person, face-to-face?
PAMELA SAXON helps those in arts and entertainment visually express themselves through integrated marketing, as well as helping them to get organized in their social media efforts. You can find her on Twitter, and on Facebook, or sign up for her newsletter here: www.saxondesign.com.
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