If you want to grow and improve your business, follow up on your quotes. It is a simple, but straight forward rule for the health – and wealth – of your business.
If you have gone to all the trouble of inspecting a problem, doing up a quote and sending it to a customer there is only one job left to do – and that is following up with a simple phone call. Nowadays, customers might even contact you from a social website or text, so if that is their preferred method of contact, a follow up might only take 30 seconds. The result could be a no, or better yet – it could be hours of paid labour for your business and more work for you generated through the referrals they give.
Remembering who called you for a quote can be difficult when you have lots of customers. So do not leave it to chance that you will remember, instead take notes on the job you are quoting for, as this will help with your follow up conversations.
Here are some reasons potential customers have not come back to you following your quote, and some advice for how to deal with what they say.
- They forgot about it. Most often, it is likely they forgot you provided them with a quote. Genuine customers often want that job started, but they get busy and having ticked off a job on their list (by asking for quotes in the first place), they forget to respond to the next step. If you quoted them by phone, they might have misplaced their notes, or if you sent them an email, that email might have moved down their inbox and therefore out of their mind. Follow them up with a phone call, text message or an email. This might job their memory and result in them accepting the quote straight away.
- Their quote was out of their budget. Yes, there are time wasters and bargain hunters, but some customers may genuinely not have the money right now, especially if they did not have an expectation about how much the job would cost. If you do not follow up, you will not learn more about the individual customer’s situation. They may tell you what the problem is and you may be able to devise an alternative solution or provide them more information that helps them say yes to your services later.
- They did not receive the quote. It happens all the time that email gets lost in the junk folder, or they may have simply misplaced it. A simple phone call or text message to check they have got the quote, and whether they are going forward with it, can easily solve this issue.
- They chose someone else. Perhaps another business beat you to the chase, by following up on their quote. People are likely to choose a few places to quote them after all. Maybe they chose your competitor because they had customer service that appealed to them, or because they got a better price, or they wanted to go with the company they knew of.
Most trade business owners think that price is a key factor in choice, however while it certainly plays a part, you will find most people pride reliability, quality service and good customer service more.
The best way to gain trust is to establish a relationship prior to starting a job, when you can answer the customer’s questions and reassure them you are best suited to the task. Following up on quotes also demonstrates your business acumen.
Implement a follow up process
Increase your chances of winning the job by simply not waiting for a customer to come back to you. Always follow up. Here is a simple process for following up quotes that are not emergencies:
- Keep a record of quotes being sent out and have a follow-up schedule.
- When giving a quote, inform all potential customers that you will follow up with them afterward. It is a good idea to ask them when they are generally better placed to take calls, as there is no point calling when they are usually on jobs.
- Within 24 hours of sending a customer a quote, follow up with them. It only takes a few minutes.
- If you have not received a “hard no” from them follow up again at seven days, and then at two weeks. In order not to appear pushy always have a reason for your call – perhaps it is to tell them about new equipment that came in, or that a job finished earlier, and you are free for their job earlier now, or tell them about a job you recently finished that they may like to go have a look at, for example.
- If at two weeks they are still indecisive put them on a longer-term follow up list to contact in a month or two.
- Still not ready? Ask them when you should check in with them again. They might be better placed at a later stage to do the work they require.
- At any stage during this process, if you have an email marketing strategy or social media page where you post updates and tips, ask if they would be interested in following you/signing up. The more opportunities you provide to communicate with them and showcase your business, the more likely you will be front of mind next time they need a job done.
Following up is a way of communicating and communication is the key to running any business. If you actively engage with your customers or potential customers your sales are likely to increase. Consider getting CRM software, which stands for Customer Relationship Management software, to help you keep track of clients and the quotes you provide.
How we can help
At Trade Advisory Group, we can help your business grow, by not only offering strategies for following up quotes, but by becoming a business partner and assisting your other initiatives that grow and generate more jobs. Call us on 07 3607 6348 or email email@example.com to organise a confidential, no-obligation conversation.