Do you always phone clients after you’ve sent out a quote? No? Then you could be losing out on business. Let’s look at why we would let this happen.
You get a call from a potential new customer. Maybe they’ve seen your special offer on the door drop, maybe they picked up a flyer from your stand at a show or maybe you met them in a networking event. They like the sound of what you do and they ask you for a quote. So far so good.
You’ve invested money in marketing and advertising, the door drop, the event or the networking and out of it you have a lead. That lead could result in a sale. That’s why we spend money on marketing and advertising right? We want more business. So you set about preparing the quote. Maybe you talk to the person on the phone, maybe you go out to their home or workplace, either way you’re investing time in developing a relationship with that person in the hope that they will become a customer.
Yours May Not Be The Only Quote
Your prospective customer may well also be talking to other suppliers. Yours may not be the only quote for the job. Anyone who is buying on behalf of a company is going to be interested in getting the best price for the job but they also need to know the job will be completed competently and that there are sufficient guarantees or after sales service to ensure future satisfaction. They will naturally shop around.
The Prospective Customer Doesn’t Call You So You Haven’t Got The Job, Right? Not necessarily. The prospective customer hasn’t called you. It might be that they don’t want to use your company but it might be for a whole range of other reasons, such as:
1. They never received your email because their server thought it was junk mail and binned it before it ever reached their email programme.
2. They didn’t hear from you and thought you weren’t that interested.
3. They tried to call you and got your answerphone or worse the phone just rang and rang.
4. They left a message for you but you didn’t return the call (maybe you never got the message).
5. They went on holiday and on their return had to deal with 600 emails waiting for them. Your quote was not dealt with before and has now been buried by all the other emails.
6. Their computer crashed and they lost your email and with it all your contact details.
7. They received several quotes and one of your competitors was on the phone 2 days later talking to the client and answering their queries. The client went with this supplier.
8. They decided to postpone the job for 2 months.
9. They decided that they want to scale down or scale up the job but hasn’t got round to talking to you about it yet because they aren’t clear in their mind what they want to do.
10. They need to get agreement from managers who are hard to pin down.
11. The quote has made them realise that other activities need to be carried out first.
12. They are very busy and although they want to go ahead they haven’t contacted you yet.
13. They want to negotiate a better price but are waiting to hear from you.
What Have You Got To Lose?
If you don’t hear from a client and you don’t phone you definitely haven’t got the job. If you follow up the quote with a phone call, you might still get a “no” but there’s a good chance that you can resolve many of the above issues and get a “yes”. In summary you have nothing to lose by following up. The worst that can happen is you’ll still get a no. Best case scenario you’ll get a “yes”, second best you’ll get a “not now, but later”. Then you can make a note in your diary to follow up again at the agreed time.
How soon should you follow up?
A good rule of thumb is within 2-5 days of when the person receives your quote.
What do you say in a follow up call?
An easy opening way is to ring and check that the person has received your quote. You’d be amazed how often the answer will be no. Email is wonderful when it works but as we all know, emails can go astray.
If you re-send a quote, remember to make a note to follow that up a few days after you sent it.
If they have received it, the best advice is to ask questions.
Then don’t forget to ask the most important question.
Would you like us to do the work for you?
In response to a direct question most people will give you a straight answer. If you get a “no” you can accept graciously and then ask if they mind telling you why.
If they have gone with a cheaper supplier you can ask if they are sure this is for a like for like service or product. Does the other supplier offer the same guarantees? Even if it is still a no, you can then do some research into your competition to see if you are offering a better service. If you are, you need to highlight this in your next quote.
So do your self a favour, maximise your investment in marketing and advertising and pick up the phone after you’ve sent out a quote.
Member since: 10th July 2012
I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Carmarthenshire. This was launched in Carmarthen town in June 2008, to support the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing....