How Important Is Following Up?
We talk a lot about the importance of “follow-up”. Most commonly, we hear about it in networking groups as being vital to create a “know, like, & trust relationship” for sharing referrals. However, that’s not the “follow-up” I’m thinking about today. Instead, I’m thinking about “follow-up” with prospects after a proposal/quote has been delivered.
We work hard to book appointments. We do our absolute best to shine while demonstrating our expertise. We spend time crafting the best proposal/quote we can and then deliver it on time or better yet, before promised. The proposal/quote gets added to our tracking system and then we wait. The prospect acted so excited to begin working with us, so of course they will be watching closely for our proposal/quote and then yell “We accept. When can we get started?”
Meanwhile, we receive more phone calls, make more appointments, and continue crafting proposals/quotes, which we will also add to our tracking system. This cycle continues to repeat and our outstanding proposal/quote list continues to lengthen and shorten as some are accepted.
We get so busy with new proposals/quotes and performing the accepted work that we tend to forget about that outstanding list in our tracking system. This cycle will never be as profitable as it could be. Why? Because we are not following-up with our prospects. We continue to chase more work while forgetting to follow-up on those proposals/quotes we worked hard to craft. Our list then may turn into the “List of Missed Opportunities” and that translates to leaving money on the table.
If we want the business, we need to follow-up on that outstanding list. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. . .but are you actively following-up? We need to express that we want the business, we intend to deliver superior customer service by showing interest, and by being available to answer questions. As you’ve also heard before, if you don’t do these things, someone else will, right?
Here’s what I’ve learned (again, this is not a revelation or something you don’t already know):
1) Sometimes, emails never reach the intended recipient. I’ve seen where software has failed to send them, they got caught in a spam filter, or simply lost in cyberspace.
2) Our prospects have a life too. Often they get so busy and forget they received the proposal/quote or to review it.
3) The prospect responded they are ready to move forward, but we didn’t receive their mail (refer back to reasons in #1). They’ve been waiting for a response and might even be questioning our level of customer service or even if we want the work.
What’s the moral of this story? Follow-up on your outstanding proposal/quote list weekly. Prioritize time for the proposals/quotes you have already crafted, just as you prioritize the first appointment and performing the work.
Don’t get caught focusing more time on chasing new opportunities rather than capitalizing on the opportunities in your hands. Stop leaving money on the table!
Make it a profitable week and be well!