How soon should I follow up on a quotation?

How soon should I follow up on a quotation?

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What is the best way to follow up after sending a customer a quotation?  I usually send a follow up email. What is the best wording for the email to get customers attention to be interested in using our services?

I am going to assume that the quotation was requested by the prospective customer, and was not an unsolicited quotation sent as part of a marketing strategy to generate leads. So the question is really around the best way to convert the prospect into a customer.

Every industry is different. In some industries, an email quote and follow up is sufficient. In other cases, you would need to schedule a face to face meeting to take the customer through the quote. To further complicate matters, every customer is different.

There is no magic formula to apply and you need to treat each case individually. But the common denominator is that you are asking your customer to part with hard earned cash, and you need to give them reason to part with it happily!

Let’s rewind…

You need to return to the point where you first identified the prospect’s needs – before the quote was sent – and ask yourself if you fully understood the exact needs of the customer.

  • If speed was the key criteria, then match that need by sending a quote through promptly and following up with a phone call, “to ensure we can deliver before your deadline”.
  • If it was quality, then match that need by emailing the quote with a testimonial from a happy, past or existing customer and offer samples or site visits to reassure them of quality.

If you have identified what is important to the customer, you can use these criteria when you follow up, to reinforce why your business is the best for the job.

Related: How to Avoid Bad Debt Clients

 

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Building rapport

Building rapport is critical in landing customers. It is a proven fact that personal touch is more effective at increasing your conversion rate, so an email may not always be the best solution. It is difficult to build a relationship in writing. Pick up the phone! Ask them:

  • Have you received the quote I sent through?
  • Is everything in order?
  • Is there anything else I can send you to assist in making your decision?
  • Can we go ahead with the paperwork?

Remember to take your cue from the customer. While some customers may appreciate the phone calls, a busy person who does not have time for small talk may prefer email correspondence. You need to read your customer well at the first encounter and adapt your style accordingly.

Related: Perhaps it’s Time to Re-look Your Sales Strategy

Showing value

Run them through the quote so that they understand the value being offered. By explaining and demonstrating the value that is not always visible in the quote, you reduce the most common email response of budget restraint. By asking questions you prompt communication.

After experiencing personalised attention to their needs, the odds of a prospect not buying will be considerably less, unless of course your product is simply not suitable.

Greg Mason
Greg Mason is the CEO of bizHQ – The Business Headquarters – and is one of the most experienced and acclaimed business and executive coaches in the country. He draws on his diverse experience in business, including accounting, HR, IT, strategy and business planning, change management, project management and programme management to assist businesses in identifying their business objectives and coaching them through a process to realise their potential.