Entrepreneurs, freelancers and sales staff know the following scenario very well: You have received an inquiry and sent a corresponding offer, but do not receive any feedback. In fact, it is not uncommon for (potential) customers to drop out even though the deal seemed within your grasp. In such a case, however, you do not have to admit defeat immediately. The solution: Follow up the offer in a beneficial way. In this article you will get some tips on how to proceed unobtrusively but effectively.
What causes a customer not to contact me?
Only if you know why a customer does not respond can you react appropriately. A not so rare and very annoying reason for this is that the interested party did not receive the offer at all. In this case, the situation can be quickly clarified by telephone and you have a good chance of reaching a conclusion after the offer has been sent again.
Furthermore, it is quite possible that the (potential) customer is waiting for you to follow up your offer. This makes it especially easy for you.
However, your prospective customer may also not have contacted you due to open questions or dissatisfaction with the current offer. It is best to use such factors to start a conversation and to reduce concerns with arguments.
If things are going very badly, the (possible) customer has given the order to another provider. But even then it is worthwhile to follow up the offer. This way you can get feedback, which sometimes helps you to improve your services as a whole.
If the circumstances of the interested party have changed, which means that your services are no longer needed, you should still stay tuned. If you follow up at a later date, there may be a need again.
Ask the right questions when following up
Announce the follow-up already during the offer preparation
Discuss directly with your prospective buyer how long he/she will need for the evaluation of the offer. Then announce that you will contact them a few days after this time to discuss everything else. Such a procedure ensures that your (potential) customer does not feel taken by surprise, and it also creates a commitment. In this way you increase the probability that your potential customer will seriously consider your offer.
You should know that a follow-up is perfectly fine. After all, you have invested time and effort in your offer and announced your demand (at best) in advance. Therefore your (potential) customer even expects to hear from you. So you have every reason to approach them in a relaxed and self-confident manner and do not have to see yourself as a supplicant.
Submit your offer personally
If possible, you should not follow up by e-mail, but personally by phone. The reason for this is simply that the inhibition threshold for refusing a written communication is always lower. In addition, the telephone offers the opportunity to react directly to any objections and to communicate alternatives.
Offer solutions in case of uncertainty
Sometimes you notice in a conversation that an interested party at some point is not convinced or uncertain of your offer. In such a case, try to find a solution. It is very important to ask open questions which lead to a relaxed dialogue. Speak bluntly about what your (potential) customer thinks about your offer or what he might still be missing to get the contract awarded to you. Align your questions skilfully and lead your interlocutor subtly to the perfect solution for both parties.
Know your prospect
When communicating around the offer preparation and follow-up, it can be extremely useful to know exactly how your prospective customer is ticking and what he really needs. You can obtain this information from direct contacts, but also from the website of the (potential) customer and other online channels that may be used. Store this data together with the current offer and also perhaps previous offers in a contact manager so that you can access it quickly when you need it.
When should you follow up on an offer?
Opinions differ as to the right time to follow up an offer. Sometimes it is said to be up to 14 days after submission of the offer, in other cases it is seven days. In fact, there is no general time span that can be mentioned here. For example, often complex B2B services, which are typically associated with a high investment, usually require a relatively long period of consideration.
Therefore, you should make an appointment with the prospective customer to follow up on your offer. If your assessment here is unfavourable for the (potential) customer, they will inform you immediately, thus avoiding misunderstandings. A short inquiry whether the offer has been received can also be useful after one or two days.
Do you need more information about strategically wise follow-up of offers and would you like to know in detail how a customer management system can help you? Please feel free to contact us. Furthermore, register for brolio Contact Manager right away. It is free of charge.