Thursday, September 4, 2014

When is the last time you Reached Out?


Are you a business owner dreaming up ways to generate new leads? 


Are you sitting by the phone waiting for your next “dream project”?

Do you have a pipeline of existing leads that have yet to sign a contract??


If you've answered yes to any or all of the above, you are not alone!  Every business owner wants new leads, but new leads can’t be generated without following up on the existing ones.  Follow up is the #1 component to ANY sales process!  Too often we assume that because we did not hear back from a client, they just didn't like you or they went with someone else.  But how do you know for sure??  I call it the “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” Policy – if you don’t ask, the client sure as heck isn't going to tell you!

A client of mine recently called to tell me how she had been working with this particular client for a few months and then found out that she decided to go with another contractor. (It could have stopped here) My client decided to call the potential customer and see if she could take her to lunch and discuss why they decided not to go with her company.  The customer said I would love to, but I would like to take YOU out to lunch to say thank you for all the time you put in to the project. (HUH??) They went out to lunch and discussed all the reasons why and in this case, it was the customer getting a lower price for what she believed was the same project, but the customer could not be more grateful for my client and how she connected with her.  My client did talk to her about what she saw on the proposal as compared to what she was offering, but did not push the issue, thanked her for lunch and was on her way .  The next follow up will be in a couple months to see how the project is going and making sure she is still happy, or maybe needs some help.

This took no huge time out of my clients day (she does have to eat lunch, so where is the harm?) the customer took my client to lunch…to say thank you to her! And then in a couple months, another 10 minute call to see how she is doing.  The marketing that my client is doing with follow up is some of the best I’ve seen and it shows in the numbers and their sales this year!

So what can you do to ensure your existing leads don’t just disappear?

 
Get Back on Track!
Be sure to track every lead that comes to you and follow up with those
that may not commit right away. 

Simply using an excel spreadsheet to track these leads will help greatly in staying on track with who you are to follow up with.

If you Ask it, They will Tell you!
Asking the right questions is half the battle.  Did they find a lower price? 
Are they waiting for their income tax refund?  You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Make sure you have done everything in your power to contact them, whether it
be by email, phone or otherwise, so that their feedback may help you to better
close the next deal that comes along.

Get them to Commit…One way or Another!
If you think that a prospect isn’t going to hire you, there is no harm in following
up.  If they haven’t said “yes”, then get them to say “no” and move on.  In the case
of my client above, they got a free lunch out of the deal!

 
The lesson to be learned here, Be Proactive, Not Reactive, with each and every Client and Prospective Client you have!  -- You won’t be sorry, I promise!