It’s a known fact that contractors who consistently follow up their quotations win more projects than their competitors that don’t. However, mastering the art of effective follow up is a challenge.
You may have quoted for a project and the client may have even expressed an interest, but after that initial conversation that person disappears! You leave a few voice mail messages and send a couple of emails but get no response. Not wanting to be perceived as a pest you move onto other opportunities.
First, let’s share some ideas why people don’t return your calls and emails.
They are simply too busy. That’s right.
Decision makers are extremely busy people and the average corporate executive has at least 40 hours of unfinished work on their desk at any one time. So you can see that they are seldom likely to respond to anything that isn’t urgent or important.
Here are five strategies that you can use to improve your follow up process and win more contracts in 2014!
1. Deal with the right person
The most essential check is that you are dealing with the right person. It sounds obvious, but so often a lot of time can be wasted following through with someone who ultimately cannot make the decision.
2. Agree the follow-up
A powerful strategy is to agree the next follow-up during every conversation. You can do this by simply saying, “It seems like we need to talk further regarding this project. Would next Wednesday at 9:30 work for you?” Pinpointing a specific time in the day is critical to increasing your success levels.
3. Develop a plan
You can’t simply keep calling and saying “Hello, I’m calling to see if you have made a decision yet.” That approach simply is not going to get you very far.
Remember that tender processes can be long winded with unexpected issues, internal politics and design changes all of which further delay the decision making day. So you need to keep your name on your prospective client’s radar.
A well thought out plan of attack to keep in touch is required. Ensure that you use a range of approaches and methods and you will increase your chances of success.
4. Use different methods
Don’t simply rely on only email or telephone to keep in contact with busy decision makers. Consider using a variety of tactics and methods including texting, social media and even in some cases the post can be very effective even in today’s technology driven world.
5. Become a resource
Knowing that you are dealing with a busy person, become a resource for them. Find out what challenges they are facing and help to solve their problems. If you become someone that they can’t do without, think about how your chances of winning the contract will massively increase.
So the last question is how often should you follow-up, how much is too much?
There is no definitive answer, however just bear in mind that the largest the opportunity, the more contact points you will need to make. Remember great follow-up requires thought, effort and energy. However the more consistent and effective you, the more contracts you will win in 2014.