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Do you follow up?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by alex360, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. columbo

    columbo UKBF Regular Free Member

    327 72
    First of all, I'm with Clinton here. I hate pushy companies.

    But here is the other side of the coin.

    I often do follow up calls on customers, who I suspect went with a competitor's offering, only to discover that the initial price which my competitors quoted over the phone / email has now more than doubled! Needless to day, they are not happy about this and are very willing to switch over. I've won loads of new business this way. Interesting, a lot of these are not switching over on a primarily monetary motive but simply because they feel cheated and conned by bait and switch tactics.

    I ONLY discover this by doing a follow up call 7 to 10 days later.

    But aside from winning new business by following up, you also gain INVALUABLE market research. For example, I ask them in nice chatty tone "why did you decide to go with competitor X?" The answers give you more insight into your market than any commissioned 50K market research report.

    However, we only follow up in cases where the customer is of good quality. Bargain basement shoppers, coupon-clippers, Groupon users - no thanks, not worth the hassle.
    Posted: Dec 17, 2017 By: columbo Member since: Jan 27, 2013
  2. JamieM

    JamieM UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,262 341
    I agree with you Alex. Follow up is very important in my business and usually we are thanked for it.
    Posted: Dec 17, 2017 By: JamieM Member since: Mar 22, 2006
  3. columbo

    columbo UKBF Regular Free Member

    327 72
    This is response of most customers I notice. They are genuinely thankful that you did not drop their case and forgot about them.
    Posted: Dec 17, 2017 By: columbo Member since: Jan 27, 2013
  4. ffox

    ffox UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,145 200
    Posted: Dec 17, 2017 By: ffox Member since: Mar 11, 2004
  5. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    2,296 622
    I always follow up credible leads, and continue to do so until the prospect asks me not to

    I have lots of evidence that it pays off and have even had customers thank me for my ‘reminders’.

    If people are fortunate enough not to need to- lucky them!
    Posted: Dec 18, 2017 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  6. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,337 8,652
    I suppose a lot depends on what you are selling and to whom.
    Posted: Dec 18, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  7. Dave Sutton

    Dave Sutton UKBF Contributor Free Member

    62 13
    In IT sales, I have conducted many follow-up calls in the past with prospects, but I always agree with them when a good time to follow-up a potential project might be. Often I would quote projects that are months away from coming to fruition and often in a highly-competitive market, we would get forgotten about.

    Often it's not the quality of our service (or necessarily our price or pitch) that would win the deal - it's the main vendor's product/service that they know they want and the provider that delivers it isn't always necessarily the be all and end all to the client. By well-timing my follow-up calls, I was able to check-in with the client on potential changes to the project requirements, keep a quote up to date and discover if we needed to offer any competitive benefits to close the deal. Following-up more than once a month or so (for something long-term like that) would be a waste and become an annoyance to the client.

    However there were times when I had given someone a bit more room and left them alone or not been able to get hold of them, and discovered they went with a competitor who happened to nudge them at the right moment!
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: Dave Sutton Member since: Dec 4, 2017
  8. columbo

    columbo UKBF Regular Free Member

    327 72
    This accurately reflects reality but is rarely given enough emphasis in sales or marketing books.

    As a matter of interest, how do you deal with the prospective clients who are perpetually on voicemail?
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: columbo Member since: Jan 27, 2013
  9. DavidWH

    DavidWH UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    1,185 212
    We did/do, and will be doing so more regularly in the new year.

    For us, we're usually not that important to the customer. They want to paint their shop, furnish it really nice, and the sign is often an afterthought. Same with vehicles, they can drive it about and work without it being sign written so it's not a high priority.

    We send quotes, and we make a call to check they've received it, as it's all e-mail now. This usually opens a bit of a dialect about pricing etc. There are too many variables, so an alternative quote often is like for like, and we can get a second bit at the cherry, or accept it's a good price and it's not worth us doing, and we move on to the next job.

    Same when we send artwork and proofs, we need to keep the wheels in motion, otherwise it goes cold and it's forgotten about.

    We now take a deposit ASAP, as it usually concentrates their mind. Number of missed appointments since taking deposits... zero.
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: DavidWH Member since: Feb 15, 2011
  10. Dave Sutton

    Dave Sutton UKBF Contributor Free Member

    62 13
    That's a tough one, again not wanting to bother them too much with too many messages. I'd leave one message, drop an email maybe the next day if you've not heard back - just advising you're trying to reach out as you'd agreed a few weeks back. Also a good practice is to try and connect on LinkedIn within a few days after meeting the person the first time. Not a good place to follow-up on leads necessarily as it's a bit too in-your-face, but another tool to help people remember you and build a personal connection.
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: Dave Sutton Member since: Dec 4, 2017
  11. alex360

    alex360 UKBF Regular Free Member

    110 11
    There are businesses we remember because their are here on the front of us to remind us we they are here but they are doing it a none pushy way
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: alex360 Member since: Nov 14, 2017
  12. David Ross Digital

    David Ross Digital UKBF Contributor Full Member

    39 4
    I think this is the nub of it. You have to judge each lead on a case by case basis. I've had people specifically ask me to keep chasing them in the past.
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: David Ross Digital Member since: Nov 16, 2016
  13. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    29,337 8,652
    I wanted a quote for some building work. I got the quote and was considering using the company but I then started getting daily follow up emails. They were automated and added no value. As a result they lost the contract. The company that did get the contract told me in the quote they would be in contact to discuss details. The owner called me a few days later, we confirmed a few details and they got the job. It's not the follow up itself, it's how the business conducts itself. Anyone who uses automated software to generate emails and texts is going to fail more often than it succeeds.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  14. columbo

    columbo UKBF Regular Free Member

    327 72
    Great example from @fisicx of a company that uses marketing automation tools but failing to understand the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: columbo Member since: Jan 27, 2013
  15. Dave Sutton

    Dave Sutton UKBF Contributor Free Member

    62 13
    Yes super annoying! I've had similar with Xero - currently running a trial of the software and the 'Account Manager' keeps sending emails out, which are quite clearly automated. When I reply asking him about a problem I get 'Xero' response!
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: Dave Sutton Member since: Dec 4, 2017
  16. Office Mover

    Office Mover UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 0
    Look, no offence, but I do find this Pigeon English tiresome.('I thought I post this to hopefully help some of you. I work with a lots clients') Is it because of texting on phones? Anyway, of course its a good idea to follow up a quote to make sure its been received and to ask if all the details are in there, however I agree that anymore can be annoying to any prospect. Have a good Christmas everyone!
    Posted: Dec 21, 2017 By: Office Mover Member since: Oct 24, 2017
  17. martin_copify

    martin_copify UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 0
    Business is like dating, if you have to chase too much, it's probably not going to have a happy ending for you!

    As others have rightly said - focus on building a no-brainer of a product/service and if you have a steady flow of leads coming in + a decent retention rate, eventually you won't have to worry about following up.
    Posted: Dec 28, 2017 By: martin_copify Member since: Jul 5, 2013
  18. columbo

    columbo UKBF Regular Free Member

    327 72
    I always get worried when businesses get too comfortable.

    These customers who defect can often provide vital information of tiny changes that are happening in the marketplace. Has a new competitor arrived? has an existing competitor brought out a new product / service which you knew knowing about? Are your customers substituting another product or service for yours? So I'm not suggesting following up every single lead - but sometimes customers will give you FREE information about your market which can feed nicely into your business strategy / marketing plan. This information can be often 2 years ahead of anything written by some hack in the Financial Times or in a trade publication etc., Knowledge is power an all that...
    Posted: Dec 28, 2017 By: columbo Member since: Jan 27, 2013
  19. Thatisthequestion

    Thatisthequestion UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    Very interesting to read every ones posts on this.
    In my line of business, I find the best way to increase successful leads is by following up once, possibly twice depending on the client. If we are unsuccessful, I normally ask a few questions to see if we're doing something wrong and take any feedback as a chance to improve.
    Posted: Jan 3, 2018 By: Thatisthequestion Member since: Jan 2, 2018
  20. KindaichiShota

    KindaichiShota UKBF Contributor Free Member

    28 5
    Followup is a good way but sometime multiple follow up can cause harassment to others. Few clients might not like too much follow up so 1 or 2 is fine.
    Posted: Jan 29, 2018 By: KindaichiShota Member since: Nov 8, 2017