There are many stages to the sales process, no matter what industry you work within. It's often much more convoluted than what it initially appears to be; simply cold calling potential customers over and over again is not enough to drive new business in a sustainable direction. Instead, your sales process needs to be more strategic, including taking the time to follow up on any outstanding quotes you've submitted.
If you don't already do so, here are three great reasons why you should start to follow up on your quotes today:
Don't Let Your Hard Work Go To Waste:
By following up, you give yourself and the buyer a chance to dispel any misunderstandings regarding your quote.
Arguably the hardest part of new business is contacting 'cold' companies - that is, companies you've never spoken to before - and persuading them to allow you to quote for a project. If you contact such a company and they extend a project for you to quote on, then your hard work in getting to that stage will go to waste if you fail to follow up.
For all you know, your potential new client could be on the brink of placing the work with you and may simply need to discuss the finer details of the project before moving forward. Or they may have a few questions that they need answering before committing to working with you.
By following up, you give yourself and the buyer a chance to dispel any misunderstandings regarding your quote. They may be unaware of a particular service you can offer that would help to sway their decision, such as a KAN-BAN solution, for instance. Or they may be unaware of the value-adds within your quote that make it good value for money. These sorts of disparities at an early stage of a professional relationship can stop it from ever progressing - after all, if a buyer has not previously worked with you, they will not be fully aware of what you can offer.
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Get Valuable Feedback:
If you do not gain an understanding of what you're doing right and what needs to be worked upon, then you'll be destined to repeat the same mistakes.
Few situations allow you to get better feedback than by following up on your quotes. If you do not gain an understanding of what you're doing right and what needs to be worked upon, then you'll be destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
Remember, the quoting process is fluid, meaning that what works for one buyer may not necessarily work for another. Individual companies and people have different priorities and without learning what these are, you will be unable to tailor your quote accordingly the next time around. Ideally you will have gained something of an understanding by speaking with the buyer before quoting, but you may find out that the company who won the work was able to offer a particular service or solution that may also be feasible for your business.
These kinds of conversations can also really help to steer your business's direction over time. You may identify a gap in the market, or gain insight into your competitor's advantages. This will help you to invest in the right areas and evolve your company in a way that supports your future business efforts.
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Create a Positive Impression & Start To Build Rapport:
Even if you don't win the buyer's business, a simple conversation about your quote will help to build a rapport.
The act of following up on your quotes paints your company as a professional business that cares about its clients. It shows the buyer that they can expect clear communication if they decide to work with you. Placing business with a new supplier is always a leap of faith, but every buyer wants their suppliers to be open and forthcoming - following up helps to demonstrate this skill early on in the relationship.
Even if you don't win the buyer's business, a simple conversation about your quote will help to build a rapport, which will stand you in good stead the next time you talk to them about new business. It's also good to bear in mind that a single project is often the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the overall scope of work that a buyer outsources - they may identify and extend an alternative project that is better suited to your capabilities.
Email communication has its merits, but telephone conversations are always the best way to build rapport with a new client. Finding out the buyer's likes and dislikes helps you to relate and communicate with them on a more personal level - after all, we're all human and it's always good to be treated as such. The importance of good account management can never be understated within the context of sales and new business; following up on your quotes is the first step in making sure that a buyer feels reassured and valued.
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For more sales tips and advice, please call Qimtek on 01256 394 500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.