February 27, 2018

How Do You Follow Up on Quotes?

By Paul Bieber

Here are your options:

  1. I’m too busy to follow up. I’ve got all the business I need.
  2. When it starts to get quiet I will pull out that quote file and call to see what is still open.
  3. I will try to follow up on certain key jobs that fit our company’s skills.
  4. I will follow up personally with a phone call or visit on every quote over a certain value.
  5. I have a super sales person who will follow up every commercial and/or residential quote.
  6. And so on.

Number one will be out of business with the next turn down in the economy.

Number two may survive, but unless the owner is really on top of things, he will be calling after the jobs have been given out.

Number three is the winner, if you delete the words “try to”. This owner doesn’t go after everything in the marketplace. She knows what her team does well, where she makes a buck or two and keeps her crew busy well into the future.

Number four is great on the surface, but if the owner chases every quote, how does he have time to manage the work he gets. So scratch number four and go to:

Number five. This is a sure win for your company. Maybe you take the larger quotes or the jobs where you know the architects or the general contractor and leave the others to your sales person, or sales team. If you have a good support staff in your office, let one of the crew do the residential follow-ups within one day of giving the quote. Most residential jobs go quickly. Be the first one to call back.

Better yet, ask for the order while giving the quote. Be slightly pushy, but not overbearing. After giving the quote number, ask if this is OK, and then ask when they would like you to start. Don’t use, for heaven’s sake, “We have a 10-percent sale today; place your order right now to save money.”

If someone needs a repair job, and the cold air is rushing in, they will give the job to the first person who actually answers a phone. If you say your estimator is out right now, by the time you hang up they are calling the next name taken from the web or the yellow pages.

To earn the customer’s phone call, you need both a web presence and an ad in the local yellow pages. And a friendly and knowledgeable person on the phone. Have these steps in place and your business will grow.