Do your call backs Folks! Rehash old leads...

April 27, 2011
Thumb_small_avatar25_1
Chicago
A Sale's never dead until you see your competitor installing it.

Recently I sent out an email blast to let people know I disconnected the toll free number. This blast went out to everyone and anyone who has ever requested an estimate from me. I automatically add them to my mailing list. (They have the option to remove themselves). From this blast several estimates I wrote in the past have contacted me about doing the work. The blast went out last week, and today an estimate I wrote in 2006 wants the work done plus, another whom we did work for in 2007 wants more work.

I am going to have my assistant doing re-hash phone calls on old estimates going back to the very first estimte I ever wrote. It'll be boring but I am promising him 3% of what ever he can re-hash. Point being you never know what you can be missing, half the work is done if you already did the measurements and wrote the estimate. It reminds me of what made me so successful when I was a full time employee for another company. Contantly staying in touch with my prospects.



Comments (3)

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  • Thumb_laci%20jane%20closeup
    EcoWise inc.almost 9 years ago

    Grumpy,
    This idea is gold. We recently signed a $83k project that was originally quoted 3 years ago.
    The homeowner took awhile to decide exactly what they wanted. By this time they just wanted to write a check and get the work done.
    Obviously this is not real common, but an $83k project with no lead costs? That is gold. OK, I realize that there were lead costs, but they were written off a couple years ago. Cost today = $0.

    Dan

  • Thumb_avatar25_1Author
    Grumpyalmost 9 years ago

    Exactly, things come up. The wife needs a new car. Little suzy needs braces. Life gets in the way. But if we stay in touch and remind the customer we are here eventually we bcome the only person they will turn to to do the work. This is especially true as time goes bye.

    It truly is worth an email or phone call on those rainy days. Don't be annoying, don't pester, but just a gentle reminder. Hey, here I am. Are you ready for a new roof, or what ever trade you work in?

  • Thumb_893b2435
    DamionRover 8 years ago

    This is UNBELIEVABLY Crucial. Until you track it, you never realize how much is hanging out there.

    Want a scary stat? One company I work with, while having the biggest sales numbers it's ever had 3 years in a row, had over $55 MILLION dollars in quotes that were not sold during that 3 year period. Ya think there's some business out there to be picked up?

    In most cases, we run our business like the old song "Love the one your with". That's fine and dandy, but it's not very effective.

    In the past (when lead flow was slim and we were super hungry), we had a very specific program for following up on leads we quoted but did not sell.

    The process basically flowed like this:

    1) Call the customer after X days of the estimate.
    2) Explain that you want to make sure they were happy with the appointment they had with our sales rep and ask them a few questions about the appointment.
    3) The questions we use are pretty simple. Was your rep on time? Did he answer your questions thoroughly? Did you feel the solution he recommended would solve the problem you are having? Etc.
    4) The next-to-last question is the money question. Is there anything else that our company could say or do that would make you comfortable with proceeding with the service?

    If the customer gives a specific answer, we acknowledge it, and ask if there is anything else. Repeat. Typically, the very last thing that they say will be the true reason they did not buy. In most cases, we narrow that down to the money.

    From there, we confirm that money was the only real thing that stopped them (nothing about the company, or the rep, or the service, etc.).

    Finally, we present an offer for a second appointment with a "higher up" manager/etc. To see if we can sharpen our pencil, give them the same work, same guarantee, with a better price.

    This can be a SUPER effective program if it's done properly. It can also be a bomb if you do it wrong.

    First, it can't sound like a canned sales pitch.

    Secondly, you have to have a legitimate, realistic reason for the second appointment - and get a mini-commitment from the customer that "if we could do XXXX... would you do XXXX)". If you just call and say "hey - if we give you a better price would you buy?" - you'll come off as a scummy sales company and will bring up the "Why didn't you give me that price to begin with" thoughts.

    Third, you have to realize that the call will not always go this way, and sometimes there isn't anywhere to go. For example, if it's a true condition that is preventing them from buying (There's a board meeting to discuss doing the project that has to happen first, for example) - you would sound like an idiot proceeding in this fashion. this is simply a timing issue.

    The other nice thing about this survey-style approach is that it lets you uncover other things that may be preventing the sale.

    Perhaps the customer just didn't "click" with your sales rep. Perhaps they didn't feel your recommendation was the best one for their wants/needs. Perhaps they didn't feel your company was qualified to do the job.

    These are all scenario's that do happen, and need to be approached in different ways.

    however, when it's just a money concern, the above approach has worked very well for us in the past. When we pushed it hard, we closed another 25-30% of our quotes into sales.

    If the above approach doesn't sound good for you, here's another one I've done that works amazingly well. Each November, we gather up every quote we've provided that year that has not sold. We send a mailer to that prospect with a quick letter telling them if they submit their signed agreement by XX date, we'll honor the price we gave them, and they can avoid any future price increases that will happen if they do the work later. We also make it very easy for them to get it back to us. We include the agreement, little sticky arrows showing them where to sign and date, and an addressed/stamped envelope to mail it back to us.

    Sounds simple enough? But amazingly, it drives big numbers for us. As grumpy mentioned, sometimes it's nothing but that simple contact to remind them "hey, let's get this job done!".

    the first year we did this, we brought in nearly $200,000 worth of contracts. COMPLETELY worth the time/cost of sending out a mailer.

    Try it - what do you have to lose!

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