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Hello all :party: ... I'm about to start making calls to our previous lost clients in our area. (I work for a southern NJ construction company we do residentail and commercial remodeling and now handyman and 7 day bath services!) Some of these clients have decided not to move forward for various reasons or perhaps had the work done by other competitors. I will be calling from our database including up to 2 years ago probably. Does anyone have experience in doing this, or can offer any advice on how to go about doing so? I deffinentely do not want these calls to sound like sales calls. Do any of you have a script that you would share with me for these type of calls? Any type of help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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In my opinion if this is something you are not doing on a regular basis you are losing alot of clients. This very practice is what my whole sales strategy is based upon, everyone should be doing follow up calls until the customer says to stop calling.

I think once you do this and see you land a few jobs, you'll decide to go 3 and 4 years back. You may also want to mix it up with an email blast or direct mail campaign. There are programs that will manage this for you, but I find them to be over priced.


Script? Hi Jane, I met with you last year to talk about your bathroom project and was just following up to see if you had done anything with that project or would like to revisit it at this time? If they say it's done ask them if they are considering any other work. If they say nothing yet, ask them when they want to get started. If they say not ready yet, ask them when they will be ready.
 

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In my opinion if this is something you are not doing on a regular basis you are losing alot of clients. This very practice is what my whole sales strategy is based upon, everyone should be doing follow up calls until the customer says to stop calling.

I think once you do this and see you land a few jobs, you'll decide to go 3 and 4 years back. You may also want to mix it up with an email blast or direct mail campaign. There are programs that will manage this for you, but I find them to be over priced.


Script? Hi Jane, I met with you last year to talk about your bathroom project and was just following up to see if you had done anything with that project or would like to revisit it at this time? If they say it's done ask them if they are considering any other work. If they say nothing yet, ask them when they want to get started. If they say not ready yet, ask them when they will be ready.
We do follow up until we loose the opportunity. For example, they say that they are no longer interested for various reasons or they are going to wait or dont have the money ect. We already have been doing a few direct mail campaigns I have been sending welcoming letters to new homeowners in the area. We have also sent out postcards to many people in our area. We have a e-newsletter which gets sent to all our e-mail group. Now i think its time to re-visit these lost clients by calling? Any other suggestions? Thanks!:clap:
 

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My business is primarily exterior repaints so it's easy to determine whether the job has moved. That said, I do call back leads that are still open and are jobs I am interested in doing (restorations etc) with varying success. Of the 100+ repaints a season we do the overwhelming majority are booked within 10 days of quoting, though this year has seen them fester a bit longer.

My direct mail hits everyone routinely, past customers and lost bids etc. I find past customers get reminded of the quality experience we deliver and often pass the letters onto friends/neighbors etc. It's always good to stay fresh in people's minds and to let them know you're still in the game. People we never had contact with also pass the info along.
 

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Cold Calling Boot Camp

Does anyone have experience in doing this, or can offer any advice on how to go about doing so? I deffinentely do not want these calls to sound like sales calls. Do any of you have a script that you would share with me for these type of calls? Any type of help would be greatly appreciated!
Very smart of you to ask it this way. There is a 1 day class that I took called the Sandler Sales Institute - Cold Calling Boot Camp. I am sure you can research it also on line, but just know that making cold calls and follow up calls is a craft which is learned and can become a natural method for you to generate more business. The first thing they will teach you is "When is the best time to make a call?" ... the answer is "right now". Just pick up the phone and call a few people, and at a minimum, do not think of the negatives ... just know the call is a means to an end. Brian
 

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I hate calling people back after giving an estimate.

I spend an hour with a customer and write an estimate for $5,000 to $30,000. When finished, I am positive I made an impact on the customer's life they will never forget. So, why should I call the customer to ask if they made a decision. There is no way they forgot about their job and it is like hard-up begging.

Most often, when I call a customer after giving an estimate they tell me the did not make a decision yet, or they are waiting for more estimates, or they decided not to do the job, or they hired another contractor. They always act polite and say thank you for calling them just before they give you some bull telling you they will let you know in a few days.

I get several estimates from contractors and I don't like when a roofer calls to ask if I made a decision. I tell them I would have called them had I made a decision and no I did not make a decision 'to choose them'. I'm really a terrible phone person.

But, I'm positive that every good businessman will tell you to call your customers after giving an estimate. There are occassions when I feel a specific customer needs a nudge and I will rarely call a customer a day or two later.

There is no script to be used, but there are a few things I would not do. Never ask if they made a decision. I use the 'Assumed Close' and start by telling the customer I have a crew ready to start their job immediately.

"Hello, I'm Jack from Acme Construction. I've got a crew ready to start your room addition tomorrow morning. The bulldozer is cranked up and we're ready to roll."

That is all you need to say. Let the customer laugh and tell you the following Monday would be better, or whenever.

Assume you have the job. Don't ask questions like, "when do you think you will make a decision?"

Rather than call a customer, I will drop on on them when I'm in their neighborhood. I may stop by without calling, or give tell them I'm doing a job in their hood and will stop by within a few minutes. Again, I don't ask. I assume they want to see me. There is nothing better than a personal visit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
.

There is no script to be used, but there are a few things I would not do. Never ask if they made a decision. I use the 'Assumed Close' and start by telling the customer I have a crew ready to start their job immediately.

"Hello, I'm Jack from Acme Construction. I've got a crew ready to start your room addition tomorrow morning. The bulldozer is cranked up and we're ready to roll."

That is all you need to say. Let the customer laugh and tell you the following Monday would be better, or whenever.

Assume you have the job. Don't ask questions like, "when do you think you will make a decision?"

Rather than call a customer, I will drop on on them when I'm in their neighborhood. I may stop by without calling, or give tell them I'm doing a job in their hood and will stop by within a few minutes. Again, I don't ask. I assume they want to see me. There is nothing better than a personal visit.

hmmmm... well if you read my first post in the thread you would see that these are customers up to a few years old. LOL. I don't think it would be appropriate to call someone that we gave an estimate 3 years ago and said we are ready to start there job tommorow? HAHA i mean we are pretty ambitious here but they might think we are just a tad looney :) AND also i was thinking of asking them have you made the decision to move forward with your work anytime soon or have you already had the work completed? Because these lost opportunites were lost because of either lower bids, lack of money, change of mind, ect.! ;)
 

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My Thoughts~

Good Morning, Marketing Chick-and welcome to the forum. I've personally found this place to be nothing short of a wealth of knowledge, as I'm sure you'll find the same.

The other person had touched on a very good point--If you're not doing this on a regular basis, you should be because you very well could be losing a potential nice slice of pie.

If we don't get a bid, and it's in fact a project that we WANT,....I personally give it a good couple days until after our bid,...Call the customer, first and foremost start the conversation by "Hello, Mr./ Mrs.__________. This is _________ w/_____________(company)--We're in fact the ____________company that had the pleasure of visiting with you a while back (or be more specific) in regards to the ____________project that you folks were planning on doing/ pursuing. I simply wanted to "touch-base" out of courtesy to see where things stand.

****Keep in mind, it's always nice to have some sort of "call to action" (depending on what type of product you have, you may in fact want to see if there's any tax credits available that they may take advantage of that weren't available at the time of your initial estimate if indeed you're going back a couple years---Just a thought)

If you recall any specific details of the visit, maybe bring something up that you may have discussed just to make the call a little more personal as opposed to a straight forward reach to their wallet....lol

All in all, what you're attempting to do is a definite way of generating business, and IMMEDIATE business, and it's a great idea if done correctly.

--You can also do this with your existing customer base, as that also can be a great resource for generating an immediate impact--maybe offer a 10-20% discount for previous customers, etc.

Hope this helps!--(But what the hell do I know...:w00t:)
 

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I understood before writing the post about the time period.

hmmmm... well if you read my first post in the thread you would see that these are customers up to a few years old. LOL. I don't think it would be appropriate to call someone that we gave an estimate 3 years ago and said we are ready to start there job tommorow? HAHA i mean we are pretty ambitious here but they might think we are just a tad looney :) AND also i was thinking of asking them have you made the decision to move forward with your work anytime soon or have you already had the work completed? Because these lost opportunites were lost because of either lower bids, lack of money, change of mind, ect.! ;)
The idea of my post is; almost every time a contractor calls me to ask if I made a decision he sounds desperate. I think most people calling on the phone use a bad choice of words and they are too serious. I always sense doubt and fear.

I strongly believe we (most people) determine whether or not we like, enjoy, or even want to talk to someone within the first two seconds after we answer the phone. The speed, clarity, intelligence, mannerism, personality, honesty, and a lot more is determined within the first few seconds. Therefore, before calling a customer we have to be in a very upbeat mood before dialing the customer's phone. Otherwise, the customer picks up when I am down and my calls are fruitless.

Try a different approach when calling customers back. Don't put the customer on-the-spot and reduce their pressure by making upbeat ststements that arouse and waken the customer. Be different to get the customer's attention. Make customers feel you are successful and not desperate by cracking a joke. I think it would be comical if you called two years after giving an estimate and you tell me you can start the job tomorrow. Always assume you have the job and you are the customer's favorite contractor.
 

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Can you clarify a bit MC?

What are you trying to accomplish?

How will you measure success?

I am trying to accomplish finding out whether these past lost opportunites, have either completed the work with someone else or are still thinking about doing it in the future, preferably now (haha). I am also trying to accomplish finding out if they did have the work done, was there a reason why you didnt have the work done with our company? In order to better understand why we have lost these opportuinites and is it something that we can fix? Also, i will be measuring success if any of these lost opportunities are thinking about getting the work done and would like to work with us now. I will also measure success, by the reasons that the opportunities were lost. (hopefully not because we gave them bad service, or didnt get back to them, ect.) What do you think about this?
 

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Tell Me How I Can Earn Your Business?

My simple little saying gets me back in the door always. I understand Glen my sales associate gave you an estimate, but we have not received your approval yet.

I would like to have this job can you tell me how I can earn your business?
Would you mind if I can come out to visit you and lets look at your project again to see how we can meet on middle ground to complete your dream.

I rehash and close 62% of dead leads within 10 days of the first visit.

This is what works for me.
 

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The other person had touched on a very good point--If you're not doing this on a regular basis, you should be because you very well could be losing a potential nice slice of pie.

If we don't get a bid, and it's in fact a project that we WANT,....I personally give it a good couple days until after our bid,...Call the customer, first and foremost start the conversation by "Hello, Mr./ Mrs.__________. This is _________ w/_____________(company)--We're in fact the ____________company that had the pleasure of visiting with you a while back (or be more specific) in regards to the ____________project that you folks were planning on doing/ pursuing. I simply wanted to "touch-base" out of courtesy to see where things stand.
I know that we should be doing this on a regular basis. WE DO!! Our sales team does the following up until the opportunity is LOST. Which, means the customer says we are not interested anymore for various reasons, or perhaps the stop answering our calls or getting back with us ect. These are lost oppotuities in our database that i would be calling, not recent follow-up calls to see where they stand. Basically calls revisiting customers that we have LOST from up to a few years back, to get feedback on the status of the project.
 

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Why is it important to call lost jobs that far back.

I know that we should be doing this on a regular basis. WE DO!! Our sales team does the following up until the opportunity is LOST. Which, means the customer says we are not interested anymore for various reasons, or perhaps the stop answering our calls or getting back with us ect. These are lost oppotuities in our database that i would be calling, not recent follow-up calls to see where they stand. Basically calls revisiting customers that we have LOST from up to a few years back, to get feedback on the status of the project.
It sounds like you only want to research to find out why you did not get the jobs. Why are you interested in the status of the job if it is lost? These reasons seem apparent when you gave the estimates and we already have a fairly accurate list of reasons in our mind. Even when asking people the reasons you seldom get an honest answer. The time and research seems like it could be used for something more productive.

Interesting subject. Maybe, I missed something.
 

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I get a few good tid-bits of advice from this e-mail subscription regarding phone call success for marketing.

Ed




Tel-E Sales Tip of the Week

July 6, 2009

Published By Art Sobczak, Business By Phone Inc.
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