How to follow up with prospects without seeming too pushy

Just today I was talking with a Quotenamic client about pushy sales tactics and how people respond badly to them. As someone who has spent a lifetime in sales I understand that there are different levels of pressure that are appropriate to apply in certain sales environment.

Also that different people respond differently to certain sales approaches. However, in the context of a quote that has been provided for a job, something that a business owner has invested their time in preparing, I find it beyond discourteous on the part of the potential customer not to give a yay or nay.

My personal view of professional manners aside. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. This example applies in many both B2C and B2B interactions. They have gone to the effort of requesting that you go to the effort of providing an estimate. This suggests that they have a need that they feel you can fill.

That means that they’re probably going to buy from someone. It also means that the something they are buying, or having someone else do for them is something that they don’t feel they can provide or do for themselves. This means that they may well have questions.

On average, your prospective customer will request at least 3 quotes. If they do have questions and you don’t call them back but someone else does, chances are you’ve wasted your time, resources and money quoting for a piece of business that you’ve left on the table.

What is pushy about giving someone a quick call a couple of days after you have sent the quote and saying: “Hi John, Barry here, just wondering if you had any questions about the quote I gave you on Tuesday?”

That’s not a pushy sales tactic. It’s a helpful, useful thing to do which also helps you as a business owner to plan out your time.

Another non-pushy tactic, well, perhaps a little more direct, is to say something like this: “John, I know you really wanted this done next week and my diary is filling up, just wanted to check if you’d made a decision yet so I can fit you in if you’re going ahead”.

You’re always going to come across time wasters. Without question there are going to be a certain percentage of people who will request an estimate with no intention of going ahead immediately. That percentage is, in our experience, pretty small.

However, by proactively following up on every single quote that you put out we have found that our customers are able to increase conversion rates by up to 20%. If you’ve got a small business that is doing half a million a year in turnover, you could be leaving an extra $100,000 on the table simply because you don’t want to appear pushy.

That just doesn’t seem sensible to me. In fact it seems totally illogical. As a business owner you put a lot of yourself into operating your business. You also most probably have a few very important people that rely on the income from it.

Quotenamic is a revolutionary new platform that is changing the lives of small business owners and sole traders around the world by taking the hassle out of following up on quotes and estimates. 

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