Last October, my wife and I had a new roof installed on the family home. The old roof was 18 years old and after a summer storm an insurance adjustor discovered hail damage. We began contacting contractors in June. Like I said, we had a new roof installed in October, late October. So, why did it take so long? That’s a good question.

Lack of Follow-up

The first company we contacted passed the information on to an employee who specialized in insurance work. We didn’t hear from him for nearly two weeks. After talking with him, I discovered he had emailed me, but it went to junk mail. Two weeks later he called. We never saw him. He emailed an estimate that was several squares short; it was inaccurate. He didn’t inspire confidence. The second company we contacted was a similar story. It took more than two weeks to set an appointment and then they were a no show no call. Can any company that fails to honor an appointment be trusted with installation or service? The third time was the charm. Although insurance covered the majority of the work, we were responsible as well. The third estimate was the highest. It was more out of pocket for my wife and me. But we trusted them. They followed up and came through. Do you and your organization follow up?

How to Successfully Follow-up with Prospects

  • Ask for input – Ask the customer what information they want. Learn their expectations. If they want contact at every step along the way, make a note of it. If they prefer only being contacted at milestones, note that as well. Find out what follow-up they want from you.
  • Set the stage – Once the prospects expectations have been determined let them know what follow-up they can expect from you. Explain what, why, when, and how.
  • Stay ahead of the prospect –In the best case scenario, the prospect doesn’t need to contact you with questions because you’ve already supplied the information. Stay one step ahead of them by sharing the information they need and want when they need it.
  • Learn how the prospect wants to communicate – This could’ve been included in the first bullet point, but it is importance enough to stand alone. Some people prefer phone calls others hate calls. Some listen to messages; many detest messages. It’s up to the provider to learn the prospects communications preferences—Email, text, phone, or social media.

How Many Sales have you Lost?

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and drop the ball. The key to follow-up is organization—developing a system. How soon should a prospect be followed up? Ask them. How should they be contacted? What’s their preference? By asking a few simple questions and listening to your prospects wants and needs and then respecting them you can limit lost sales due to poor follow up. How do you follow up on leads?

Photo by Kate Brady / CC BY-SA