Follow up calls..necessity or nuissance?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Apr 27, 2005.

?

Follow up.

  1. Yes, I do follow up calls

    10 vote(s)
    83.3%
  2. No, I don't do follow up calls

    2 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I was just curious who uses follow-up calls? I do mostly landscaping jobs, almost all jobs over a $1,000, and have never used follow-up calls. I don't even know what to say if I did call them. Part of me thinks that if they haven't called..there is a reason. Part of me also says I have spent the time to estimate the job why not call them and make sure they don't have any questions. What do you guys think? I am still learning how to be a salesman....so any suggestions would help.
     
  2. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I've always done lots of follow up calls in every business.

    If you have a bid out there and don't hear back, call them. They may not be calling because they think you will. They want to feel important. There have been plenty of times when I have said "I guess he didn't want it all that bad after all" when a salesperson did not follow up with me. This is because all day long I had to deal with phone tag with our vendors, our customers, coworkers, etc. If a sales person did not follow up with me, my reaction was "Great, the last thing I need is another guy I can't get a hold of." This attitude carried over to my personal life. If you're not calling me then forget it. I'm paying you, so you should be doing the work. It sucks, but that is corporate life and corporate life is where most of your customers spend most of their time.

    Also, they may have decided not to use you based on something they misunderstood in the quote or based on something you could easily change.

    After the job is done, call them. If they are unhappy about part of the job, they will be easier to talk to if you call them early, than if you wait for them to stew long enough to get pissed enough to call and complain. Even if they are not all that unhappy, if there is something small that they want corrected, calling them and fixing it can mean the difference between getting more business from them and maybe some good referrals, and never hearing from them again.

    Even if everything is perfect, call them. They will appreciate your follow up and it will give them a chance to remind themselves what a great job you did, which can mean more work and referrals.
     
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Always do follow up calls and I know I have gotten jobs well over 1k becouse of the follow up call. To Quote a customer recently "we decided to go with you becouse your the only one that showed enough intrest to follow up on the proposal that you gave us." and they went on to say that if its that much trouble for other companies to follow up on there proposals they felt it would be hard to get them to correct any problems that arose. Thats just 1 example, I know its made a differnce in quite a few. And whats the worst they will say if they don't like your call? Would not be working for them anyway if they were pizzed about a follow up call.
     
  4. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    Yeah, you got it nailed far more succinctly than I did. I can't count how many times I have commented to my wife "If this is how interested they are before they have my money..." and then looked for someone else.
     
  5. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    What do you guys say during the follow-up. Something like. Hi this is....I gave you a quote on april 5th, have you and your wife had time to talk it over? Do you have any questions?

    Do you tell them when you are giving the quote that you are going to follow up? How long do you wait to give them a call...how long is too long?
     
  6. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I like to get some feedback when I provide a quote, so when I provide the quote I'll ask for the sale, without being too pushy. When they say they want to think about it or shop for other quotes, I'll say something like "I understand. Would next Tuesday be a good time for me to check back with you?" When we agree on a good date and time, that's when I call. I try to be pretty relaxed about it, but still ask for the sale, so I might say "Hi, this is Joe from JoeBlow Lawncare, just checking back with you. Have you had a chance to shop around and get a few more quotes?..." Often times I don't even get that far though. I tell them who I am and they start talking: "We got a quote for less." "We're still thinking." "Did you say that was for the front and back?"

    If they raise an objection, answer it as best as you can, but WRITE IT DOWN. Later on, think of how you could have answered it better. Bounce ideas off friends and family until you have a good answer. Keep a list of objections and answers, so you are even better prepared next time. You'll find that the same 5 or 6 objections generally get raised over and over again.
     
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I have a 15 day experation on all my proposals, so I call around 10 days after giving it to them. And I usually ask if they have any questions comments that they would like me to go over and I like to tell them that the sooner they sign the sooner I can scheldule them
     
  8. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I like that. I like to tell them that it is just going to keep getting hotter. This almost always gets a groan and a chuckle and 20% of the time it gets a "Yeah, sign me up."
     
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Thanks for the help guys...these are great tips. I need to add an expiration date to my quotes. I think that would help light a fire under their arse. I am going to give a few follow-up calls a try and see how well it works.
     
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    If its a bigger amount I will call. I have had some people ask additional questions when i did do that.
     

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