Recently two of my staff were having a discussion about ways to get people to let us know if a quote was still a go. One of my staff came from an organization that was very aggressive in their sales techniques. He wasn’t really fond of that aggression nor are aggressive tactics our style, but he remembered something that actually worked really well. You put either ANY NEWS or IS THIS DEAD? in the subject line of an email. Nothing goes in the body of the email and you send it to the clients with outstanding quotes.
Here’s where it gets amusing and interesting. My other staff member wasn’t exactly sure what he meant so they put both comments in the subject line. They sent out an email with “Any news or IS THIS DEAD?” as the subject line to one of our potential customers and got a response within 2 minutes saying please resend the quote. First – it was amazing that it worked. Second – it was amazing it worked with both comments in the subject line. When the two talked about it later and found out that both comments had been placed in the subject line, we all had a great laugh.
But…. it worked. That’s the part that is so intriguing to me. And this made me figure it would make a good blog article about following up on outstanding quotes and also about the power of brevity.
Act! is a great tool for creating opportunities and setting reminders to follow up on a regular basis. But do you do that? Are you disciplined enough to continuously keep track of where quotes are in the pipeline? And when you do follow-up, how do you preface your calls? And emails?
Lesson number one is keep following up on your quotes. We all get caught up in daily minutia and it’s hard to carve out a time to do Folow-ups. But it is absolutely necessary. Your clients are equally as busy as you are and they too get caught up on day to day activities and need gentle nudges (note – not constant haranguing) as a reminder.
Lesson number two was brevity worked. We all are inundated with emails – who needs yet another one. But short quick-to-the-point items seem to get read quickly. And the point of the email was in the subject line. We’ve now tried this a couple of times and it has worked. Well, who’d a thunk? Good lessons indeed. Follow-up. Often. Be Brief. Often.