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HOW and WHEN to Follow Up on a Cleaning Proposal

So far so good.

You got the lead, met the prospect, did your walk-through and delivered the bid.

NOW what – or, more specifically:

What should you do, and when should you do it.

Ok, let’s talk strategy…At the appointment, when you’re delivering and explaining your bid, there’s something you need to do before leaving.

It’s this – agree on a plan.

That’s right, before leaving the meeting be sure to agree on a schedule for what’s going to happen next.

Do they need a couple days to go through the plan slowly and carefully?

Do they need to contact someone in accounting to see what they’re paying now?

Do they need to get their boss’ approval?

Do they want to contact several references?

ALL those steps are fine, BUT, you want to know 1) what they are 2) how long they’re going to take

Why?

So, you can set up the next step: when YOU should plan/schedule following- up, reconnecting.

End of the week? Fine. Another week? Fine.

The time frame isn’t critical (although, of course, you’d like it to be shorter vs. longer)

No, the main thing is that you can schedule the follow up – you can have a plan of ‘NEXT ACTION’.

Plus – it sends the message that ‘you are a busy professional – just like they are.’ That your time is valuable to. That your services are valuable and desirable.

So, once, you agree on the what and the when, you can go back to your office, update your notes and schedule the follow up.

That’s it – you’re done, until the appt.

(NOTE: It doesn’t mean you’re not available if a question comes up in the meantime, BUT it establishes a time frame for decisions)

Good news – NOW, rather than endlessly worrying about them – you can focus on other activities, other prospects.

2 Responses to “HOW and WHEN to Follow Up on a Cleaning Proposal”

  1. Robert says:

    Dan,

    What do you suggest if you are dealing with a property management group and you cannot get a response after leaving two follow-up, professional voicemails over the course of 3 weeks?

    I find it best to move on to new prospects, however, the overall lack of professionalism from property managers with their inability to return phone calls or reply to emails frustrating. There is no way that they are as busy as a BSC owner.

    I welcome your thoughts and advice.

    Thanks for the great newsletters!

    Robert
    YBS, Inc.

  2. DLiebrecht says:

    Hi Robert, thanks for your note. Dan is currently working with Tony on a number of software programming projects, but I did get a chance to quickly explain your situation and ask him the question sent in. He asked me to pass along to you the following thoughts:

    - He felt you were on the right track in taking the steps you’ve already taken since you delivered the bid – to ‘reach out’ and ‘be available’ to your prospect to answer any questions or concerns they have.

    However, he agreed that – there’s a difference between taking reasonable, professional steps when following up on a bid and getting into ‘what is beginning to look like an endless, unproductive cycle of – you checking back with them only to be given the ‘next reason why they’re not ready to make a decision’.

    Strategy to consider:

    1. Make sure you’ve made an effort when you deliver your bids to make sure your prospect a) understands the unique value of doing business with your cleaning business as well as b) the scope of work, pricing, insurance etc.

    2. Then, make a reasonable attempt to follow up (like you may have already done) by setting a date/time to call back or stop again after they have had time to review, check budgets, get approval, gather questions etc.. (Ideally, it’s best to have all decision makers in meeting from the start – but not always possible)

    3. If things stall, you can ask questions to try to discover what objections they might have that are keeping them from moving forward with your cleaning proposal. It can be any number of things ranging from price to more subjective/personal things such as ‘being hesitant to change to an ‘unknown’ after they have been with the other cleaner so long.

    It may seem illogical, especially if you know they aren’t happy with the current service – but, at the end of the day, decision makers are people too – and people are often illogical in what they do and why they do it. Uncovering objections and then talking about them/ overcoming them can be a challenging but rewarding part of the selling process.

    4. If things still are not moving forward, Dan said he often moved his energies on to other opportunities – while first making sure the current prospect knew multiple, convenient ways to reach him (email, phone etc.) if they had additional questions or were ready to move forward. Plus, as long as they fit the model of a good prospect, he would keep them in the marketing funnel.

    Good things can come from not letting one account whose excessively ‘dragging their heels’ – drag you down too. And, once and a while those slow, ‘heel dragging’ prospects eventually come around and call you back to ask more questions – or flat out hire you on the spot’. It happens.

    Hope that helps and wishing you much success in your cleaning business,

    Matt, CleanGuru Support

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