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So you've spent some time creating a quote for someone either because they asked for a discount on a larger order or because you're a screenprinter (for example) and that's just what you do. But now it' been a while and you haven't heard back so you want to write a follow up email just to find out if they're still interested and if not, why not?
Man, do I hate those things. Especially in conservative city UK. So I thought it might actually be quite a useful thread to start, I hadn't seen one on follow ups before.

- How long do you leave it before a follow up email is due?
- Most importantly, what kind of wording do you use?

Let's start a pool of wisdom on the subject - there's one for everything else in this amazing forum! ;)

Annie
 

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Interesting. Being in wholesale I get a lot of these. Determining whether they are fraud or not is easy now. I tend to know if they are interested or not by looking at their behaviour on my site. What have they looked at, where are they from, where did they come from (referrer). So a follow up email is not always neccessary.

If they have contacted me and have added something to their cart, I will then follow up with an email like:

Hi So and So,

If there is anything I can further help you with, please let me know.
Then list my contact details with phone number.

To encourage the sale you could offer them an incentive (coupon maybe) or remind them of your free shipping.

That's not possible with out of the blue email not sent via our site though. That's why contact forms rock.

I realise I've wandered off of your point but that's how I approach it giving the technology I have. I'm also interested to know the same as you Annie.

I know generally a lot of sites use software like Email2DB to automatically send follow ups a week / 2 weeks after first contact / registration. And a tactic they have is to mention other similar products in their follow up email because they are probably aware that you might not be so interested in your first choice as you havent replied sooner so hey take a look at this cool product we have / or promotion / or offer.

Anyway I'm rambling.. hehe. Nice topic.
 

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You know, we usually don't follow up on the quote requests (maybe we should be)?

We try to answer all the quotes promptly, and leave a good enough impression on the customer that they'll return when they are ready to order.

A surprising number of people are actually ready to order by the time they ask for the quote.

But I'm in the US and both of you are in the UK, so maybe it's a regional difference in customer pyschology ;)?

Interesting topic!
 

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This threads been out there for a while now and could provide much more help. I'm having the same problem. Lots of interest, lots of requests for quotes, I answer the quotes promptly, and no response like the customer fell off the face of the earth. I moved on in the beginning, but as I keep getting requests for quotes and no business in return I'm starting to think I'm doing something wrong. If not wrong maybe I could do something better. My only thoughts as of now are to try and pull the focus away from the price, and try to add some value. It's not easy adding value when you're new though. I can't say I have 20 years experience or I have 100's of samples for them to see. Anyone else's thoughts would be appreciated, and or thoughts on how to add value.
 

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I think there are a few types of customer who get a quote:

1. they get the quote and the price is too much or they find it cheaper. They never get back to you
2. they get the quote and all is good - they wait until they are ready then, will contact you and ask for more info or place an order out of the blue
3. they ask for a quote and need chasing up because they are really busy or disorganised
4. they get the quote and order straight away.

I get a mixture of all 4. I have a quote expiry date on all quotes, which I think goes towards helping customers get back to me within 2 weeks

If I know the date when they need the items (I always ask), I call up before it's too late and let them know that if they want the shirts, they have to order now or they won't get them in time.

I say call up, but most of my enquiries and correspondence is by email.

Richie

Richie
 

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treat all quotes as if the are your first order. Chase them up promptly and just ask if you can do the work for them or if there is anything else they need to know before they consider you.
Main thing is DO NOT be afraid to ask, its a numbers game..if you do 100 quotes and get 5 extra drop because you called then thats 5 you wouldnt have had. Some people will give the work to the first business that asks for it. You just have to cover all the bases and dont forget it isnt always about price.
I have just done 20,000 vets for a major UK high street retailer , the buyer told me they emailed and spoke to 5 different people and we got back first, (yes we were same price as her last supplier) but we got in there first.
Funny thing is , the day after we sealed the deal 2 more companies called us and asked us for the same quote, that they would then sell to this company.

Always chase your quotes up quickly !, have a look at richard dennys book, "selling to win"

john
 

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^^Good advice

I try to reply to every email immediately - even if it's to say - thanks, we got it. we are printing now but, we will get back to you within x minutes / hours.

Getting a smartphone was expensive for me but paid for itself in the first day and now our customer service is second to none. People know they can get hold of me and I will get back straight away or as soon as I can

This is 1 thing amongst many that separates us from the others and gives the customer confidence to spend their money with us. Now I wait for the customer to get back to my emails, rather than the other way round :)

I also use quoting software which ties into an accounting system. They look professional, are easy to do on the fly (I can email a formal quote from an app on the phone) and I can even mail them a paid invoice if they give me cash on the spot:) At the end of the day, I can see who I've quoted, who owes and who's paid. No accounting to do, either, other than to input expenses

Richie
 

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I also use quoting software which ties into an accounting system. They look professional, are easy to do on the fly (I can email a formal quote from an app on the phone) and I can even mail them a paid invoice if they give me cash on the spot:) At the end of the day, I can see who I've quoted, who owes and who's paid. No accounting to do, either, other than to input expenses

Richie
Great idea, Id be interested in what app/quote system you use.

john
 

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Great idea, Id be interested in what app/quote system you use.

john
XERO.com

it needs a bit of setting up if you want to provide quotes and invoices (it is already set up for invoices), but they do a tonne of updates and improvements each month. They introduced something new I didn't like last month (a link to pay invoices sent with quotes) and within 3 days, they had included an option to disable it and just email a pdf.

The great thing is that you can interlink it with other "apps". once my customer base is built up, I will add a newsletter app so I can offer my customers special discounts and incentives with a pro-looking newsletter.

it links to vend too. so if you have a shop, you can have a POS system on an ipad or computer which ties into the whole system too.

It's all online too, so you can access it anywhere. That means someone in the office can do a quote and I can immediately see it in the accounts on my phone.

I think you can even use it for stock checks if you set it up that way

go to their site and visit their blog too

Richie
 

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I deal with mostly municipalities, so there is always bureaucracy involved, especially with a new customer. I usually wait 1-2 weeks and then email back and ask if there has been any discussion on the quote or if there is additional information that they need from me. I always ask during the initial conversation what the time frame is for them and tell them my current schedule as well so we both are clear on the timeframe expectation. That also helps me gauge how long I should wait before following up.
 
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