To follow-up or not to follow-up…is it even a question?
We think not. The real question is: What is the BEST way to follow-up?
We've found that following up with potential clients after submitting a price quote is always best. A quick email or phone call ensures that your client has received your price quote and understands what you'll be providing. It also allows you to build rapport by showing you are enthusiastic about their special event. In this technological age of impersonal internet transactions, it is important to reach out to your clients and show them that a living breathing human is on the other end of the line/cable.
How much is too much?
Since multiple follow-ups can feel intrusive to clients you want to do it ONCE and do it WELL. Nobody wants to be bombarded with emails and phone calls when they are planning a big event. Keep in mind that while you may be the ‘Life of the Party,’ you are only one aspect of the party. One follow-up is plenty.
After that, allow the client the opportunity to make the next contact. Multiple calls or emails to the same client will hurt rather than help your chances of getting the gig.
How long should I wait?
While you want to allow a little time to pass between submitting your price quote and following up with the client, don't wait too long! You want to give the client a chance to read and digest your quote but you don't want to let anyone else to swoop in and win over the client.
There's a fine line between being eager and overeager, but in general we suggest following up soon after you submit your quote. Just remember to be polite and understanding if the client isn't quite ready to discuss your quote in detail. If that is the case, just make a good first impression, let them know that you're eager to help make their event a smashing success and let them go about their day.
Phone or email?
As it would be awkward (not to mention a little scary) to show up on a client's doorstep as a follow-up, you really have two options—phone or email. Some people (myself included) aren't comfortable calling right away while others are more at home picking up the horn. Our advice - do what makes you feel comfortable. The more comfortable you are with the communication the better you will be at expressing yourself and your genuine interest.
If you know you are a charismatic communicator, the phone is probably the way to go.
- Be conscious of their needs. Start your conversation by introducing yourself and asking if this is a good time to chat about their event. If it isn't, ask them when would be a good time to call back. If they seem rushed or are politely trying to end the conversation, take the hint and provide them with your contact information so they can contact you when it's more convenient.
- Connect with your client by asking the right questions. See if they've had time to review your response and have any questions. Ask them specific questions about their event so they know you are interested in giving the best service possible.
- This is your phone interview for the gig, treat it like one. Be professional and passionate without being overbearing.
If email is more your style, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep it brief. You probably wrote a great personal message to the client in your price quote so don't repeat yourself. Instead use this opportunity to reiterate ONLY your most important points and add anything you might have left out. People tend to skim long emails or skip reading them altogether.
- Engage them by asking specific questions about their needs and offer to answer any questions they may have about your quote, services or past experiences over the phone or by email.
- Make it personal! You opted not to make a phone call so this is your chance to connect with your potential client, so don't send something that sounds like a form letter. You are applying for this job and this email is your cover letter.
The take-home message from all of this: You shouldn't consider following-up as optional.
If you do it right, reaching out to potential clients after submitting a price quote can seal the deal and get you booked.