Congratulations you’ve received your first enquiry or maybe even your fifth, twentieth or hundredth and as exciting as that is (trust us, we know that feeling) it means nothing if you’re not managing your enquiries effectively.
So what steps should you take?
1. Your Response Time
Always respond as quickly as you possibly can. If a potential customer or client has reached out to you, whether that’s via email, social media or phone it’s the first sign that they want to buy from your brand. No matter how big or small their request is, you should be responding straight away, answering their questions and building rapport. Keep in mind that every time a potential clients contacts you, they can just as easily book with your competitor, so make sure you’re responding when they’re most excited to hear from you and don’t give them a reason to go looking elsewhere.
2. Track Your Enquiries
As your enquiries grow, it’s important to have a system in place to manage them. We recommend utilising an excel spreadsheet or a program like Trello where you can keep track of incoming enquiries, jobs in progress and jobs completed. It’s also a great platform that we can both make amendments to and it automatically updates for the other user. If you choose to use an excel spreadsheet we suggest having columns for the date the enquiry was received, the nature of the enquiry, what you may have quoted/plan to charge, when you should follow up and a column for whether or not the enquiry converted or not.
3. Follow Up
You can’t expect every client to get back to you and it’s not to say they don’t want to, but the truth is you’re not going to be their first priority, however, they should definitely be yours. Have a plan in place that enables you to follow up your enquiries and your clients requests. If you’re unsure how you should be responding contact as at email@example.com and we would be happy to assist, otherwise stay tuned for an upcoming blog on How to Respond to Enquiries.
4. Keep Your Word
Keeping your word in business is one of the most important characteristics to a successful brand, especially a small business. If you say you are going to email your customer/client information by a particular date or time then make sure you do! No one likes that feeling of disappointment when someone says they were going to do something for you and then it doesn’t happen. You will tarnish your brand, become known as being unreliable and impact your chance of converting the enquiry. You don’t want to be that business!
5. Set Reasonable Expectations
When accepting a job make sure you set reasonable expectations for your client in regards to what you can do for them. In business there will be a number of things that are out of your control, e.g. like postage delivery timeframes, as this relies totally on another business to ensure the package arrives at its destination safely. Whatever may be out of your control, we suggest being upfront with your customers and provide them with realistic information and then aim to exceed their expectations.
Whilst on the topic of expectations, we also recommend not taking on work that is outside your expertise. If you’re not confident in a task or its out of your scope of knowledge, then make sure to educate your client on what it is you do and perhaps go that extra mile of suggesting another business that is more aligned to what they are seeking. This will help the client and make them feel positive about your brand and who knows they may come back to you at some point.
In a perfect world it would be great to be able to convert every enquiry that comes through, however, this will rarely be the case for the majority of businesses as not every person that enquires will be your target market, demographic or fit your brands vision and that is perfectly ok! Stay true to your brand, work with people who inspire you and know that it’s okay to say no.
In saying this, we still recommend to treat every enquiry with the same amount of care and you may surprise yourself with what response comes back to you. You can’t control the final decision of another person, however you can make sure you do your best to create a positive experience with them from the first interaction.
For more information on how to best respond to or manage enquiries within your business send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can organise a one on one consultation. We always reply as quickly as we can to our emails!
Ash + Lauren