A Landscapers Journey: How to follow up on bids
How many times have you lost a job because you didn’t know how to follow up on bids? Probably more times than you care to admit. It happens.
- You get busy with production.
- Your team needs you.
- There's a new lead at the door.
- Everything else takes priority.
Here's the bad news. There’s always a chance the prospect will bail. So why wouldn't you give it top priority?
Truth be told. Your prospect might see your lack of follow up exactly the same way. They get busy. They forget. And they're waiting for you to come knocking on their door for the sale. The whole "You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” saying applies to following up on bids. When you follow up, you're not always guaranteed the job, but if you don’t ask, you don't get.
The actual act of following-up often isn’t the difficult part.
How to follow up on bids is easy.
It’s creating the process and putting mechanisms in place that take effort. For the green industry and all other service business, you can change your win ratio by learning how to follow up with these 4 steps:
Establish a policy:
When you're learning how to follow up on bids, policy is your foundation. Put parameters in place that define the number of days you're going to wait before reaching out to your contact. After that, put more rules in place that tell how many times and when you'll follow-up, before you call the deal "dead".
Establish your voice.
How to follow up on bids means knowing exactly what you're doing to say when you reach out, either by phone or email. Consider developing mini sales pitches: Lay out different common scenarios, and preset your responses. This helps you win the business. Feel free to tailor your pitch to any specific situation as needed. As you establish your voice, be sure to emphasize your commitment to the prospect. You want them to become customers, and that may take a little nurturing.
Establish a tracking system.
You'll be amazed what a little tracking can do for a follow-up process. By keeping track of your proposal send dates and your follow up timelines, everything is clear in an easy-to-follow format. Subscribe to a CRM. LOVE YOUR NOTES. From there, you'll reach a level of efficiency that where you're moving into the direction to be at the top of your game.
Establish an action plan.
How to follow up on bids is really about finding what works best for you. Maybe your CRM system will put reminders in your calendar (ie- Follow Up on Jones Bid) or taking a half hour each day as your “follow-up hour” where you look at your proposals to see what bids need follow up. Now you've got a designated time each day to "get 'r done".
While any follow up plan is better than none, an automated solution is clearly your best bet. At Arborgold software, we have automated follow up features that, for many of our customers, can be a lifesaver (and a money-maker). Arborgold's Estimate & Proposal software means less work on your end but you’re still able to capitalize on opportunities and follow up on bids in a timely and effective manner.
And when the process is automated, "falling through the cracks" bids simply disappear.
But the real beauty of the software is that it’s designed to be with you every step of the way: from actually creating the the bid, to following up, scheduling jobs, billing, and maintaining contact with customers, even after a job is complete.
When the legwork is automated, you can get back to doing what you do best: developing prospects, forging relationships with potential and current customers, and delivering stellar landscaping and lawn care services.