At this point in the year, many of you probably have a pile of estimates on your desk right now. Many of them you may have thought you would have sold by now. After telling the customer all about the great job your company would do, the prospect said, “Wow! You guys are great! Send me that bid. I can’t wait to see your bid.” Or maybe they said something like, “You guys are by far the most professional company. We’d really like to go with you. Send us your bid and we will confirm with you next week.” So you send them your bid and never hear from them again, only to be left wondering, “How did this happen?”
One of the quickest ways to solve this issue is to get a Next Step Agreement (NSA) on every estimate. A Next Step Agreement is a specific DAY AND TIME to follow up with the prospect. If you are going to spend your precious time writing up a proposal, then the customer owes you the courtesy of a follow-up. When we give this advice to clients or attendees to our workshops, we usually get some push-back. “You don’t know my clients,” they will say. In response, let me ask a simple question: Why are you willing to make an appointment for the Estimate, but are not willing to make an appointment for the Close?
Here’s What Getting a Next Step Agreement Might Look Like:
- “I would really like to work for you. I’ll go back to the office and write you up a proposal. If I do that, would you agree to a time that we can discuss the proposal?”
- “As you get other bids, the scope of the project may change. Can we agree to talk before you make your decision just so that I can make sure my bid is apples-to-apples?”
The worst thing that could happen is you send them a bid that is way out of their range and they never give you an opportunity to explain or contrast your bid with the others. Don’t let the excitement of a potential sale take you off your game. Once you give the prospect an estimate, they have what they want – and they know it. They will compliment you endlessly to get it. By getting a specific next step, you give yourself the best chance to understand how the prospect really feels and overcome their objections.
So attack that pile on your desk. Set the next steps with them on the phone. Make a goal to walk away from your estimates with a Next Step Agreement every time, so the pile becomes smaller over time. You will be happy with the results.
All the Best!