Better Late Than Never?

RefreshBlogMay21 How long do you typically take to get back to a prospect upon receiving an inquiry from them?

Anything longer than 24 hours is too long. Your customers are busy people – by taking too long to respond you’re letting go of an otherwise potentially easy sale. ← Click To Tweet

The number of salespeople and organizations who let days or weeks pass before responding to an inquiry is absolutely staggering. This type of behavior not only breaks several rules in sales etiquette but also displays a complete lack of professional etiquette as well.

For example: I once sent an inquiry to a company about buying a tradeshow booth. I expressed a strong interest in their product and indicated that I simply needed a few pieces of information before making a purchase. I expected a prompt reply due to my clear readiness to buy their product.

I didn’t hear back from this organization until almost 45 days later! No phone call, no “thank you for your inquiry” email; there was virtually no response to my initial inquiry until almost two months later.

I needed to review their long overdue email response a few times to refresh my memory because so much time had passed! I had long purchased a similar product from another company. But, even if I were still looking to buy, I would not do business with them. This is one scenario where the “better late than never” adage is simply not true.

With that in mind, here are a few general practices to help ensure that you never miss an inquiry.

1) Flag all inquiry emails as soon as you receive them. Even if you can’t respond immediately, they will stick out in your inbox so you don’t forget about them later.

2) Scan all of your social media outlets on a daily basis for messages that may have been left for you. An increasing number of people are taking to social media to inquire about products and services.

3) Scan through your current list of clients and ensure all of your communication is up-to-date with them.

Be prompt! A quick reply with genuine interest can truly make or break your success with potential clients. Don’t rely on your sales savvy or superior products alone. Your ability to communicate effectively with prospects is what makes a great salesperson.

How do you ensure that you respond to inquiries within 24 hours?