Here is a question from our Race to the Finish call from Elisa:
“How do you recover from a missed opportunity that is a result of timing, i.e., customer asked for a detailed quote when you are over scheduled?”
Thanks for your question Elisa. And…your question has 2 questions to consider. Not just the direct one you asked of “how to recover”. Let’s consider them both….and hopefully find some solutions!
First: Future prevention! You need to resolve the issue of being over scheduled.
• Can you raise your fees and take on less volume but higher profit projects?
• Can you hire or outsource some of the low profitability work?
• Do you need more employees?
• Can you fire unprofitable customers?
• Can you manage your time better?
• Can you replace low productivity employees with high productivity employees
• Can you change your work style to accomplish more in the same amount of time?
Consider a time and activity audit of your work days to see where you are spending your time. This will help you make smart decisions on where to leverage other resources in the future and ensure you are never too busy to meet the requests of new business acquisition.
Second: How to recover if you did miss the opportunity.
If the opportunity has not yet been contracted, call the customer and see if there is still a chance to participate. Apologize for missing the deadline and take full responsibility for your mistake. Never blame the customer for your mistake.
If the opportunity has been awarded, schedule time with the customer to conduct periodic business reviews. Creatively present new solutions that compliment their current projects or suggest new and improved ways they could be doing business.
In order to win back this customer, and to ensure you are given a fair chance to compete when the next opportunity is presented, you must show you can deliver value. Focus your “win back” strategy on consistent outreach – every 30 days – with high value relationship focused communications such as:
• Presentation of case studies
• Deliver of research or white papers
• Access to your network of advisers
• Open house visits
• Articles that can help them do business better
• Business building tips
• Access to insiders information
It’s not always easy to win back a customer when you screwed up the sales process. But it can be done. Remember that it takes time to win back their trust. Focus on delivering value at every interaction and soon you will have the customer back.
Dedicated to increasing your sales,