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SimplyReplica, post: 200889 wrote:
Interesting topic :)

Firstly, OMG awesome re 2 or 3 sales leads a day from your web site.. you must be over the moon?

Your initial post says email replies and seems you are querying it with 2 different angles, first being how quick you reply (this has been commented on a bit in the past) and secondly about getting replies from your reply… So, excuse me if i get a little wayward, although allow me to give my take on this.. And note, my views are sometimes a little off beat…

As a precursor, please let me say that i feel the answers are quite personal from each person replying to this thread and each one has its own merit and is from their own experience. Each business model, industry and person will have a different view on what is acceptable or expected in todays age or just in their own business. Its a bit like life, what we perceive to be true and correct may be for us although not necessarily true for others… That being said….

Firstly, how quick you reply…

Personally, if i get a sales query in the form of an email i reply.. So if it comes through in 60 seconds and i am on my mobile and i know the answer, i will spit back a reply pretty quickly.. Leaving the message ‘replied from {insert mobile device here}’ so they know i have responded as soon as possible remotely to be of assistance.. As it is a sales query which is why we tend to be in business to some degree, i feel its worth paying attention too…

Note i am using emotive words such as feel, as it is personal…

Some in the past have advised replying too quickly to an email can show you are too eager, or set the expectation early in your relationship that YOU WILL be contactable and quick AT ALL TIMES…. Whilst i do understand this approach of silently setting unrealistic expectations of speedy replies moving forward, there are situations where this is actual crucial to be quick on the reply button. Situations such as people selling tangible items via the internet or ebay, reason for quick reply is that those searching online may just be ready to click BUY NOW and if you get back to them whilst they are still on the site they are viewing there is a higher chance they may just hit that BUY IT NOW button as opposed to the seller who replied 3 days later.. Just a thought..

Although as i say, i do understand industries like service or web creators or graphic designers that may like to hold this back a fraction on replying to minimise that unrealistic expectation of time frames which they would not want to carry over to their work construction times etc.. hope that makes sense?

In today’s world of technology, its pretty easy to reply to a potential sale via mobile, ipad, laptop, telephone, webchat, etc etc

Secondly, getting replies from your replies…

This, well this could be a hornets nest… Unfortunately, it is common that you (the seller/business) values the email more so than the sender. Why? The sender may have made the same query 10 times over and has opted for someone else and the reason i said unfortunately at the start is that they just dont see the reason to reply to someone they do not know and advise they went elsewhere or ceased their query all together. There could be multiple reasons for this such as they may not want follow up sales calls, or be put on the spot in semi confrontational saying why did you not chose us etc etc… Or, it may just be a time restraint and value for work and effort put in…

Whereas, you being the business who values every lead that comes your way likes to follow up all emails as a potential to get sales down the track.. Yes, maybe its manners but ultimately you are fiscally motivated to be polite and follow things up… So there are inadvertently differing values being placed on these forms of correspondence from the outset..

Having been raised to say “yes Sir, No Sir, Thank you Mr Or Mrs X” i too believe its nice to just bounce back a little thank you or something along that line so people know the email has been received… Although not everyone is like us…

About these people not replying, i am not sure i would label them rude just ignorant to other peoples levels of expectation and appreciation of efforts put in. You must remember that us small Flying Soloists cherish our business and it takes a certain person who wants to do this on their own, to service others and take pride in what they do… And it also takes a certain mindset of service and appreciation.. There are only a small percentage of us around (such as on this lovely site) who value these replies, courtesy and follow up in general and understand the effort put in by other small business owners once a sales query is put in.. This is more than likely why people replying to this thread understand what you are saying, although there are many out there that do not understand this effort... Thus the lack of replies, potentially.

I am sure that your reply rate is high from other small businesses and lower if you deal directly from consumers… Please note, i have also mitigated the SPAM replies as this has already been addressed and assume they are getting through…

Is this senario typical?
Unfortunately, i would say yes.. And is there a better way to follow up emails? I would say no, as the potential client has used this medium as they probably prefer it so if you reply a different way you may get them off side. If the query seemed genuine or wasnt a first query, maybe you can earmark it with a follow up in one week just saying “hi, just wanted to follow up my reply from last week to see if you had any other queries” and if they are interested, they will reply or some may just overlook it again.. but you have done your part, and need to move on now..

Lots in my reply, apologies.. i was going for the longest FS post around.. LOL..

Good luck if you read all this.. just my $99 worth (cos i wrote so much its gotta be worth more than 2 cents.. LOL)

Cheers
Jason

Jason,

Like your reply.

Just a couple fo comments, no idea how to add multiple comments, so here i go.

I take the view that even in a service business the quicker you reply the better it is, like you have said often they are ringing or emailing 10 others, and it is literally the first who replies who gets the job, so I always ring back as soon as possible.

I once had the ridiculous situation, where I missed a call but rang back about a minute later, I happened to be on the road and only 5 minutes from the property at the time, so was onsite and quoting within 10 minutes. They gave me the job, and I could juggle my jobs to do their job while I was there, so 2 hours after the phone enquiry I had quoted, finished the job, and scored a new ongoing client. did they see it as been to eager, and expect that service in the future, no not at all, they just understood that all the moons lined up on that day. If a potential rings or emails repond or they may be gone.

Personally I don’t see non returning of emails or calls as rude or lazy, personally all of my potential clients are not rude or lazy, so I just assume they are to busy or my offer was to late, or life has moved on, I am not going to loose sleep over it. Without knowing every persons situation we shouldnt be calling them rude or lazy, I am sure there are times when we all fail to answer an email or phone message, does that make us rude or lazy, or just human.

As for the longest post, in my time I think JohnW must win that, his seem to always be of a substantial but worthy length.