Business Essentials: 5 tips to help you answer enquiries (and win new business) faster
I was speaking to a client the other day who told me she dreads checking her inbox, as wading through various enquiries is a job that she simply doesn't have time for. This frightened the living bajeezus out of me! I completely get that replying to endless emails while churning out bill-paying work is a tough task, but when you consider that enquiries generally come from people who want to work with you, why on earth wouldn't you respond to them? An inbox full of enquiries is as good as an inbox full of cash. Your job is to convert those enquiries into paid-up clients as quickly as possible - and here's how. 1. Create a pdf brochure. A beautifully designed pdf that introduces your services, products and most popular packages will save you hours. Simply attach it to your email (along with a note to say thank you for the interest), and you've got an instant sales pitch. And to really save time...
2. ...Write an email template that you can edit to suit each enquiry. Chances are that you respond to most enquiries in the same way, so you'll be able to put together a draft response that can be quickly editted, rather than writing a fresh email each time.
3. Quickly get to the bottom of the reason behind each enquiry. What does this lovely person want you to do? Are they interested in using your services, are they seeking a collaboration, or is it something else?
4. Track each enquiry in a dead-simple Excel database. Ok, this will take you more time in the short term to enter the relevant details, but it'll really help you to understand where each new client has come from, which services they're interested in, how they found you and whether you converted them into a client. I run a simple Excel file each month which I colour code to track the nature of each enquiry and schedule follow up calls. I highly recommend you do the same.
5. Allocate a slot in your day to blitz your inbox. I have a confession - I need to take my own advice on this one. As my laptop is within reach for most of my working day, I have a bad habit of firefighting my emails which results in a very bad use of my day. This year, I promised myself to allocate a dedicated slot to answering my emails, and it really has helped in fighting that overhwelming feeling you get when you have more emails than spare minutes.
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