What’s A Reasonable Amount Of Time To Get Back To A Potential Client?

As a sales professional, what do you consider a reasonable amount of time to follow up with an email or phone message?  We are all very busy each and every day.  Not only do we have clients to serve and things that need getting done, we have family responsibilities as well.

Everyone is living very busy lives these days and we are always on the go. Dropping kids off, rushing to work, going to meetings and on and on.

So given that everyone is so busy all the time, what would be a reasonable amount of time to return a call or email?

20 years ago, I’m sure it was considered great service if you called someone back within a few hours.  I mean we are all busy working with clients.  Showing houses, doing inspections, taking listings.  A few hours back then seems reasonable given how busy we can be.

But that was 20 years ago and things are much different now.

Technology has advanced at an unbelievable rate.  With the advent of the cell phone, customers expectations have increased from their sales people. A few hours in today’s world is an eternity and certainly not considered reasonable anymore.

The realty is that customers are gained and kept by getting back to people as fast as possible.  The standard is now minutes and not hours.  I have had Agents tell me they have lost out on potential clients by taking longer than 20 minutes to get back to someone.

This is shocking, but I do understand why.

Today’s consumer is accustomed to an instant gratification world now.  Anything they want to know is now at their fingertips.  This has improved immensely over the last few years as well.  The computer and internet has made us come to expect that any questions that we have, can be sought out and answered within minutes online.  Sites like google and wikipedia have revolutionized how quickly we can access information.

Now with smart phones coming in waves, we don’t even need to get back to the office to search the web.  We can be online all day long.  This is exactly what’s happening.  More than 70 million people are checking their Facebook accounts from their smart phone each day.

Generation Y has come to expect answers quickly and as sales professionals we have to be prepared to deliver or lose out.

So the real answer is minutes and even more correctly, the less time it takes you to get back to a potential client the better!  10 to 15 minutes Maximum is what’s expected these days and for some that is even a long time!

So make sure you have a decent phone with email capabilities and be very conscious about getting back to potential clients as quickly as possible.  It may just be your next big deal!

Do you think customers are being unreasonable expecting immediate call backs?  Do you have an understanding with your current clients that they wont get a call back right away?  Are they ok with that?

Let me know!




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