Get More From Cancellations

It can be annoying and frustrating when a prospective customer decides not to buy from you. It is also a great opportunity to get some feedback which you can use to grow your business though, so do not let it go to waste!

A phone call is often the most effective way to get feedback, although e-mail works as well. Try these simple steps:

  1. Explain that you are sorry they decided not to do business with you, and that you would like to find out why so you can further improve what you do.
  2. Ask “what was the main reason you decided not to use us?”. Often this will open up a conversation. Sometimes they will say that you were too expensive. If so, what they are really saying is that they could not see what value they would get from using you (or that they simply did not have the budget in which case it was not really a serious enquiry). Ask if they have found someone else to do business with, get their details if possible and ask what made them choose them.
  3. Ask “what did we do well”. This is so you understand which parts of your process work well, so you know you do not need to focus on them (for the moment!).
  4. Ask “what we could have done better” – if this has no t already come up in the conversation.

Thank them for their feedback, explain that you will use it to improve your business and ask if they will bear you in mind for the future.

Most of the feedback should be easy to understand and implement changes, but the cost objection needs further investigation. If they have not found someone else to do the work, it is likely that it was just a general enquiry. It may mean though, that the way you promote your product or service needs to be reviewed. Usually, a cost objection is caused by 1 of 3 things:

  • You are more expensive than your competitors. If you have not done so already, list your main competitors and check their pricing against yours. Are you more expensive than the majority? If yes, then can you justify that through extra features, quality or results? If you cannot, then consider reducing your pricing. If you can, then move to the next point.
  • Prospective customers cannot easily work out what value they will get from your product or service. How clearly do you show the value? Do you use case studies and testimonials? Can they see how your customers feel about using you? Look at your website and promotional material – how can you change them to emphasise the value that you give?
  • The final possible reason is that customers do not see the full cost until they have started the buying process. Make sure that a prospective customer can very quickly understand what they will have to pay and what they can get for it. Include delivery costs upfront wherever possible.

If you send quotations or proposals to prospective customers, try this simple template we use. Our conversion rate is over 90%.


Section 1 – Background

Thank you for your enquiry about XXXXX. From our conversation I understand that you are looking to XXXXXX and that your main concerns are XXXXXXXXX.

Section 2 – Summary of my proposal

I recommend

This will make sure that xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

The total cost is £x plus VAT, total £x.

I will call you in the next few days to answer any queries you have, but please do not hesitate to call in the meantime.

Section 3 – Details

List each element, what you will do, why it is important and what they need to do if anything

Section 4 – your expert

A brief biog if required of the person/people who will carry out the work.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more business advice why not follow BuBul on LinkedIn?