The biggest reason that salespeople don’t call customers and follow up is fear. Fear can be immobilizing and regularly costs weak or average salespeople not just a fortune, but their fortune.
Great salespeople also have fear, but they use the following strategies and techniques to push past fear and get the sales they so rightfully deserve.
Prospects have the greatest probability of purchasing right after a presentation. Because the material that was covered (hopefully compelling and customized) is freshest in the prospect’s mind. For coaches it’s important to be transparent
The more time that passes after their presentation, all things being equal, the less motivated they are to move forward. The prospect may have the best intentions of calling you back but then life happens and she gets busy. She happily strolls to her mailbox, opens an unexpected bill and becomes hesitant about moving forward. In this economy, prospects just have to turn on the news for 5 minutes to get depressed or worse, they go to the gas station to fill up their car.
Avoid the mistake of asking the customer when you should call her. If you do, she will certainly say, “Give me a week,” (or longer) and pushing you out of the shorter window.
To successfully reach a prospect within 24 to 72 hours, great salespeople successfully acquired all possible phone numbers for their prospect (office, including extension number; cell phone; and home number, if applicable).
What do you say when you call your prospect? Here’s how a weak salesperson handles the call. Sounding like he’d rather be at the dentist having any number of teeth pulled: “Hi, Mr. Prospect, this is Dan from the ABC Company. We met the other day. I hope you remember me. Well, I was just wondering if you decided to buy the widget you were looking at.”
Believe it or not, even that follow up exchange is better than doing nothing. If that prospect was ready to buy and just hadn’t gotten around to calling you first, Dan would probably get the order.
Great salespeople handle things a bit differently. They enthusiastically call the prospect and try to think of one or two terrific things that they forgot to mention about their product when they were together. Even the best of the best can forget. If they didn’t forget anything, they can still mention a few terrific things and try to increase the prospect’s sense of urgency by discussing the limited stock they have on hand, explain the sale price or maybe that the delivery time is starting to creep. This shows a high level of organization and interest in the prospect and may give the needed edge to help nudge a customer off of the proverbial wait-and-see fence.
How often do you follow up? Until you get the sale. If the customer purchases right away – yippee! If not, have an organized reminder system and continue to follow up, always acting like a concerned agent or assistant.
Great salespeople know that they need to use every tool at their disposal during this kind of economy. They work hard at closing the sale while they are with the customer so they don’t leave a sale vulnerable, hoping that they’ll get it through follow up.
Great follow-up skills are a powerful tool to make your personal economy great – regardless of what any other economy is doing.