A funny thing happened to me recently. A salesperson followed up with me just as they said they would do. And they scheduled the next appointment until I bought their service. Imagine that!
And, inside, I was jumping up and down for joy.
The truth is, we actually DO want salespeople to call us back. We want them to treat us really well. We want them to be confident and we want them to actually sell us something.
Okay, maybe not every salesperson, but certainly the ones who are selling the products and services we need or want.
As a sales coach and trainer, this topic comes up often. “How many times should I call my prospect?” I always say, “Until you get them on the phone.” Seems obvious, but fear gets in the way and we simply don’t want to follow up.
I want to let you in on a little secret. Your prospect might actually want you to call them back. In fact, they might be waiting for your call. How do I know? Because I have tested this theory over and over again, and that’s what prospects want.
That’s what you want. You are someone’s prospect, too. I know that when you really desire something, you want someone to call you back.
So here goes! I’m going to share the top 10 things your prospect wishes you knew.
#1: I actually do want what you are offering. Yes, your prospect wants what you are offering, but they might not come straight out and tell you. Why should they? It’s up to you, the sales professional or entrepreneur, to ask enough questions to discover that they really do want what you sell.
#2: I haven’t called you back because I’m busy. Let’s face it. On any given day, saying “I’m busy” is an easy response. It’s almost an automatic response in our society. But is it necessarily true? Maybe. Maybe not. But whether busyness is perceived or real doesn’t matter. It’s often just something we say, but it doesn’t mean the prospect doesn’t desire what you sell.
#3: I expect you to call me again—and call soon. Once you begin to engage in a conversation with your prospect, they actually DO expect you to call them back. That’s what a professional does: they call back. And, no, you should not wait. Call them back as soon as you can. Again, this isn’t being pushy; this is being a professionally, persistent problem solver.
#4: I might sound annoyed when you call, but it’s only because I have a million other things on my mind. Sure, you might call back and catch your prospect at a bad time and they might even sound annoyed with you. But that doesn’t mean they are. They just have a lot going on. Don’t take it personally. This reminds me, I highly recommend that you read the book, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. He reminds us not to take things personally in business…and in life!
#5: Don’t sell to me over the phone. I’m busy. Instead, please set an appointment so we can talk in more detail about what I want and why I want it. This is big. If you haven’t had a formal appointment yet, don’t jump into selling. A professional salesperson will set a separate appointment, whether live or over the phone, so they can give their full attention to their prospect. Otherwise, expect the sales process to be rushed. Without having time to ask enough questions, you cannot determine whether or not you can help this person.
#6: This isn’t dating. There is no 24-hour rule, so you don’t have to wait to call me back in between conversations. Again, call your prospect as soon as you can. I know there are a lot of negative beliefs in our society about not calling back too frequently, but that’s just not true. Top sales professionals call and call and call until they get their prospects on the phone. Do that.
#7: Even though I haven’t said “yes” yet, I also haven’t said “no.” Sales professionals can get nervous when they don’t receive a solid yes. But if you don’t have a solid yes, you also don’t’ have a real no. Keep calling.
#8: My “not sure” will turn into a “yes” if you ask more questions and figure out why I really want and need your product or service. Your prospect isn’t sure about proceeding because they don’t have enough information. They have more questions. Ask a deeper question like, “What would it take to move forward?” You might be surprised at their answer.
#9: I know I said yes and I know I haven’t called you back. I’m still very busy, so please call me back and make it easy for me to pay you and take the next step. So, you got a yes, but you didn’t ask your prospect for payment information? Not to worry. You need to keep calling and make it really easy for your prospect to pay you. Give them clear and simple options.
#10: I’m glad you finally got me on the phone to take my payment information because I really wasn’t going to call you back. No offense, but that’s your job. Yes, you’ve heard this already. But sometimes the sales process moves along and you still don’t have payment information and you start to think that they are reconsidering. Don’t let your monkey mind take over. Instead, call with confidence, get payment information, get the contract signed and thank your new client for their business.
So, who are you going to call? Make a list of your top 10 prospects and call them as soon as possible. And then keep calling them.
They really do want what you have!