Salespeople do a lot of work. They will go through all of the steps of sales: making phone calls, setting appointments, doing sales presentations… then they wait. The mentality tends to be: “Well, the ball is in their court now, so I’ll just wait for it to come back to me” – as though they’ve done enough work already!
Statistically speaking, 85% of sales are made after the 5th follow up? The 5th one! Which means that once you’ve had your authentic sales conversation, you’re not done yet!
And the numbers show that not only do you need to follow up, you need to be persistent about it!
The skill of follow up is a valuable one that needs to be in the repertoire of every sales person. As with everything, your follow up needs to be done with intention to be effective. Your prospects want to know how much you want to work with them, so a strong follow up cannot be underestimated.
As you are following up with your prospects, remember these three keys:
- Schedule Your Follow UpFollow up is one of those things that needs to go into your calendar.If it’s not there, it likely won’t happen. You’re 25% more likely to get something accomplished simply by writing it down. So set aside follow up time in your calendar. Give it the same level of priority that you give to scheduling sales appointments.
- Be ConsistentYou cannot simply “talk” about following up with your prospect, then never follow through with scheduling it. There are many ways to follow up, but your methods must be consistent with your words. In other words, you cannot discuss meeting for coffee, then follow up with a phone call instead.
How you follow up will determine how you are remembered by your prospect. If you promise to follow up a certain way, or within a certain timeframe, you need to do exactly that. If you don’t, you’ll lose your credibility with them, and you’ll likely lose them as a client.Furthermore, you are not going to get any more business from them in the future if you follow up is perceived as unprofessional.Your follow up can be done one of several ways: you can write a handwritten letter, make a phone call, or send a gift. Some even ask if the prospect would like to be added to an email newsletter.
- Update Your RecordsIt’s way too easy to forget the details you discuss in your meetings. Once you follow up, make notes in your contact management tool so that you can recall what you discussed, and what the next step is. This, too, will ensure that you are reliable and professional with your prospects.
In all of your intentional meetings, always get a “yes,” “no,” or a “next step.”
Continue following up until you get your definite answer!