Are you also finding that you are putting more energy into prospecting, spending more time seeking out new customers, fully utilising your CRM system, trying to keep in touch with prospects to move the sales cycle forward.
All sorts of research show that we’re notoriously bad at this follow up. We’re great at the call, building a rapport, asking questions and such, but when the customer is not ready to move onto the next stage, we can go cold on the follow up.
Sometimes it’s difficult to make a follow up call when we might feel we’re being a nuisance, or is it the fear of rejection that plagues us, or do we feel it’s the customer’s job to call us since they have the problem which needs solving with our product or service.
Whatever the reason studies show that we need to follow up between 7 to 10 times before we might get a sale but many of us stop after the 2nd or 3rd follow up. Here are some ideas to help you follow up more:
- Brush off the dust from your CRM system or start using one. When you’re following up customers you need to know when you last called them, what you spoke about and what the “hook” you agreed last time was.
- Ask the customer how they would like to be kept up to date and how often and stick to the information they give you
- Try and come up with new benefits of your product or service, new angles, experience of a different client. Something that might just spur them into action.
- Don’t rely on voicemail. The plain fact is that your customer won’t have you at the top of their “to do” list and won’t call back unless it’s an exception. Keep control by saying in your message that you’ll call them back the next day if you don’t hear from them.
- When you do leave a message remember that people don’t recall the first 5 to 10 seconds of the call so information such as your name and contact should be repeated at the end. Don’t ramble on – keep it short and slow down.
- Try calling at odd times such as 7.30am, 5.45pm or lunchtime. Ask their PA or colleague, when might be the best time to call.
Be creative with your follow up. Try these:
- Send a fax. People don’t get many of these anymore
- Hand written cards or notes
- Send them a red nose on red nose day
- Follow them on Twitter
- Put interesting headings on your emails
- Link in with them on LinkedIn
- Put them on your newsletter or eZine list
- Encourage them to RSS your Blog
- Send a birthday card – little bit corny but it gets attention
- Get a pizza delivered for them and their team with a personal message inside
- Send them articles that you’ve written which solve their problems or demonstrate your expertise
So get cracking on your follow ups – it’s more essential than ever before to keep in contact with prospective customers. Remember that the vast majority of salespeople will give up after 2nd or 3rd follow up but if you show persistence, you’ll get the sale.