“I just landed a client based off of one meeting with no sales follow-up at all” said no one ever. That’s just ridiculous. The art of the sales follow-up is indeed that: an art. There are more ways to get a sales follow-up wrong than to get it right. With that in mind, we decided to collect our 7 favorite secrets to master sales follow-ups.
Follow Up Soon
You don’t need to read a VoIP with CRM case study or attend a fancy sales course to understand that no one likes pushy or needy people. And it’s even worse when it’s someone trying to get your business. You don’t want to be that guy or that gal.
Your first follow up should be detailed and should provide an easy answer or an actionable event for your prospect. A good sales follow-up will elicit a response and that’s a great way to go about it. Follow up with a phone call within 3 business days and then by email within the first 10 business days. You can use some handy dandy VoIP features that are built into your phone to remind you to call.
Get to the Point
We are running a business here people; we have places to go and people to see. So let’s get down to brass tacks. Of course, you need to woo them and do a little dance, but you’ll get nowhere if you are spending all your time only talking about the fluff.
After the initial sales follow-up chitchat, bring up the proposal and ask a specific question. Again, the secret to a great sales follow-up is to ask them directed questions so they can give you valuable answers. Some sales folk favor the idea of yes-or-no questions so you can trick prospects into going on a YES train all the way to the bank.
This is nonsense. We aren’t selling cars in the 1960s, we are selling in a digital world in 2019. You pay for a business phone service, so use it. Pick up that phone, build a rapport, and get to the point.
Much like we mentioned in point 1, no one likes the needy sales person. You can smell it from a mile away and hear it in their voice – they need this sale. Pressing too hard is a clear indicator of a needy sales person.1
Instead, change your mindset, subscribe to the idea of abundance mentality which will eventually change your life.2 It all just starts with learning to improve the way you sell over the phone. There are a few exercises you can practice to help you adopt this great mindset for sales, but we like this shortcut that you can use for now:
Before you call, imagine you have a list of clients begging to work with you, or to buy your product or to have lunch with you. And you can pick and choose which clients you want. Imagine you are making this call as a big favor to a best friend. As if they should be so lucky if you decide to work with them or sell to them after this call.
Now do this, but don’t get too cocky, and you’ll instantly feel better about the call you make, regardless of the outcome.
Check Out This Inforgraphic
Do Them A Favor – PREciprocal Relationship
We’ve all heard of reciprocal relationships. The idea that both parties are benefiting equally from their relationship. This is the perfect relationship we want from all businesses.
Here’s a little sales follow-up secret formula for success: instead of building a reciprocal relationship, try starting with a PREciprocal relationship. The “PRE” means exactly what you think; you want to build a relationship based on doing something for them first.
Do this and you will instantly stand out. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just thoughtful. Spend some time creating something valuable for them, something that you know they couldn’t do themselves for whatever reason. Maybe they don’t have the time or expertise. Send it to them as a measure of good faith. They will never forget that.
You gotta bring a little personality. Crack a few jokes to ease the tension or mention something innately personal that they can relate to. It’s been proven that ice-breakers improve the success rate of cold calls.3 The same can be said for successful sales follow-up calls.
If you listened closely when you made original call and you both engaged in a little banter, take note of what was said. Recall these details when you do return their call with follow-up questions and engage in banter. “It was so chilly, did you just stay in this weekend?” or “I know you just got back from that vacation, hope it went well!” Some business VoIP plans have integrated CRM features that allow you to take notes on a customer. Use it! And if your phone service doesn’t offer a good CRM, you should switch; there are plenty out there!
Ask Someone to Listen to Your Pitch
Ask someone to get on the line and listen to your pitch from start to finish. Will this be nerve wracking? Yes. Will it be helpful to get constructive feedback? Definitely.
There is a little strange factor here where you can record a pitch or you can ask someone to listen in. Both are kinda strange and in some cases might not even be allowed, so we like option 3. Ask someone to listen while you pitch them. Ask them to be ruthless and turn you down. Build up the confidence to face them head on.
Learn When to Let Go
People will only buy when they are ready to buy, it’s that simple. You’re going to waste a lot of your precious time pitching to a sales lead that doesn’t want to buy anything, are too nice to tell you no, or worse, are actually talking to you just to get some small nuggets of helpful information.
Knowing when to let go is a skill. You’re going to be scared that you could be losing out on a potential client and of course you don’t want that. Here are a few signs that your prospect is not going to buy:
- They keep putting off meetings and calls because they are hoping you’ll get the point and stop asking.
- They ghost you, disappear, poof. The fact is, once a relationship is established, they’ll put in the work to maintain it if they really want to continue working with you.
- They keep bringing up price, especially in the beginning. It means they are looking for an easy excuse to say no or they are using your proposal to get a cheaper deal from a current supplier.
- They tell you that they are still in the research phase and will have to get back to you.
If your prospect displays any of these characteristics during the follow-up process, then you have to take a step back and let them make the next move.