A successful first call requires planning and preparation. That takes time.
And it is amazing how few business people make the time to follow-up after the initial contact with a prospect or customer.
The first call is wasted if there is no follow up.
In the last few months, I can think of at least two different situations where there was no follow up.
One was a bank where I have a personal account and the bank manager suggested that I transfer my business account to his bank. He said he would call to schedule an appointment. He never followed up.
Another was a piano store where I said I was interested in one specific piano and “someone” was going to contact me to follow up.
No one ever did.
This caused me to wonder:
Why don’t people follow-up? I believe there are several reasons.
One reason for lack of follow up: They don’t want to appear pushy.
It may be true that following up too frequently will come across as being pushy. We can cross that line by making too many calls in a short period of time.
Another reason for sales reps not following up: They forget.
It’s easy to forget, considering how busy we are. We may have every intention of calling our prospect but we get caught up with unexpected problems we didn’t anticipate.
We find ourselves spending more time in meetings and stuck in traffic, and because we didn’t schedule the follow-up, it doesn’t get done.
This is a common dilemma but one that can be avoided by considering the follow-up like a scheduled appointment.
Lack of follow up is where a sale can die.
If you’re going to schedule a follow-up call, get a commitment of some type.
Anytime you plan on calling back, especially if you have given them something like a price quote or a proposal, find out what’s going to happen next.
After sending information to a prospect, one way to begin a follow-up call is with enthusiasm:
“After we spoke last Wednesday, I sent you the information we talked about and I’ve been looking forward to getting some feedback from you.”
Then wait to hear a response.
What NOT to say during a follow-up call:
- “Did you get the information I sent?”
- “Did you look at the catalog?”
- “I’m just calling to make sure you got the price list I sent you.”
Reason NOT to ask the questions above?
It’s too easy for the prospect to say “no” or “I didn’t have time to look at it” and that will be the end of the conversation.
Just go on to discuss whatever you were planning to discuss if they HAD received or looked at the information you sent.
Following up works!
People who need to be convinced generally don’t buy until after the seventh contact. Most sales reps stop at two!
A great way to learn how to successfully plan your day and increase your sales:
Join my 4-week once a week sales training and coaching e-Course.
BTA Educational discounts apply for this course!