Welcome to the fourth in a series of posts by Leslie Gallagher, owner of Worklocal.jobs, documenting her discovery of the power of phone communication. I’ve been inspired by the joy, excitement and success she’s generated while developing her new skills – and I hope you are too. Enjoy and share!
I am a hard worker. I may not be the smartest person on the planet, or the most talented, but I do not give up, and a lot of the time tenacity is what wins the game—or the client.
Despite this, it took some serious coaching for me to realize that this translates to using the phone to make follow-up sales calls.
This is what I believed about follow-up calls:
1) The client would think I was annoying, or pathetic;
2) They would laugh at me or roll their eyes when they heard my voice again; or
3) I would come across as pushy and desperate, resulting in a bad reputation for myself and my business.
Turns out I was not only incorrect, but the majority of the time the OPPOSITE was true. Here’s why:
Everyone is very busy. If you don’t hear anything back from your phone call or email, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not interested in what you have to say, just that they were too busy to respond. Don’t drop off the face of the Earth—it sends the message to the client that they are not important to you. Reaching out 4-5 times is completely normal. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people thank me for my diligent follow up.
I have found that as long as I am respectful and friendly, persistent follow up pays off. On one occasion, I’d reached out almost 10 times by voicemail and email, with no luck even introducing myself to the client. On the verge of moving on, I gave it one final try. The client happened to pick up the phone, and once she heard what I had to say, she scheduled an in-person meeting immediately. They are now a valued client.
All I’m saying is, persistence pays off. Be friendly, respectful, and recognize that people are busy. From experience I can tell you that people will be grateful that you recognize they have hectic schedules and you’ll hear “Thank you so much for following up.”
Leslie Gallagher is the founder and owner of WorkLocal.jobs, an innovative job board where job seekers apply to positions with recorded Video Interview Messages. Their mission is to keep talent in the region. She can be reached on Twitter @LG_HFX and at email@example.com.
For more insights on persistence, check out these previous posts: Constants Speaks – Loudly! What Does Persistence Mean? How Many Messages Actions Speak Louder: Portraying Persistence Five Reasons to Say “Yes” to Persistence
The Phone Lady on the Road
May 25 – Telephone Excellence: Skills for Building Stronger Customer Relationships, Accessibility Professionals
May 26 – Excellent Telephone Communication, Dalhousie Science, Information Technology, Engineering Cooperative Education, Halifax
May 26 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University
May 27 – Effective Phone Presentations, BDC, National
May 27 – Building Relationships by Phone,TD Bank, Ontario
May 28 – Telephone Sales Skills, Metro Guide Publishing, Halifax
June 3 – Effective Phone Presentations, BDC, National
June 5 – Phone Skills for the Job Search, The Older Wiser Labourforce – Job Junction
June 9 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University
June 10 – Building Relationships by Phone,TD Bank, Ontario
June 9 – Effective Phone Presentations, BDC, National
June 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CBDC Cumberland, Amherst, NS
June 18 – Building Relationships by Phone, Newfoundland & Labrador Association of CBDCs, Port aux Basques, NL
June 24 – Building Relationships by Phone,TD Bank, Ontario
June 25 – Tell Me More: Increasing Sales By Asking More Questions and Staying in Touch, Arrow Construction Products, Halifax, NS
June 30 – Phone Skills for Entrepreneurs, LaunchPad Accelerator, Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University
July 8 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS
August 11 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS
October 14 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS
November 17 – Phone Fear to Phone Fabulous, CEED, Halifax, NS