There’s a sales statistic that haunts me. Sounds a bit melodramatic, right? I wish that were the case.
The statistic I’m about to share with you points to a deep failure to understand what prospects and clients need. In fact, it’s a failure to honor the real truth of sales – that sales is service.
No matter your relationship with sales – salesperson, entrepreneur, coach, manager, etc. – if you ignore the implications of this statistic, you are not only “leaving money on the table”, you are undermining the success of your business and your team.
What is this statistic? And how can each of us avoid the failure it represents?
Here it is:
What! This means there are individuals who think they are selling when they:
- Send out one email
- Make one phone call
- Have one conversation
- Submit one proposal
I’m not sure what to call this but it isn’t selling.
Sales is service.
It is presenting our value to our prospects/clients … and taking responsibility for helping them make the best possible decision.
The good news about this statistic? If you are in sales, your competition has now been reduced by 48%.
And here’s another interesting number to consider: 42% of people would consider making a purchase if the salesperson called back at an agreed-upon, specified time.
This is how you “fire up your follow-up”.
Always communicate when you’ll follow up. This should be included in all your emails and all your voicemails, whether you are following up with an existing client, or with a prospect. Always communicate when you’ll follow up.
Here are some examples:
- In your voicemail messages you can say: “If we don’t connect today, that’s fine. I’ll follow up with you again on Tuesday (or early next week).” By the way, this statement does increase your returned calls.
- In your email, you can add: “If I don’t hear from you this week, I’ll reach out again on Monday.”
- Here’s what I say at the end of an email with a proposal attached: “Questions? Comments? Don’t hesitate to call or write. And I’ll follow up with you towards the end of next week.”
What happens? The person receiving the proposal lets me know when a follow-up works best for them. For example, they might respond with, “I’ll be presenting this to the team late next week, so let’s follow up the week of August 22.” How perfect – now we have both agreed on our next steps.
Successful follow-up demands that you follow a system, a discipline.
You must be able to rely on your CRM and your calendar to remind you of your commitments. And then … do it. Keep your word. Build relationships; nurture trust. The results will be evident in your increased revenue.
Want to learn more about follow-up and read success stories of clients and colleagues? Download my ebook The Why and How of Following Up.