As a business development author, speaker and practitioner, I am continually amazed by student salespeople who choose to not always put into practice what I and my colleagues have spent years learning and what they have come to learn from me. This is particularly true of the follow-up process. Are they afraid to make more sales?
[Related: 1 easy and overlooked way to increase sales]
In my last article, I shared the importance of following up with prospects with information summarizing a meeting, call, email or letter. A customer should receive a phone call within two hours of contact between the salesperson and the customer, an email the same day, and a letter that will reach the customer within two or three days to keep the salesperson’s products and services on their mind.
Most likely, your competition is not following up with these same customers. The more post-meeting contact prospects have with you, the more likely they will become your buyers!
When you determine that a customer is not ready to purchase your product or service, try to leave a question or two unanswered during your sales presentation. You want to earn the right to contact the prospect with more information in order to have the prospect return to your sales environment to hopefully become your next customer.
By placing a call, you can also determine your customer’s interest level and whether or not he or she wants to learn from you.
Contact the customer within two hours after your meeting with pertinent information to the unanswered questions. Upon calling, ask your customer if this is a good time to provide the answers. You may choose to use two points of commentary as you engage the customer by saying, “You may re-call or you may remember.” Then you can share the information that you have.
You may also choose to withhold the information until a later date and say, “I shared with you that I would call within two hours. Unfortunately, I do not have the answers yet, but I wanted to contact you to keep my word on the two-hour call commitment.” This sales follow-up tactic helps to build more trust with your customer.
You may then advise your customer that you will call them the following day at a specified time with as many answers to the questions as possible. Follow through on your new commitment. You will be amazed at the appreciation from your customer when you fulfill your obligation.
More sales will result as you practice more qualified follow-up techniques. Buyers like to buy from the same companies when they receive valued service, price, products and service!
Robert August, BA, MIM, NAHB Senior Life Director, IRM Fellow, MIRM, CMP, CSP, MCSP, CAASH, CLIPP, and Master Train the Trainer is president and founder of North Star Synergies, Inc., a national firm based in Denver. North Star Synergies specializes in business development strategy, and provides executives, home builders, developers, Realtors, manufacturers and lenders with marketing, management and sales training. Contact Robert by phone at 303-500-3400 or email [email protected].