marketing & sales: Increase Your Sales by Mastering the Art of Follow-Up
It's a known fact that salespeople who consistently follow up generate higher sales than their colleagues who don't. However, mastering the art of effective sales follow-up is challenging.
We have all encountered prospects who expressed interest in our product, service or offering. But after that initial conversation that person has gone AWOL. We leave a few voicemail messages and send a couple of e-mails, but get no response.
We don't want to be perceived as a pest, so we give up and move on to other opportunities.
Why don't people return your calls and e-mails? They are simply too busy. The average corporate executive has at least 40 hours of unfinished work on his or her desk at any given time, so he or she seldom responds to anything that isn't urgent or important.
Here are five strategies you can use to improve your follow-up process and increase the likelihood of reconnecting with your prospect.
1. Deal with the right person.
First and foremost, you must deal with the right person. That means talking to the key person(s) who are responsible for making that buying decision. If you are discussing the purchase with anyone other than the person who controls the budget or who has buying power, you are wasting your time.
2. Pre-arrange the follow-up.
During the initial call, establish a day and time for a subsequent conversation. You can do this simply by saying, "It seems like we need to talk again. Does next Tuesday morning at 9:15 a.m. work for you?" Pinpointing a specific day and time is critical, but most salespeople say something like, "I'll call you next Tuesday."
This approach leaves the door open and forces the other person to actually look at his or her calendar and consider your request.