Tenacity in follow-up is essential for successful sales. However, following the ‘rules of the game’ will make or break your record.
Early in my sales career, it was frustrating to have conversations seemingly fade away. On my second job, a sales manager advised our team that we call prospects every single day until they say, ‘yes. ‘
Any sane person knows the suggested method is a very poor one! The last thing you want to do is turn off a prospective client. A businessperson’s mission is to keep lines of communication open and maintain an overflowing pipeline at all times.
It was evident that I was the one who needed to take the lead. Instead of the continuous and time-wasting calls, I chose another route. At the end of each initial meeting, I would ask the prospect if they would like me to check back. Should a nod of agreement be apparent, it was always followed by two questions:
- When will be best to reconnect and pick up the conversation?
- Which method of communication do you prefer?
Notes were taken to remind me of each person’s preference for follow-up. When the date arrived, humor and a kind reminder were at the forefront. A comment about how time flies was first and followed by a reminder that they asked me to contact them again on that particular day. Following up on promises is the number one way to build credibility and trust. No one declined my follow-up unless they needed to reschedule.
As an entrepreneur, I experience a wider variety of clientele. Accordingly, the protocol is different than the norm. As I await a ‘go-ahead’ from one company, I found it necessary to seek advice. A friend, familiar with the industry, shared the best way to follow-up without annoying anyone. The suggestion is that I present the progress made since we last spoke.
The suggestion will help keep my project in forward-motion. And it will serve to demonstrate the effort I promise to put in should we agree on moving forward. Asking for the protocol on follow-up will not only save the day but will help you advance.
Asking for Protocol on Follow-up
As you gain experience, hits and misses with clients are to be expected. It is how you handle the misses that will get you to additional gains. A willingness to learn from every error and experience will have you feeling as if you earned an advanced degree.
Consider if you:
- Are shy about asking for help
- Make excuses for what does not work out as it should
- Boldly ask for follow-up protocol to improve your performance
Just as you work differently from your peers, each client will have a different structure from their competitors. The smart salesperson will inquire of each prospect their processes for doing business. It is the first-hand insight that will make you the preferred vendor. Always focus on your client instead of the sale. Sales will organically follow and lead to a happy returning and referring clientele.
Sales Tips for Protocol on Follow-up
- Never assume any detail
- Ask permission to follow-up
- Inquire how each client would like you to contact them
- Request a date to reconvene that is best for your client
- Remind your contact that they asked you get in touch on the day.
- Upon reconnecting ask what has changed since you last spoke
- Inquire whether the new status will affect what was previously discussed
- Gain consensus for where interest remains
- Together create a plan to be put in place
- Celebrate Success and the Smooth Sale!
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