What is the likelihood you being in front of your prospect at the exact moment they are ready to buy?
Believe me, none of our prospects got up this morning, got down on one knee, and said “please God, please let a sales rep call on me today.” It just does not happen. If you want to close more deals, then you need to be in front of your prospect at the exact moment they are ready to buy. The only way to do that is to create a strategic sales follow-up process.
The sale happens in the follow-up; it always happens in the follow-up. The more strategic you are about following up, the more consistent you are with your follow-up, the better chances you will have to be in front of your prospect when they are ready to buy.
Here are five strategies to help you build a powerful follow-up system.
- Use A Sales Follow-Up Schedule – the only way to guarantee you will follow-up is to schedule your follow-up. Every time you interact or engage with a prospect, you need to determine the next step – the next time you will call on them, or e-mail them, or to send them something of value. You need to schedule the next step with prospects immediately. Scheduling follow-up ensures that you have a plan in place, another opportunity to reach out and connect with your prospects.
- Determine Your Cadence – in other words, how often should you follow-up? That is the age-old question right? Follow-up too often, and you annoy your prospect. Follow-up too little, and you miss the chance to close the deal. Different prospects require different follow-up. I read a statistic that said 50% of qualified leads are qualified; they are just not ready to buy. So, for prospects like that, you may follow-up monthly or quarterly. For those prospects closer to purchase, you may follow-up weekly. Understanding your prospects buying cycle is critical to determine the sales follow-up frequency that will land the deal.
- Track and Measure – for a follow-up to be effective, you must understand what is working and what is not. The only way to learn is to track and measure. Track the follow-up calls you to make, the way you follow-up, and learn what you did that landed the deal, what you may have done that handed the deal to your competition. You are your best sales coach, and by tracking and measuring follow-up, you’ll learn what you need to know to land more sales.
- Create Content For Value – follow-up is more about adding value than asking for the business. Yes, you heard me right. It is more about adding value. Why? Because when a prospect says no, or when they are just not ready to buy, what they are saying is you have not given your prospect a reason. Prospects buy what they feel they need, and they pay for what they think has value. So your follow-up needs to be about continuing to provide educational information, value-added pieces that move your prospect closer to saying yes.
- Find The Balance – while creating value add is essential in your follow-up system, you still must ask for the business. I learned this lesson the hard way. I spent an entire year following up with a prospect, sending valuable information, making referrals to them, providing them with the knowledge that increased their business, assuming all of that would land the deal. Never directly asking for the business. When I finally got up the courage to ask, I had missed the timing, and they had gone with someone else. Follow-up is a balance.
The key to closing more sales in today’s market place, and edging out your competition is follow-up. Use these five strategies to create your powerful follow-up system and watch as you open more doors and close more sales.
Voted Top 15 Business Growth Experts to Watch, and Top 41 Motivational Speakers, Meridith Elliott Powell is a business growth strategist who helps her clients learn the techniques they need to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage. An award-winning author, Meridith’s latest book, with co-author Connie Podesta, is The Best Sales and Sales Leadership Book Ever!