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The Importance of Following Up

Follow Up

I work with a lot of sales people and business owners and help them to turn their sales fortunes around.

I sit down with them, listen to their sales processes. I observe their methods and pick up on what they are doing right, and perhaps what they are doing wrong.

And I can tell you now that there is one common theme that tends to occur with those that aren’t making enough sales:

They are not following up enough with their prospect.

They are pitching their product or service, perhaps even quoting them certain fees – but then they never hear anything back. So they sit back and wait. Then all of a sudden, the excuses start coming out:

“Ahh, they were just time wasters.” Or, “they were tyre kickers”. The amount of excuses that sales people come out with when someone has not bought is highly excessive and does not get anyone anywhere. And yet it happens a lot.

Some, and only some, will speak to that prospect again and ask once again for the sale. Or ask for the next steps.

I cannot stress this enough; if you are not following up with your prospect on more than one occasion you are rarely going to get the sale. I know I harp on about it a lot but following up in the sales process is a sure-fire way to help you to increase your sales in a short space of time.

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome when selling a product or service is trust. Without trust a sale cannot occur. And yet we live in a messy world full of ‘buy me’ messages with no follow through. Answer truthfully; how many times a week do you receive an email or LinkedIn message trying to sell you goods or services – and then to never hear from that business or person again. They could perhaps have the number one product you need at that time, and for all intents and purposes you could be tempted to buy it; but because this person has never developed a relationship with you, or developed any trust, you don’t decide to go ahead. The more points of contact, the more points of relationship building, the more trust building the better!

What we have to remember is that your product or service may not be your prospects number one concern right now either. The proposal you have sent over may just be a miniscule part of their current mindset right now with a million and one other things to deal with; you may think you are not forgettable however the truth is that you may just have wandered to the back of your prospects head.

This is why following up with your prospect is so vital. It develops trust. It proves to your prospect that you are not just a flash in the pan and that you truly want their business and you also have every faith that your product or service is just exactly what your prospect needs to improve their life. It also keeps you in the forefront of your prospects mind. Following up acts as a gentle reminder that you are there for your prospect; it reminds them you want their business and you can remind them how much your product or service will benefit them.

So how many times should you follow up with your prospect? Once? Twice?

I always say no less than five times, and as up to as many as it takes to get an answer. Recent statistics prove that 80% of all sales occur after five points of contact so it makes perfect sense to contact them no less than five times. And until you hear a definite ‘no’, there is no point in stopping contact. You cannot mind read, and you cannot make excuses on behalf of your prospect as to why they do not want to buy from you, or why they have not contacted you. So, until you hear the valid reasons as to why they don’t want to buy – keep going!

Try it in your sales process from now on. Do not just send a proposal and hope you hear back from your prospect. Don’t just send one email asking your prospect if they have had a chance to look over it! Show you care. Show that you deserve your prospects business. And most of all, prove to your prospect that you are there for them and that you are not just going to vanish once the sale is made. Look to close the sale but open the relationship.

Paragon Sales Solutions are Leicester’s leading sales consultants, offering:

– Sales Contracts

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We cater for any size business, and what makes us stand out is that we truly care. Our services can be catered for your business and our sales professionals will work tirelessly to ensure your sales targets are met. Be sure to visit our website for more details on how our sales solutions can help your business. 


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