HERE’S A BIG SCARY AND OFTEN OVERLOOKED FACT ABOUT HOW MANY CONTACTS IT TAKES TO MAKE A SALE.
AND GUESS WHAT? ……
[Source: National Sales Executive Association]
So, it takes MORE THAN FIVE VISITS to close a sale 8 out of 10 times and 90% of salespeople routinely make LESS THAN 3 CALLS to prospective clients.
THE NO. 1 TIP FOR INCREASING SALES IS SIMPLY TO FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP.
Let’s look at the stages within the sales process that need to be followed up on and understand why following up is so important. If I can get you to buy in to why it’s important then I’m sure you will be eager to get better at following up.
This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the key client contacts that need to be followed up on. If a sales person says that they are good at following up, you really need to ask them what they mean by this? Are they covering these areas or just following up on an offer? Do they have reminders for these actions in the CRM / Activity planner? If they do, they will be in that 10% of high performers and will be far more successful than the average sales person.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the statistics mentioned at the top of this reticle to see why so many salespeople don’t do follow up well
Why? They are of the mindset that if the client wants what they have presented they will buy from them. Chasing them up is not going to convince them anymore. Wrong.
Why? Simple – rejection. They feel that the client never got back to them or fobbed them off which means they are never going to buy. This is not correct. They could be ‘busy! They could have any number of other things going on in their world other than buying from you!
The sales people who are following through till they close the deal must do so without being viewed as a ‘pain’ by the client during the follow-up process. We will look at how to do this later in this paper.
So, what do you think of these numbers? Spot on? A long way off? I don’t mind people challenging them, saying their industry is different, however there is a clear correlation that a little more persistence (not insistence) goes a long, long way.
So why does simply maintaining contact drive such good results? It is a tricky one to explain but let’s focus on the main objective of trying to secure business. In order to do this, I’m going to try and help you get inside the mind of one of your buyers.
Let’s take a first example. Imagine that you are selling to somebody who has an existing supplier and for whatever reason, they are looking at alternatives. You have presented a solution and it looks like it went well.
If you think how the brain operates we can only stay focused on one or two topics at a time. We can’t stay focused on everything all the time. If you are not top of mind you will have less impact in the future.
The secret is that in between contacts you don’t know what is going on in the world of the client. If they don’t answer your call or email, please don’t take this as rejection. If they do respond it means that your solution is more interesting now but if they don’t respond it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have no interest.
Also, there may be a time outside of you contacting them where your solution could become of more importance and value and they will contact you. The chance of this happening though is vastly improved if you have been in touch with the client regularly and remained top of mind
If you are selling a solution whereby they do not have a current supplier, (for example a new phone system for the office), much of the above is also relative but with one key difference.
Following up is critical for every sales person to succeed. Every salesperson needs to allocate time each day to make follow up calls and to send follow up emails. Remember- don’t think for one minute that you only follow up on proposals that you have out there in the market. There is a lot more following up that needs to be done in a successful salesperson’s role.
Coming Soon In A Future Blog
In this article, we have looked at the importance of following up with clients and considered:
Watch out for my future article that takes this one step further providing a guide on How to follow up effectively, including Top Tips that will help you stand out from your competitors.
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