Monthly Archives: April 2017

What is your follow up style?

A while ago, I wrote about sales styles and the importance of using the right style with your client. It occurred to me that we don’t often think about our follow up style and whether it fits our customer’s personality style. A lot has been written about personality styles and there are many ways and models that help identify your personality style. Broadly, these models measure peoples’ personalities by evaluating communication styles and decision making tendencies. Both of these elements are very important when it comes to selling in general but particularly crucial for following up.

Now, some of you may raise an eyebrow or two regarding this. I mean a follow up is just a follow up. Well in my opinion if you get the follow up wrong you could seriously damage your conversion rate. So, what constitutes getting your follow up wrong: ·

  • Not following up at all·
  • Following up too soon·
  • Following up too often·
  • Pushing too hard for a decision ·
  • Not pushing at all

Based on this, you could say that there is a very big chance of getting it wrong because it’s impossible to find a one fits all process and you will be right. So, how do you create a follow up system in your business? Here are a few ideas you might want to consider:

  1.  Before you submit a proposal, agree a suitable time to follow up with your client
  2. Regardless of this, make sure you call to confirm receipt of your document and reiterate when you will speak again
  3. When you call for an update and your prospect is yet to make a decision, ask them what needs to happen in order for this to happen and by when. Make a note and call again based on this timeline
  4. Use a variety of touches for your follow up, including telephone, e-mail and LinkedIn
  5. Always communicate with your prospect, giving them a chance to give you feedback and tell you how to continue speaking to them
  6.  Don’t stop following up until you have a definitive answer but make sure you give your prospect space as we are all busy.

If you take nothing else from this Blog, remember that following up is essential and make sure you consider how your customer would like to be approached.

As always I am happy to speak further if you wanted some advice on following up and other lead generation matters so get in touch.

Following up is not much fun

This scenario happens to me a lot: I have a meeting with a new prospect which goes really well and they ask for a proposal. I come back to the office thinking I have a deal. I send the proposal through and then the anticipation begins. In my head I have already got a new client but they choose this moment to have second thoughts.

It is at this moment in the sales process that many people decide to give up and lose faith in their product, their ability to sell or both. When this happens to me I remind myself of the sales funnel which goes something like this:

  1. Target market audience becomes interested in a product through marketing, they then become leads and enter the sales funnel
  2. The leads move further in the funnel through additional marketing touches. Through this process they learn more about your product
  3. At some stage they become interested enough and agree to meet up and discuss further. At this stage they become prospects.
  4. The first meeting, even if it goes well, is often not the point at which the sale happens. This is because it is at this stage that costs are provided and this means that the prospect enters another stage in the decision making process.

Highlighting this process actually clarifies the need for follow up at this stage often more than once. Giving up at this stage is foolish as the prospect has not yet made a decision and lack of communication may harm the trust you worked so hard to build.

Yet so many people I meet are scared of following up so they create a strategy around the need for the customer to make the first move. This is about as useful as sending out e-mails and not calling engaged readers or not following up on referrals.

Following up is essential because your potential client is expecting you to follow up and help them through the decision-making process. So, make sure you do and if you are worried about becoming a nuisance, agree the best time to call.  Don’t stop until you get an answer and even if it’s negative for now, find out when you should call again.

Do you identify with any of this? It will be good to hear your best practice when it comes to following up.