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.


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