Show the Love: Follow-up
When you Follow-up, your client knows you care, and will want to continue doing business with you.
We have learned how many strong reasons there are to follow-up. But even knowing this, the Follow-up is still one of the most neglected stages in the sales process. We’ve all done it – failed to follow-up at one time or another, or had someone fail to follow-up with us. These are lost opportunities and perhaps more importantly, when we fail to follow-up, we are potentially failing our brand, both personal and corporate.
Why don’t people follow-up?
- People are concerned that they may appear too pushy A valid concern, but one that rarely occurs. Following-up too frequently can appear too pushy, among other things, but very few people ever come close to crossing this line. How frequent is too frequent or not frequent enough? This is a matter of communication skills and a matter of your good judgement. You must determine what is appropriate for this client, this opportunity and this type of business. Make your call short and to the point. Don’t waste your prospect’s time by droning on for too long. Also, consider how you can provide additional value to the client during your follow-up call. This may give your prospective client another reason to choose you instead of a competitor.
- People forget Given how busy everyone is, it’s very easy to forget to do a follow-up. Use a CRM system. In its simplest form, that means scheduling the appointment to follow-up in your daytimer.
- People make assumptions When we don’t hear back from a client, we assume the worst. They aren’t interested. They don’t like us. If they wanted to do business with us, they would call us. These are assumptions and they are almost always false. Making such assumptions arises from the folly of perceiving oneself as the centre of the world. It’s not about you. Clients are busy people, receiving dozens of telephone calls a day, and a hundred e-mails. It’s up to you to follow-up until you know for certain if they want or don’t want to do business with you.
- They don’t know any better – Many people have never received formal sales training and have neither learned why they should follow-up nor how to make this happen. You clearly have the advantage in this regard.
Here’s the bottom line: you can easily differentiate yourself from your competition by making the effort to follow-up with your prospects and customers. Don’t take it for granted that they will call you. Be proactive and contact them.
“It is not your customer’s job to remember you, it is your obligation and responsibility to make sure they don’t have the chance to forget you.” – Patricia Fripp