Discover the Three Keys to Increasing Sales
By Judy Garmaise
The truth is clear: The majority of salespeople dont take follow up seriously. After talking with a prospect, they leave one follow up voicemail or send one e-mail, and thats it. A small minority will take it a step further and call or e-mail one additional time, but hearing that someone followed up three, four, five, six, or even seven times is rare. However, thats exactly how many
|People have a fear of getting hung up on. Theyre afraid the prospect is going to tell them, Go away! Stop bothering me!|
times you must follow up to get someones attention.
Thats right, seven follow ups are critical if you want to be successful. Be honest now
how many follow up attempts do you regularly make?
The excuses why salespeople dont follow up are plentiful: Im too busy, I need to spend my time in front of new prospects, not chasing down possibilities, I left the person a voicemail; now its her turn to call me. All those excuses are nonsense! The real reason people dont follow up is because theyre terrified of rejection.
People have a fear of getting hung up on. Theyre afraid the prospect is going to tell them, Go away! Stop bothering me! This inner dialogue actually stems from childhood, when they were asking their parents for cookies. Theyd say, Mom, can I have a cookie? And Mom would snap back, No. Stop bothering me and go to your room. Now, many years later, theyre bringing that child into the workplace. So when it comes time to follow up, their internal dialogue is saying, I dont want to bother her. I asked for the cookie once and she said no. If I ask again, shell yell at me and send me to my room.
If youre ready to put that child to bed and discover the three keys to follow up so you can land more business, keep the following suggestions in mind.
1. QTIP (Quit Taking It Personally)
Remember that theyre not rejecting you; theyre rejecting your product or service. Heres proof: Imagine that a wizard waved his wand and said to you, For the next twelve hours any phone call you make, any person you meet, and any encounter you have you will get a yes answer. How many follow up phone calls would you make that day? Most people say they would make an infinite number of phone calls during that time.
If youre making phone call after phone call that entire day, isnt that proof that the reason youre not making the phone calls is fear of rejection? You would have absolutely no fear of picking up that phone if you knew there was a yes on the line.
But then what happens youre talking with someone and you get a no. At that point, you need to remember that it takes a certain number of negative responses before you get the positive one. That exact number will vary depending on your product and industry. However, every time you get a no, say, Great! Now Im one phone call closer to my yes.
Finally, consider this: Does the person on the other end of the line the one who is saying no really know you? Does he know what you look like, what your life is like, what your dreams and aspirations are, what you do in your spare time, and who you are at your core? Of course not! Only your friends and family know that. Therefore, if this person doesnt really know you, how can he be rejecting you? Face it hes rejecting your product, not you. Stop taking it personally, pick up the phone, and have some F.U.N. (Follow Up Now).
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2. Never Assume
Despite the fact that they have great products, are very intelligent, and can even pronounce peoples names correctly, most salespeople fear theyre going to annoy prospects if they follow up. Thats why after they leave one voicemail and get no reply, they assume that the prospect is not interested.
The reason people arent getting back to you even after four or five e-mails is not because they arent interested; its simply that they are busy. Therefore, following up is not about nagging; rather, it is about reminding. Realize that people today are bombarded with technology and information. Their minds are going in fifty different directions all at once. Its only natural that they need a bit of reminding about your products or services.
Did you know that the average persons short term memory is between five and sixty seconds long? That means when someone is listening to five voicemails in the car and hasnt written the messages down, her short-term memory of sixty seconds guarantees that she wont remember your call. This is just one more reason to remind people that you contacted them.
Additionally, stuff happens. People lose their cell phones; they get sick; technology glitches happen and voicemails or e-mails disappear; and sometimes, people just forget. When you assume that someone isnt interested or assume that youre bothering them or assume they dont have the money or make any number of other assumptions, youre sabotaging yourself and your company.
Besides, if you truly believe you have a product or service that your client needs to know about, following up should not be an issue. After all, youre doing them a favor by reminding them of your offering. Most prospects will even thank you for your follow up. And ultimately, if someone is supposed to give you money for a transaction, then its your obligation to get them on the phone. They never owe you a call if theyre paying you. Stop making assumptions and follow up until you get what you want.
3. Its Never No; Its Just Not Yet
Very often a prospect will say no repeatedly sometimes for years and then suddenly one day that no turns into a yes. Thats because no matter what their actual words are, its never really no; its just not yet. In other words, the prospect is just saying no to the product or service at that moment in time not forever. But you never know when he or she will be ready for your product or service, which is why you have to follow up continuously.
The reason its never no and just not yet is because shift happens. No one lives in a stagnant world. Everything is changing every minute of every day. People and circumstances change, sometimes in split seconds. A poor man can become wealthy overnight, while a rich man can go to prison and lose everything. Thats why shift happens.
Knowing this, its not up to you to determine who is qualified for your product or service and who isnt. The only thing you can do is stay in touch with these people and follow up because at any moment any persons circumstance can change. By knowing that shift happens and acknowledging that its never no and just not yet, your success rate in closing the sale will increase.
The Success is in the Follow Up
Since few salespeople follow up with prospects, you will truly stand out when you do. Even if your prospect does not immediately return your call or e-mail, he or she will remember your efforts. And the more follow up you do, the more permanently youll cement yourself in his or her mind. That way when the person is ready to make the buying decision, your name will be the first one your prospect thinks of. Pick up that phone and do some follow up today. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. HBM
V17-6 Add: 11/10 HP: 11/6/12 Car: 2/25/11