No surprise that a lot of sales are lost because the business did not follow-up or gave up too soon. A good follow-up system can often boost your sales conversion rate by 10% or more! But a one-size fits all approach isn’t the answer. You need to build your follow-up system to support your business.
When it comes to follow-up, there are plenty of excuses floating around. I don’t have time, I don’t want to appear pushy, the customer will call when they are ready, I knew they weren’t interested, I know they don’t have it in their budget so why bother!
It’s true that a customer must be ready, willing and able to buy in order to close a sale. But a good system will certainly nurture your leads and help you close more sales now and set up future sales opportunities.
Sales Follow-Up | What To Consider
What’s the Risk? Buying decisions take longer as the cost goes up or when the purchase has long-term impact or higher perceived risk. Buying a new home or car, doing a major renovation, investing in business equipment or replacing a heating system are big investments, not impulse buys! The decision can take many months depending on where your prospect is in the buying process.
How long is the sales or buying cycle for your products and services? You need to know this. Then build the follow-up system to match it. A six-month sales cycle often requires at least six months of ongoing communication.
Think Contacts. Follow-up is not a series of phone calls asking “have you decided yet”? Nor is it a series of reshuffled sales pitches. A good follow-up system is a combination of education and communication. It’s a way to share information, build trust and keep your name in front of the prospect – to move them closer to YES.
Remember, buying decisions often require seven or more contacts or touches. Giving up after a few tries will leave sales on the table. Berating prospects with a stream of sales pitches will simply annoy them. Find the frequency and communication that works for your business – then do it consistently for each prospect.
Mix Up Connections. While phone is certainly a great follow-up tool, it is not the only method available to you. I find a little variety goes a long way. Based on your customers preferences and type of business, why not use a combination of phone, email, direct mail, text and social media to follow up and stay connected.
Now here’s a real benefit for all the “I am too busy” people out there. Many of these methods can be systematized, automated, delegated or even outsourced. So supplement the personal phone calls with other communication. You’ll save time and convert more sales. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Consistency Matters. Leads come from a variety of sources such as networking, referrals, website, search engines, direct mail and social media. While it’s helpful to know the source, don’t take shortcuts based on that information or other assumptions. Apply your process consistently to all prospects – because you just never know.