Business development tips are a dime a dozen, the one that will make the most difference in your sales volume is when you focus on how to follow up!
Follow up. Sounds like a reasonable thing to do. Makes sense, right? Follow up with those leads that you haven’t heard back from. Follow up with those customers who just purchased. So why are so many of those follow up contacts not happening? Usually because people give up when it becomes too tedious, if it takes too long to actually get to someone, and if it is not in their comfort zones to do.
It’s a well known fact that 80 percent of sales are made on the fifth contact. Five phone conversations, or meetings, or whatever combination it is that works for you. So if you are giving up after a phone call or two how many sales are you leaving on the table? If you give up before contacting that recent customer, how many add-on sales are you leaving on the table? A lot. So the easiest thing to do is to set up a system that works for you. Here are some suggestions.
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A good system for following up should have three basic qualities: the follow up process is done the same way each time; it should give you consistent results; and it should be able to happen without much thought or effort. It should even be consistent regardless of whether you are calling on a new lead, an existing one that you have either spoken with or has left call back requests, or for a new customer.
Regardless of whether you use a computerized “tickler” system, or a paper one, be sure to mark down each contact. Easy methods of follow up are mail and email, but these can be impersonal and can easily be thrown away or deleted by the person getting them. That doesn’t mean don’t use them, but remember that the phone call to discuss what was sent is key.
If you send out a letter/note/postcard, calendar a call to say to the recipient “Hey, I sent this out to you and wanted to know if you had any questions about it.” Hopefully you speak with them, but voicemail is a good way to touch them and leave your message in their minds once again. Mark each one, and then keep trying. Remember that 80 percent!
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