4 Tips for Effective Follow-ups

For years I have heard sales people make the same mistakes over and over while following up with clients and prospects. In fact for many years I made these same mistakes myself and that’s okay, admitting that you have a problem with follow-up is the first step. In this post I will share 3 tips for making effective follow-ups some mistakes that I hear most often with sales people and some strategies for avoiding those pitfalls.

1. Set expectation on previous call

The first tip oddly enough happens in the previous conversation oddly enough but if done correctly will ensure a high class high value conversation that will be less stressful for you the sales person and less awkward for both parties involved. At the end of your previous call or communication set up your next call. It may sound something like this.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, I have my action items here, please reach out to me if you have any questions on the proposal I am sending and if not, I’ll reach out to you on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.

Easy right? You are setting the expectations for the next steps and what they can expect as you shepherd them through the procurement process of your product or service that you are selling.

2. Re-ignite the Sale

People who have buying power typically do not have a lot of time on their hands and are wearing multiple hats. Rarely have I seen someone who is spearheading the purchase of software or service solution whose only role is to look at different vendors and make buying decisions. Its because of this it is incredibly important to frame up the previous conversation to remind the prospect what you talked about on your previous call and remind them why they were interested in talking in the first place. This conversation might sound something like this…

Last time we spoke you told me that you were challenged with X and we talked about a few ways that you could solve that issue with Y, so if that makes sense the next step is Z.

This example also includes a directional close which can also be very powerful for moving to the next step in the sales process.

3. Avoid sales buzzwords

Hey I’m just calling to touch-base, wanted to circle back, see where we were at, follow-up, and see if you had any questions… sound familiar? It does to me too, many times the inexperienced sales person has nothing to add to the relationship or the conversation but is feeling pressure from their manager to move deals forward and keep a pulse on the progression of the opportunity so they use words like this.

4. Always tell them something new

It is imperative that you are continually adding value to the relationship as opposed to repeatedly begging them to move forward or asking if they have any questions. Focus on adding value and call with a purpose. Always tell them something new and by working hand in hand with your marketing team you can have tremendous impact on helping your prospect make a buying decision. This might not always be a phone call but simply an email that might start out something like this:

  • I saw this article and thought of your organization… (use google alerts to automate)
  • We just released this video and it reminded me of your unique scenario…
  • There is a webinar and I wanted to make sure you knew about it…
  • I had another idea I wanted to get your feedback on…

These 4 tips are by no means the only keys to follow-up success but I am certain that if adopted and perfected that they will have a noticeable impact on not only your confidence and stress level due to feeling more in control, but also your effectiveness as a professional sales person with the highest degree of integrity, adding value every step of the way. Your prospects will take notice not only with the value that you bring, but also because using these techniques there will be a clear delineation between you and your competitor. If you were a decision maker, who would you rather work with?[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]