In a recent study on the number of sales calls it takes to close a sale, the following statistics were reported:
- 2% of sales were closed on the first sales call.
- 3% of sales were closed on the second sales call.
- 4% of sales were closed on the third sales call.
- 10% of sales were closed on the fourth sales call.
- 81% of sales were closed on the fifth sales call.
Can you imagine the sales you will close that were left behind by the competition? Conversely, don't be caught planting the seeds of sales and leaving the harvest to your competition. The largest block of time invested in the sales process is setting up the appointment and then making the presentation. The follow-up, or the "courting" process takes the least amount of time and is also the most important. Courting is the process of harvesting the time invested in setting up and presenting our products and services to the prospect. The reward is most often found in the final effort. After all, haven't we always been told that the "pot of gold" is found at the end of the rainbow?
The number one reason salespeople don’t succeed, as they should, is the lack of follow-up. Selling is a process, and a major part of the process is conducting the appropriate follow-up. Following up is the proactive process of resolving the prospect’s concerns. After all, people don’t make purchases if they have unresolved concerns. The process of following up allows you to ask the questions necessary to discover their concerns and then provides the opportunity to resolve those concerns.
People buy from people they believe, like and trust. If you don’t spend time with the prospect, how will they ever learn to believe, like and trust you? Time needs to be spent cultivating the relationship necessary to earn the sale. Comparing selling to dating and courting in a relationship, how many people fall in love and decide to get married on the first date? Not too many! Most relationships are formed over time, allowing the opportunity to know, trust and like each other. Selling is no different than courting. It is not how long people have known each other, but the frequency of their interactions that moves the relationship forward. When was the last time you had a meaningful exchange with your prospects?
In the courting process, it is always beneficial to take gifts. When you follow-up with your prospects, always take them something of value. What you take is up to you, but here are a few generic ideas.
Take them something that will:
Help resolve their concerns.
Endorse your product or service.
Support your claims.
Validate your company.
Help them see the value in your offering.
Show the value of your product pertaining to their specific needs.
Cultivate the relationship with your prospects and you will definitely increase your sales.