The second greatest cause of lost sales is due to one fatal flaw in the sales process – POOR FOLLOW-UP! There are three reasons salespeople don’t follow-up effectively: poor timing, poor technique and poor organization. Let me explain how professionals follow-up and how you can double your sales.
One of the most difficult decisions a salesperson makes is when to follow-up. The story is told of a salesperson, who after the first meeting with a decision maker was told to follow-up in three weeks, at which time a decision whether or not to buy would be made. The salesperson obediently followed the decision makers request and followed up precisely in three weeks, only to be told that they had already purchased a couple of weeks earlier from someone else. The decision maker mentioned that he vaguely remembered talking to the salesperson, but when the competitor presented his solution it seemed compelling, so he made the purchase.
The salesperson, confused and disappointed, promised himself he would never make that mistake again and determined he would follow-up much sooner next time. That very day, the salesperson met with another decision maker who also told him to follow up in a few weeks. The salesperson, now much more savvy than before, thought to himself, “I will follow-up next week so I won’t lose the sale to anyone else.” Sure enough, the following week the salesperson was standing in front of a somewhat bewildered decision maker who said, “What are you doing here? I told you to check back with me in a few weeks. I haven’t made up my mind yet, so please quit bothering me!” Now the salesperson was really confused. It seemed regardless of what approach he took to following up with the sales opportunity, he was wrong.
As salespeople, we want to know two things from the decision maker: Do they have any questions and have they made up their mind. Asking those two questions can be aggravating to the prospect. We want to know the answers, but we don’t want to seem pushy by asking the questions. The solution is not to ask, but to create an environment where the answers will be given. To do this, we must have a reason to be in front of the decision maker, and that reason is to present them with something of value which will help them in the decision-making process. At The Business Performance Group, we call this something a “romance piece.” It is comprised of information in a tangible form, designed to be left with the decision maker. That information will provide a reason to be in front of them and to also give them additional information to help make the correct buying decision. If the decision to purchase is going to take place within thirty days, the salesperson should follow-up as often as a couple of times per week, using a romance piece.
Romancing the sale solves the problem of when to follow-up, and provides a successful technique for being in front of the decision maker. This powerful technique will build rapport, while at the same time, provide useful information. Don’t leave the decision maker to make an uninformed choice without your frequent and valuable input. Begin romancing today and watch your sales increase!