Follow-Up Prospects

The secret to success in selling has a lot to do with the persistence of the salesperson. To back that up, you may have also read that 80% of people purchase after the 5th contact with a company, yet for one reason or another, 80% of salespeople stop following up these potential customers after the 2nd follow up call.

More specifically, here are the most common reasons why salespeople don’t follow up:

  1. They don’t want to appear pushy.
    Sure, prospects don’t want to be hassled too often by a pushy salesperson but following up once a week isn’t being pushy.
  2. They forget.
    Salespeople are busy. They write down that they need to call someone to follow up but other things get in the way and that follow-up call just doesn’t happen.
  3. They assume a prospect isn’t interested.
    Many salespeople assume that if someone doesn’t say “yes” on the spot, they’re not interested in buying the product at all.
  4. They assume the prospect will call them.
    Salespeople often felt that if they did a good enough sales presentation customers will be jumping over themselves to make contact and purchase. This rarely happens.
  5. They don’t understand the power of follow-up.
    Some salespeople simply aren’t aware of the power of persistence and the power of following up prospects. The simple solution in this situation is sales training.

The good news is that with the right software in place, it’s easy to implement and profit from a prospect nurturing program. And with that, your sales conversion rates will dramatically increase and so will your average transaction value.

What is a prospect nurturing program?

A prospect nurturing program is a follow-up program which features a number of pre-scheduled activities including phone calls, letters, emails or visits designed to communicate with your prospect at certain stages throughout the sales process.

The aim is that through these contacts you will have forged a stronger relationship with your potential customers, answered all their questions and allayed all their fears so when they’re ready to make a buying decision yours is the company they do business with.

Why is follow-up important?

To answer that question let us ask you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What’s going on for them in their lives? What are the fears and concerns about buying your product or service? What’s holding them back from making a purchasing decision? And once you’ve answered these questions consider this:

What information or type of contact do you need to give that prospect to answer their questions, allay their fears and help them get to “yes”?

s Ways To Maximise the Success of Your Prospect Follow-Up Program

  1. Follow up ALL prospects by phone within 2-3 days of the initial enquiry.
  2. Send a thank you letter or email or enquiry package the same day or the day after the initial sales presentation or enquiry.
    • Depending on the price of the product, and the length of the sales cycle, send 3 more communications pieces to that prospect in the 1st month then 2 the next month then monthly after that.
  3. Use a combination of communication types for maximum impact. For instance, use a combination of phone, email, mail, fax, SMS and face-to-face follow-up. Using different communications vehicles in this way gives the prospect the impression that you have known them for longer.
  4. Send a variety of different follow-up pieces. To begin with, always send a thank you letter or email that thanks them for the contact but also reinforces the benefits of purchasing from you. Next -you might send letters or emails like the following:
    • Testimonial letter – which features a series of testimonials from customers so the prospect can get a better feel for how their life will be different after using the product.
    • Frequently Asked Questions letter or fact sheet – th is helps handle any objections that prospects might have after their visit with you. This FAQ sheet lists all the possible objections and questions that prospects have and handles those objections in the most efficient and sales-focused way possible.
    • The “thought this might interest you” letter – next you might send a newspaper clipping or magazine article that gives the prospect valuable tips in relation to selecting or using your product. This gesture shows that you’re thinking of them.
    • Last Chance Offer – Let’s say a prospect has been sitting on the fence for a day or two and they’re not sure which way they’re going to jump. Making them a special offer (on top of any offer you’ve already made) is often enough to get them saying “yes”.

Summary of Key Points

  • Follow-up. Follow-up. Follow-up. Never stop.
  • Use a variety of value-adding and selling pieces.