Sales Follow: Please . . . Return My Call!
Sales Follow: By Eric Slife, Sales Training Camp, Via Sales Gravy 11/11/11
Sales Follow: You finish your presentation, and your prospect states, “Everything looks great. I’ll call you in a couple of days to move forward.” Several days pass, a week, then a month. They don’t return your calls, and you have no idea why. Sound familiar?
I’m not sure what’s more frustrating; not getting the business, or not knowing why. Here are some easy tips to get prospects to return your call.
1. Establish Guidelines – At the very outset, establish guidelines for the relationship you are about to enter.
Mr. or Miss Prospect, thanks for agreeing to meet with me today. I have some questions I’d like to ask you today, and I’m sure you probably have some questions you want to ask me. Before we get started, I just want you to know, it’s okay to tell me “No.” Sometimes, a client chooses to go a different direction, but they feel uncomfortable telling me. If at any point while working together, you determine my product or service isn’t the right fit, will you please let me know?
2. Voicemail with Email – I don’t expect people to return my voicemail. However, within my voicemail, I’ll inform them I’m sending an email. Many busy decision makers never take unexpected calls, but they will respond to email. In my email I write: Mr. or Miss Prospect, upon our last discussion, you requested I follow up with you at this date and time regarding… I’ve tried several times to call you, but unfortunately, we haven’t been able to connect. I’m beginning to feel like I’m becoming a pest. Please let me know your situation, so I know when, or if, I should contact you.
Because many people aren’t comfortable telling you “no” over the phone or in person, this approach gives the prospect a way out of the situation, and you can spend time with people who are ready to buy. Often times, you uncover the reason for the delay.
3. Disengage Caller ID – Call your phone company and ask how to disengage your caller id. This way your prospect can no longer screen your calls.
4. Did I Do Something Wrong? – Mr. or Miss Prospect you asked me to follow up on… I’ve tried to reach out several times, but I never heard back from you. Did I do something that offended or upset you?
5. Copy Referrer on Email – If you were referred by another individual, copy them on your email. This is especially useful if you were referred by a superior. Don’t throw your contact under the bus, but apply a little pressure.
6. Discard Proposals – Finally, always be willing to walk away. Your time is valuable, and you shouldn’t waste it on people who lack the courtesy to respond to your calls or emails when they’ve asked you to invest your time in them.
When I provide one final opportunity, I will state: Mr. or Miss Prospect, you requested I contact you on… I’ve tried several times, but I never heard back from you. The price (or proposal) was good for 30 days, so I’m going to discard your file if I don’t hear back from you by tomorrow.
Put a time limit on all your proposals. This creates a sense of urgency, and it doesn’t lock you into a price for an extended period of time.
About The Author: Eric Slife and his wife Daphne started Slife Sales Training, Inc. in 1998. Their most recent sales training tool provides small and medium size sales teams comprehensive, ongoing sales training from premier trainers at a price that doesn’t break your budget.
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