Follow Up or Fail
Welcome to this Two Minute Sales Tip with Tim. Today I want to talk about prospecting and a very important part of prospecting: Knowing how and when to follow up. The reps that I know that are really good at new business development, they have mastered the art of knowing how to follow up. The funny thing is most salespeople don’t realize that in new business opportunities today most deals are going to happen after five failed attempts to connect, five failed attempts. Because in today’s crazy, nutty, busy world your prospects are busy and unless what you’re offering is in the middle of their radar, they’re probably not going to pay attention to you unless you’ve made multiple attempts.
So five failed attempts before most prospects are going to be willing to move forward with you. Now contrast that with other reports out there that state that most salespeople give up after just three failed attempts, and I totally understand that. Who needs the rejection? After three failed attempts it’s really tempting just to pack your bags and move on.
Here’s my tip for you today. You can never assume no until you know. So I’m not giving you license to just start following up willy nilly. That wouldn’t be correct. That wouldn’t be professional, but here’s what I want you to do. I want you to put together a follow up plan, a follow up campaign.
Have you ever listened to one of your voicemail messages? Would you call yourself back? Leaving a clear, concise and compelling voicemail for a potential prospect is not an easy thing to do.
When we look at the art of follow up there’s two primary components we need to be aware of. The first component is our follow up messages, and the second component is our follow up mediums. Now when we look at follow up messages ladies and gentlemen, most follow up messages today are weak, tired and a little bit pathetic. “Hey Bob, it’s Tim. I’m checking in with you. Hey Bob, wanted to make sure you got my proposal. Hey I’m sending you this email today to see if you have any questions for me.” Those types of messages really don’t have any value. They don’t add any kind of insightful fun, and they just make you sound like everybody else that’s out there. So think about your follow up messages.
The low hanging fruit, the thing that is so easy to start changing and start seeing results from today is your follow up mediums. What do I mean by mediums? When you look at salespeople today they use two primary mediums to try to follow up with prospects. The first medium is they use the phone. You know what, I love using the phone. It’s fast, it’s convenient and it’s easy to do, but here’s the challenge. If I’m trying to connect with somebody I don’t know, I’m trying to connect with somebody I don’t have a reputation with and they see my number on their caller I.D., odds are they’re probably just going to let it go to voicemail.
Have you ever listened to one of your voicemail messages? I mean would you call yourself back? So leaving a clear, concise and compelling voicemail is not an easy thing to do. So I’m not saying don’t use the phone. Just be weary of limiting yourself to just the phone.
The second medium that I see salespeople use a lot of is email. I love to use email. Again, it’s very convenient. It’s right there. The challenge, there’s way to much of it. I have a hard time keeping up with email with the people I have a relationship with. I have a hard time replying to all the emails I want to reply to, let alone solicitations from people I don’t have a relationship with. So again I’m not say forget phone, forget email. I’m just saying look at how you follow up today, and if you’re limiting yourself to those two mediums, just email and phone, I think you’re leaving it to chance.
So get out there, make those five touches, vary up your mediums and make sure you’re leaving a creative and valuable message.
My name is Tim Wackel. Thanks for watching.