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Most sales professionals get follow up wrong

Sales people are really bad at following up.  In fact, 80% of all sales take place after the fifth follow up. However, nearly half of all sales reps give up after only one follow up.  When you do better follow up, you close more deals.

We do not do a good job at following up because many sales reps don’t know how to do it well. There are many ways to improve, and today I’m sharing my best tips for better follow up.

Be efficient at follow up

The easiest thing we should all be doing is scheduling follow up in advance. By doing this, you eliminate the need to think about it. The best way to do this is with automation tools. 

There are plenty of options for this. Even if you can’t afford a paid platform, there are free tools as well. You can simply set calendar reminders or compose an email but schedule it to be delivered later.

If you have follow up in an automated system, chances are you’ll get it done. If you have follow up left to chance or feeling, chances are you won’t get it done. 

Not all follow up is created equal

Just because you follow up, doesn’t mean you’ll close. “Just checking in” isn’t going to cut it. I recommend you script your follow up touch points with value added. I typically recommend that you have ten meaningful points of follow up that are strategically placed after your first interaction.

I have ten points scripted out in advance. Here are the first three:

  • Gratitude follow up: Within 24 hours, send a text, email, video message–whatever works in your industry- and express your gratitude for their time and the opportunity. Highlight the importance of the pain we discovered and the impact they’re having from it. Often a prospect doesn’t know the pain they’re experiencing until I’ve left.  So I want them to remember that.
  • Third party success story: The second point of contact is a third party success story that highlights the same problem they’re experiencing. I’ve talked about this before. I like to send an email telling the prospect about a recent customer who has solved a common problem with my product or service. I lay out the solution we provided and the results it created. This helps the prospect realize they are not alone, and there are solutions to their problems.
  • Relevant industry news follow up: This is something that’s collateral to their business that’s going to impact them. It may not be a product or service that I sell, but it shows that I’ve taken time to research their industry and find relevant industry news that I could share with them.  

Put in the work now, reap benefits later 

The more you do this and refine your follow up points, eventually you will have a solid database of better follow up points. This database isn’t going to be built by itself. It’s something that you have to do. Put in that work up front, and reap the benefits at the end. 

Create your 10 follow up points. You might not need 10 follow ups with every prospect. If I get that far, I usually earn their business. Even if they say no,  I get that prospect off the books, and I can move onto the next one.

If you need help or you want to talk through your follow up strategies, contact me today.

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