Following up is very frustrating sometimes.
You have to avoid the temptation to say “Do you have any questions on that proposal” or…
- “You said you wanted to work with us, WTF is going on?”
- “Hey man, you gunna buy this shit or what?”
- or “Hey weirdo I saw you opened my docusign like 10 times.”
That being said, I asked my smart friends on Facebook and Linkedin what the best ways to follow up were and I got some absolutely GOLD NUGGETS, that I’m going to share with you today.
5 Ways to Follow-Up in Sales That Don’t Suck
“Position yourself as equal to the prospect”
“I think one of the keys is not to sound desperate or like you need to make the sale. Too many salespeople say things like, “just following up” and “we haven’t heard from you and wanted to know if you had anything questions?” or worse “please give me a call and let me know where you stand.”
I think it’s more powerful for the salesperson to feed the perception that they don’t need the sale and that prospect isn’t doing them a favor by calling them back.
I’d respond, “I’ve left you a couple of messages and wanted to know where do we go from here?” Someone on this feed asked, “just wanted to know if we can close this file?” And I love that response because it positions the contractor as an equal to the prospect. He’s not saying please “call me”. He’s saying let me close the file so I can go help someone else. Love it.”
“Answer three questions they may still have”
“Here are 3 questions you may still have:
I hope this helps you make your decision and I’m happy to help out any way I can.
End email with an open ended question specific to their situation that can’t be answered with yes/no
If you word the introduction to the questions as something like “here are three questions other roofing company owner (or homeowner, etc) clients of mine like yourself have had“ it subtly implies that you have experience with people just like them and other people just like them have been through this process before and chosen you.”
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“I have questions for YOU”
Flip the script. If they had questions and were serious they would ask. So instead follow up with a “I have a few more questions I want to ask you to make sure this is everything you’re looking for” then ask for a 15-minute call and ask the hard questions that you feel in your gut might be the hang up on them moving forward.
“What’s keeping you from moving forward”
Ive always liked “what’s keeping you from moving forward?” Or some similar variation. If they’ve agreed with everything you said, and don’t have any questions, then something else has to be stopping them. Which is fine, but I can’t help them through it if I don’t know what it is. Seems this question helps get to that.
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Embrace the Power of Timing
Remember the saying, “timing is everything”? This can’t be more accurate, especially in sales. It’s not just about how you follow up, but when you follow up. Instead of a predictable next-day nudge, try understanding your client’s rhythm. For instance, if you know they’re wrapping up their fiscal year, give them space and then approach right after with how you can help them kickstart the next year. Being mindful of your client’s schedule and pivotal moments can increase your chances of getting a positive response.
Action Tip: Use a tool like ‘Google Alerts’ or ‘Mention’ to keep an eye on any significant news related to your prospect. Did they recently win an award? Launch a new product? These are excellent times to reach out with a personalized touch.
The Human Connection Matters
In our age of digital communication, nothing stands out more than a genuine human touch. We’re not just talking about face-to-face meetings. It can be as simple as sending a handwritten note or a small token of appreciation. Remember, people buy from people, not companies. Showing your human side, especially when everyone else is firing off templated emails, can make a world of difference.
Action Tip: Every month, pick a handful of prospects to send a personalized note or a small gift. Websites like Sendoso or Alyce can help automate this process while still keeping it personalized.
“Is this adding real value to my prospect?”
Sales follow-ups don’t need to be pushy, desperate, or annoying. In fact, by adding value, being mindful of timing, and prioritizing genuine human connection, they can be a powerful tool in your sales arsenal. It’s all about understanding the needs and preferences of your prospect and acting on them in a way that’s both professional and personal. So next time you’re about to hit ‘send’ on that follow-up email, take a moment to think: “Is this adding real value to my prospect?” If the answer is yes, you’re on the right track. Happy selling!