Sales Should Be Pouring In
If sales are the foundation of your company’s success, follow up is the truck that brings the concrete. You can set up the best foundation in the world, but filling it bag by bag with concrete by hand gets you slow, inconsistent results and I would imagine exhausted.
The best builders have trucks timed where no sooner than one truck pulls away, another takes it place. It is nearly a continuous stream of concrete being placed in the slab. Wouldn’t it be nice if your sales were just like that? Ever feel like either every truck shows up and once and tries to dump on you or there isn’t a truck in sight? You’re in good company. The key to smoothing this out is follow up.
Historically sales people are generalized as flaky types (being one I can say that) that are relatively disorganized, excitable, and distracted by shiny objects. The difficulty then lies in the discipline and organization that really good follow up requires. Luckily we live in the computer age where a plethora of programs are available to assist us in our automated follow up endeavors, right? Sadly, what this has created is a ton of unpersonalized, generic, tree killing and email clogging junk. Don’t get me wrong, some follow up is better than none at all and the automated systems have a purpose, but it is only a tool in your follow up toolbox. If you are using an automated follow up system that either auto sends or prints, at least make sure what you are sending has some value in it for the prospect. Examples I have seen would be market data, changes in laws or codes, or sometimes just interesting facts. The best and most effective follow up though is personalized (and no, an auto fill name does not count).
Making each follow up opportunity personal is a challenge of time and will. It takes a lot more time, and will require a very strong will. Personal follow up looks like in-person meetings or visits, phone calls, non-group emails, hand-written notes. For instance, I have been invited to hundreds if not thousands of events by companies trying to get or maintain my business. The ones I had a hard time not showing up at were the ones that I was personally invited to. We all like to feel special. Accomplishing that for your clients or prospects is your job. They are far more likely to respond to a few phone calls versus a generic mailer. Always have a reason to call. Saying hi is not one. A quick call to a prospect to alert them to a piece of news such as price changes or new products being available is doing something for them. Many times with caller ID you will not talk to them, but they will get the message. Your goal is to stay on the forefront of their mind so that when they do make a buying decision, you are in the running.
Now that your personalized and trucks are coming in, now you have to be persistent. Layout a schedule and stick to it. Block out time that is non negotiable to follow up with prospects and existing clients. Consistency of sales always starts with consistency of followup. Hopefully you have a truck placing concrete right now, with a little effort you can have a second one sitting ready and a third on the way.