Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

Follow up: Drive until the road dead ends

Posted in Selling by elephanthunters on March 2, 2010

In my experience, it’s 3 times as hard to get a new, warm prospect as it is to exhaust the potential of the one you already have.

Here’s my mantra: Follow up until the road dead ends.

Dead End = When we discover we are not dealing with a qualified prospect or they tell us to leave them alone.

Keep pushing…

  • If you send an email and get no reply, send another one.
  • If you leave a voice mail and they don’t call back, call again.
  • Send snail mail, post cards, smoke signals, whatever it takes to follow the road until it dead ends.

The Temptation

We often assume the road dead ends based on a trend of unanswered voicemails or emails.  We feel like we’re bugging them.  So what?  If we are, they can tell us to go away, and only at that point should we respectfully yield.  We have to get this notion out of our heads that we are bugging them.  We are SERVING them!

I want to attend Bill’s conference. He told me about it.  I liked what I heard.  I have the time and money. I asked him to email me something on it. He never did.  I lost his info.  He lost the sale.

Dead ends are OK

They are a reality.  BUT – many times what looks like a dead end is just a turn in the road with a sale waiting around the corner.  We don’t know the difference until we follow up.

Wow!  Check out these stats on follow up

48% of Sales People Never Follow Up With A Prospect
25% of Sales People Make A Second Contact and Stop
12% of Sales People Only Make Three Contacts and Stop
Only 10% of Sales People Make More Than Three Contacts
2% of Sales are made on First Contact
3% of Sales are made on Second Contact
5% of Sales are made on Third Contact
10% of Sales are made on Fourth Contact
80% of Sales are made on Fifth to Twelfth Contact

Can you relate?

How are you with follow up?  What holds you back when you know in your gut that you should try to connect just one more time?

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6 Responses

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  1. Monte Bottens said, on March 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Where did you get the stats from? Gald to say that our team members are 10 percenters!

    • Monte Bottens said, on March 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Just wish the coach could spell!

  2. Nathan Beam said, on March 3, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Hi,

    I work as the Business Development Manager for ActionCOACH business Coach Dave Beam and I do the majority of Sales and Marketing. I just wanted to say that the concept of follow-up is SO true. About a year ago I started taking follow-up seriously and put together a system of friendly follow-up with prospects using Microsoft Outlook. It has turned our business marketing upside down (in a good way!). Two of our highest paying clients came on because of a year of consistent, friendly follow-up. They were both always “interested” but also both very busy… By asking the simple question at the end of every call “When would it make sense for me to get back with you about this?” and then getting the date and calling on that date… every time. I was able to build rapport and eventually work towards closing a sale. Follow-up works! If you learn to follow-up consistently you will set yourself apart from the crowd.

    Always go in to every call/meeting with an objective in mind… to either get a yes, no, or a date to follow-up. Be friendly and considerate of the other persons life circumstances and time but also be honest about your intentions and 95% of people appreciate you (rather than being annoyed) and will eventually make a decision. You will also get more yes’s with this approach.

    I had one little problem with the article,

    “We often assume the road dead ends based on a trend of unanswered voicemails or emails. We feel like we’re bugging them. So what? If we are, they can tell us to go away, and only at that point should we respectfully yield. We have to get this notion out of our heads that we are bugging them.”

    I felt like it had a bit of an edge. You do need to get it out of your head that “I am bugging this person,” however you should also go above and beyond to be respectful of them and their time. Ask at the beginning of each call if you got them at an OK time and if they say no, ask them when they feel it would be a better time to call and then get back with them then. Furthermore, give them the opportunity to back-out – don’t waste your time and theirs waiting for a “no.” Politely say, “I really appreciate your interest but if you don’t feel like this is something you would like to commit to just tell me and I can take you off my list of people to follow-up with, or if you need more information I would be happy to give it to you.” Honesty and candor will get you a lot farther than you think.

    Just my thoughts, overall a fantastic article and word of advice though!

  3. Evan T said, on March 3, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Great post.

  4. Clint said, on March 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Another excellent post Sir. I’m shy anyway and always feel like I’m bugging folks all the time. Thank you Daniel for letting me know it’s okay to email more than once.

    P.S. I’m forwarding this post to some friends that could use this valuable information.

  5. Ed said, on March 22, 2010 at 4:53 am

    I am constantly working my staff across the country about the importance of tomorrows sale, even more so than today’s. As a business that rely’s on walk by WOW factor, we have 60 seconds to make a return importance impression.

    Easily over 50% of customers exposed to us for the first time, in a mall setting, are there to receive information. We have, most of the time, 60 seconds or less to sell them that we should be their families next entertainment outing.

    During that time we make our first 3 contacts and hope for more by referencing our website and facebook connection. How to make 3 connections in 60 seconds? On the spot immediate sale, bring back the family, and last try to fish for community or business outing. In particular, youth group outings and birthday parties.

    The average consumer has an influence over someone or something else in their lives, finding it is key to a connection and our success.


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