Following up Is Not Optional, It’s Required
According to AFDR’s research, 80% of Sales to Independent Operators require an average of 5 or more follow-up calls after the first meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
One of the top excuses we hear again and again from DSRs is, “I don’t have time to follow up” or “I am just too busy to do my follow-up.” Really?
When DSRs tell me, they are too busy to follow up, what I hear is that they lack the discipline to finish what they started. They would rather make excuses than make sales.
There’s no excuse for dropping the ball on potential business. You lose money and a prospect’s respect when you choose to neglect the follow-up. At least tell them you don’t think it’s a good fit at this time.
There are many reasons why sales are lost. Sadly, when we ask Operators how many DSRs follow up after making their first call on them, they say ONLY 1 out of 10 follows up.
Too Many DSRs invest enormous amounts of time doing market research, meeting with prospects, engaging in sales conversations and preparing product list proposals, only to drop the ball on follow-up.
Why bother to start the sales process of having sales conversations and meeting with a prospect and then not be committed enough to follow up.
How much money is “not following up” costing you?
The art of or your style of follow-up is less important than the act of follow-up. You are either taking action or you are making excuses.
When you do follow up, try NOT to use the basic and overused follow-up email, text, or phone call that most DSRs usually send to a prospect that goes something like this, “Hi Jim, I just wanted to follow up and see if you have any questions about our company and the services we provide?” Sure, they do, but you need to figure that out, not them.
If you establish the rules of your follow-up with a prospect, you will not waste your time, or the prospect’s time. If you don’t establish what happens next or choose to skip this step, you will turn into the annoying salesperson who is “just following up” because you need to add it to your CRM tool.
Instead of using the same language when you do follow up as your competition, change your approach and you will change your results. Because of COVID-19, there is so much more to discuss with a prospect (and customers) and they are more likely to talk with you than in the past, therefore you can radically change your sales results. Most will invite you back just to see what your company has in stock this week 😊
The number one reason why a prospect won’t get back to you is because they are busy! Decision-makers have a lot of conflicting priorities to juggle and many different demands on their time. They’re (probably) not ignoring you because they don’t want what you have to offer. Try making your calls on different days and times with a solution from your research from previous visits.
Avoid saying, “I was just checking in, following up, touching base, reaching out.” And start saying, “In our last conversation, we were going to set a day/time when you wanted me to drop off samples of some new to-go containers,” or “I was calling to pick up our conversation on how I thought I might help you make more money in your business…” Get creative! Be different and stand out!
Only 13% of customers believe a salesperson can understand their needs. It’s not about you. It all starts and stops with the Customer. Good DSR professionals are like a doctor diagnosing a patient’s illness. If you can’t uncover your customer’s problems and needs, you don’t stand a chance at selling them a solution.
Even if your first few calls don’t go great, customers respect DSRs who are efficient, organized and dedicated enough to follow through in a professional manner. When you follow up you win professionally, and your customers win because you help them make more money!
Be a Resource and Sell Something!