Much of my customer base is from follow-ups and referral business. I can contribute this to knowing how to correctly follow up with customers who need time to make a decision.
Many sales people are trained in methods that are opposite of following up with customers. Salespeople have a reputation of being pushy and trying to get the customer to make a decision the same day. Why is this?
Many salespeople work on commission, so they are trying anything they can to make sure they don’t hear the dreaded “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
90% of customers who don’t make a decision the day they come in or inquire about a product or service wont come back. Many of them will sign up with a competitor, never research and make a decision, or make a completely different decision after speaking to someone else.
For this reason, it is even more important to make sure you follow up with customers and make sure they are quality follow-ups.
What does the research say?
A study from Dartnell Corp. investigated the number of times a prospect was called before a salesperson gave up. Here is their data:
- 48 percent quit after the first contact
- 72 percent stop after the second contact
- 84 percent give up on a prospect after the third contact
- 90 percent wave the white flag after the fourth contact
Only 10% of salespeople make that fifth call. This is interesting as statistics show that 80% of sales are made after the fifth follow up.
Customers like to be comfortable with a sales rep and the company before they make a decision. If you take the time to show them you mean business and you want their business, you will be rewarded nicely.
How can you ensure that you have an effective system of following up with customers?
Use technology tools to help you follow up efficiently
Have you ever remembered to follow up with a customer who was interested only to find out that you forgot to get valuable information about them? Such as their name or contact number? Or what they were even interested in in the first place?
It doesn’t seem that professional when you call a customer and say “So I know you were interested in our product, what was your name again?”
Using some simple lead follow up tools can help you make sure that you have quality follow ups with all the details about your customer documented.
I would recommend using a program like Trello or Evernote to take notes about a customer. With these programs you can make a detailed note on your customer’s name, contact info, products interested in, and when to follow up.
I like both of these programs because they can span across multiple devices. You can take notes on a tablet, phone, or PC and have the notes accessible on any device.
Other than these, if you can find a great lead tracking tool such as this one, it will make keeping up with your leads easier.
Get personal with your customer
Knowing about your customer can help you significantly in your follow up. Before they leave, find out something about them that will make it easier to spark a conversation when you do call them to follow up.
Some examples could be:
- Any vacation plans coming up?
- Are you doing anything exciting this summer?
- When is your birthday or anniversary?
- Are you usually available on the weekends?
- Can I touch base with you in a few weeks? When are your best days?
- Do you think you will have made a decision by (date)?
- Do you answer your phone or emails faster?
It’s good to get a general idea of your customers life, obligations, and when the best time to speak to them is so you don’t call at a bad time.
This can also reveal information about your customer that you can bring up on your follow up such as “How was your trip to Italy? What was your favorite part of your trip?”
Showing genuine concern and showing that you remembered will go far with your customer.
Just a simple check in to see if your customer has any lingering questions can be effective in showing your concern. If you sold them a product that is only for a certain time of year, give them a call the next year.
Anticipate that they will be needing you in the future an pick a good time to follow up just to check in with them. Send them educational materials that you think will be helpful to them. The more value you can build the better, and the more likely they will be coming back to you for future business.
Think about the second sale
Have a great promotion that you know your customer will love?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customer to offer a current promotion or a sale. Ask them to forward it to anyone they think would be interested. Ask them what they are looking for and notate it so you can reach out in the future.
Testimonials and Referrals
Asking for referral business is a great way to build your business hands off. Referral business is just free advertising. You don’t have to spend any time or money on it. All you do is accept their call and move forward with the sale.
Use your existing customers to help create more customers. Have your existing customers do a Google review or post a comment about you on the companies blog or social media page.
Remember people love to deal with someone who has good reviews and social proof. They are 10x more likely to ask for you than just go with anyone. They see you have produced results or made another customers experience great and they will want to do business with you.
As a super salesperson, you should not be afraid to follow up with your customers. Use your customers to get good reviews and to promote you for free. The best type of marketing for your brand is free and doesn’t cost you anything.
Be fearless when it comes to following up. As long as you don’t spam your customers, many of them don’t mind a simple follow up to the sale.
Use tools to track your leads and follow ups so you don’t forget to reach out when you can be the most effective. Keep track of special occasions and appointments. Make yourself stand out above your competition.
Learn more about ways that you can motivate your sales team to start leveraging social networks in the overall sales function.
Learn how to use email marketing to increase your prospects and gain more business.