Successful Selling Relies on Diligent Follow-ups

Publication: Albuquerque Journal;

Date: Aug 8, 2016; Section: Business Outlook

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Successful selling relies on diligent follow-ups

Staying highly organized a must to keep track of clients as they multiply

Follow-up is the key to successful selling. Eighty percent of sales come after five face-to- face visits. Forty-eight percent of salespeople stop after the first call, 25 percent more stop after the second, 12 percent more stop after the third, 5 percent more stop after the fourth. Only 10 percent make the fifth call- and they get 80 percent of the sales.

The number of clients and projects you have will snowball if you do a great job of following up. But you must also be highly organized, with a system to keep track of many projects.

You want always to have a specific reason to follow up with each client. At your first meeting with any client, I suggest you not tell your clients everything about what you sell. If you do, you will have no reason to follow up and see them again. Instead, give a brief overview of what you sell at the first meeting and keep that first meeting very brief.

It is important to ask the client, as you finish a meeting, when they want you to follow up with them. This is very important because then, when you do follow up on the date they suggested, you do not appear to be pushy or too aggressive. When you email or call the client for the next appointment, you should state: “I am following up with you now, because when we met on (state the date of your last meeting), you suggested I follow up with you at his time.” This is very powerful because you are doing what the client wants. Most salespeople do not do this and therefore follow up at the wrong time, before the client is ready to see them again. This often irritates the client.

All follow up is your responsibility. You must anticipate the client’s needs. You do not want the client to have to call you to find out about anything. Your job is to make working with you easy and fun.

When a client knows you are keeping them informed and taking care of all details, then they do not have to worry and they are happy to work with you. This is what you want.

Here are some other important things to keep in mind:

LEARN TO LISTEN. We have two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionally. Most salespeople talk too much. Learn to be a fantastic listener. Learn to write down what the client says. That shows you care about what he is saying and also helps you remember what you need to do next. Learn to listen without the intent to respond. Just listen and take notes. The more the client talks, the better for you because he wants you to have information about him and what he needs from you. Please be sure not to interrupt.

MIND YOUR MANNERSIMS. Communication is 55 percent non-verbal, 38 percent tone and 7 percent content. This is very powerful. Pay attention and work on observing your body movements, eye movements and any noises you may make, like clicking a pen on and off, during a meeting. Be aware of your tone of voice. You may need to speak slower or softer. Only 7 percent of what a client “hears” is what you actually say. The client is watching you all the time.

DON’T JUST TELL, SHOW. Demonstrations are powerful during any face-to- face meeting. A presentation without a demonstration is just conversation: You will be remembered more for what you do and the client sees you doing than for what you say. Get the client involved too, by having them do something. Put a brochure in their hand, put a sample of what you sell in front of them. When a client is involved, they will remember you much more.

Eddy Mindlin is a sales expert, coach, author and speaker. His sales coaching website can be found at www.eddymindlin.com