Attract the Right Job or Clientele:
Patiently following up stirs up emotion in almost everyone. Some of the adjectives include annoyance, fear, and negativity. But a small percentage of salespeople view follow-up as getting their game on for achieving their goals.
Most people fall down on follow-up.
My Story of Patiently Following Up
Many lessons were learned for methods of patiently following up in my sales career. The second year of sales, management hounded their teams to follow-up with the same prospect every day. Killing potential business along with the company brand and reputation come to mind.
All of today’s insights apply to the job hunt, and communication strategy for employment interviews.
Don’t annoy people with continual follow-up.
A new friend and I recently connected on LinkedIn. To my great surprise, Clyde referred some of his favorite clients to me as he is retiring. Clyde’s motivator is that we similarly view sales and customer care.
It didn’t take very long for the sales prospecting memories to arise. I diligently called the entire list. Not one person on the list picked up the phone. Assistants politely took my contact information.
Curiosity has me wondering: Did the assistants toss their notes after we were done? Not one person returned my phone call or sent an email.
Two of the people are nearby and are ‘more likely to be interested.’ I sent each a short hand-written note on an attractive notecard. One replied that she would get in touch as soon as she returns from vacation. The better indication of believability is she asked to connect on LinkedIn.
The list of twelve people sat for a bit. The balancing act is to avoid annoying the twelve contacts or the person making the referrals.
Summer is here, and people are more leisurely. So I waited an entire month to begin again.
A former strategy came to mind:
Call after 5:00 pm – the time the gatekeepers generally leave for the day.
My first call resulted in an executive picking up the phone. We had a friendly conversation and made an appointment for a video meeting. I will be making the remainder of the calls later in the day and plan to finish by the end of the month.
Clyde is happy that I’m continuing the momentum of contacting everyone on his list. And I am treating Clyde as my current client. He is the one selling my insights to benefit those he knows.
Before implementing any strategy, I consider how I would react should I be the prospect. Improvement begins with first recognizing the perspective of others.
Being respectful of everyone helps to keep the pipeline full.
Related Blog Stories Include:
Your Story of Patiently Following Up
Where do you see yourself on the follow-up meter?
Some recent articles each state that most sales reps:
- Give up after the first call
- Might call a second time but will do so with annoyance in their voices
- Do not consider alternate strategies for following up
- Lose much of what’s in their pipeline
- A teensy percentage will patiently follow-up multiple times in a variety of ways
Using the same method of follow-up for everyone and every time produces little. The motivated salespeople will seek out different ways to get in touch with their contacts.
Ideas for Patiently Following Up:
- Call before 8:00 am or after 5:00 pm
- Send a short handwritten note on an eye-catching notecard
- Gain attention with a humorous picture on a flyer
For a referral, begin the conversation by mentioning that “Jack suggested I get in touch because…” Add that “Jack believes there is synergy between us and I would like to find time to explore possibilities.”
When it comes to new prospects who suggest ‘check back later,’ begin the conversation with humor. Try in your words, “I’m taking you up on your suggestion…” or “Later arrives quickly…”
Whichever method you do try, own it by adapting it to your personality and style. Each interaction is to come across as natural and authentic. Experiment with varying approaches to see which works best for you and continue using.
Is the Effort of Patiently Following Up Worthwhile?
Clients test the salespeople vying for their business. They want to know you are willing to work for their business.
Patiently following up is a beginning step for the sales cycle to complete.
All communication that follows is to demonstrate the value you bring to your clientele. The way in which you choose to get in touch, attitude included, can go to predicting the outcome.
Sales Tips for Patiently Following Up
- Accept that follow-up is part of the business development process
- Acknowledge that most people will not respond to your initial attempt
- Individualize your reason for contacting each person
- Come across as being professionally personal
- Indicate value for continuing the conversation
- Be willing to experiment with creative ways for getting through to decision-makers
- Treat everyone you encounter at a company with respect
- Ask employees for help when needed
- Follow-up numerous times and in a variety of ways without being a nuisance
- Celebrate Success!
These sales tips are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!
Business Agility and Personal Development Are Requirements for Success
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