In this week’s blog, I want to talk about a question that I’ve been asked on a number of occasions by business owners and salespeople that are nervous about being seen as the ‘pushy salesperson’.
The question is how often should I follow up with a prospect once I’ve engaged with them?
I believe, that if you’ve done the right work in the first part of the conversation and built the right rapport then the prospect should want to continue the conversation with you. Or not if you and they agree that what you offer is not right for them.
If you’ve judged the conversation correctly, that prospect should be happy to hear from you as they know that you are someone who can solve their problem or help them achieve what they want to do.
We all need to understand however that sometimes prospects work to a different timeframe than we do and 80% of sales are made on the 5th to the 12th contact.
The key part to following up is knowing if the prospect is right to be followed up in the first place.
Let’s take a scenario. Let’s just say, I have arranged to meet with a prospect for the first time and I’ve had a conversation with them, and they have told me about a problem they have. They have briefly talked to me and after a few minutes, I’ve gone into sales mode. I have told them about what I do, and they’ve nodded their head because people are polite, and then at the end of that conversation I’ve said, “Shall we follow up further?”
Most of the time people will say, “Okay. Yeah. Sounds like a plan,” because it’s the easy thing for them to do there and then. Most people are not likely to say, “Thanks very much, but you just talk too much, and I don’t feel like it’s worth carrying on this conversation because I didn’t build an initial rapport with you.”
We just don’t do that very often as people.
What most prospects will do is nod politely, say, “Okay. Thanks very much, speak to you soon”.
The salesperson has left thinking the meeting went well but the prospect has left thinking ‘I am glad I don’t need to see that person again’.
The problem is when you then go to call that person afterwards and they reject the call, we wonder why they didn’t respond. This happens because the prospect didn’t feel that the meeting went as well as you did initially. You didn’t read the signs well enough!
If we use our emotional intelligence to assess the meeting and how it went, we will know whether it’s worth following up with the prospect.
If you get positive signs from the prospect and they react well to the conversation with you then not only will they want to hear back from you but they will be pleased to continue the conversation!
We may need to follow up a few times as sometimes people are busy and things happen but the key is using our emotional intelligence initially to understand if the prospect was really keen in the first place. If we do this and engage a number of times with them, then they are likely to engage when we speak with them and hopefully move forward to becoming a customer.
I hope that this helps you decide how often you should follow up. If you need some help knowing how to run great sales meetings that get you great results then lets arrange a time to speak. I would love to understand more about your sales challenges and help you put a plan in place to solve them! Contact me and let’s get your sales numbers where you want them to be!