6 Steps for Following Up
I want to give you six steps that will keep your prospective customer relationships alive as you follow up after your sales presentation. Follow these steps and you will find that the relationships you develop will be productive and flourish for the long haul.
1. Be Pleasant and Fun: I realize that this is a “no-brainer” to some. But it is not a “no-brainer” to all. Sometimes in sales you can be so focused on moving the relationship forward in the sales process that you don’t even notice that you “forget” to smile, be genuinely interested in your prospect as a person, and extend the common courtesies that you would to any friend.
2. Thank You Notes: After every meeting or significant interaction send a handwritten thank you note. You may use either on a normal thank you card—or a 3.5 X 8.5 post card (see the book Endless Referrals, by Bob Burg). Your goal should be that they get a thank you card from you so quickly that it sets you apart from your competition. I even have a good friend who sent a thank you note to a business owner who not only said, “No!”, but was also a bit rude to him. After receiving the thank you note—the business owner called and invited him back to reconsider his offer. The owner said, “You are the first salesman to ever send me a thank you note for running you out of my place of business! I like you!”
3. Consistent Meaningful Contacts: Bring more value with each contact. Sometimes the value is social—take them to lunch. But always bring something tangible that they can directly use in their business or that directly relates to establishing your value to them. Magazine articles, industry news etc. are quite effective.
4. Contact Management System: You MUST USE a contact management system. You need to keep notes on people, communications, dates, future strategies and contact plans. That system must have the ability to keep you on track with reminders on future activity. Do NOT think your memory is enough.
5. Recognize Personal Moments: Send out birthday cards, Christmas and holiday cards, and notes acknowledging work and personal anniversaries etc.
6. Patience and Persistence: Some sales cycles just take time. Larger sales generally take longer to close than the smaller sales. Be patient and persistent.
Be focused on providing more value in the relationship for the prospect than you expect to receive in return. When you focus on them and their needs it truly raises the relationship to a higher level.
QUESTION: What is your favorite contact management system? And why?