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Why Sales People Should Consistently Follow-Up

By Ryan Taft

When I was in new home sales management, I had a theory that our sales team was not following up with past traffic effectively…or maybe even not at all. I won’t get into why I thought this (low conversion, not reporting accurate traffic, etc.), but I had to find out if that was true.

As I was out visiting sales offices across the Phoenix valley one day, I noticed a pattern with the leads. In every office I visited, there was a stack of registration cards sitting in a drawer just waiting for someone to call them. When I say “a stack” of leads, I mean around 300 leads.

But were those people being contacted? There was only one way to find out.

Without the onsite sales person knowing, I slipped a crisp $100 bill roughly 7 – 10 cards deep. My plan was to come back a week later and see if the $100 was found. If the money was gone, that meant they were calling those leads. If not, then I had some serious work to do.

I did this in several sales offices…and you know what? I am sad to report that not one of the several $100 bills I placed was found.

As I worked with the team on following up, the core message was that there is money hiding in those leads.

How so?

Just because people don’t buy the first time you meet them doesn’t disqualify them from purchasing at a later date. In fact, the psychology of a buying decision actually suggests that they will eventually buy.

Let me explain.

What drives people to look for a solution (via your product or service) is a current problem, or as we call it at Shore Consulting, a Current Dissatisfaction. I wouldn’t shop for car tires unless there was a problem with my existing tires. There’s no way I am shopping for a mattress unless there is an issue with my current one. Get it?

Here’s the deal. You can rate a customer’s level of dissatisfaction on a 1-10 scale. A “1” would mean there is almost no dissatisfaction at all. A “10” would mean they have to make a change!

Not every prospect is at a level 10. They might be at a “5”. But here’s the secret…

Dissatisfaction grows over time.

That means that when a prospect doesn’t make a purchase, they go back to their current dissatisfaction. In other words, they still are dealing with their problem. So what happens with a car that starts having problems? It has more problems. What happens to you when you are sleeping on a bad mattress? You get more pain and back problems. In fact, they get worse.

This is why follow-up is so important. You must be at the top of your prospect’s mind when their level of dissatisfaction gets to a point where they have to make a change.

How do you do that? Consistent follow-up.

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About the Author: Ryan Taft

Ryan Taft
Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthrough results in sales, business and life. With a career spanning two decades training and coaching sales teams from call centers to new home sales to Realtors®, Ryan combines his knowledge of human performance, psychology and sales skills development to deliver extraordinarily engaging, energizing and insightful training experiences that drive peak performance at all levels.  Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Ryan on Twitter.