by Amy O’Connor
My husband and I visited a dealership and looked at a new SUV.
Now, we don’t NEED a new SUV and, frankly, we were just killing some time waiting for our current SUV to get new tires.
But look we did. And we even took a test drive of the brand new model.
It had some good points and some not so good points and we shared our thoughts with the salesperson in detail along with a very candid explanation of why we likely weren’t going to buy one any time soon.
Cut to two weeks later when the phone calls started pouring in from a bunch of salespeople we didn’t actually talk to who all left us the same voicemail:
“I know you wanted to move up to that new model and we’ve got a really great deal this week…” followed by “here’s my name and number”.
Have we returned any of those calls? Not a single one.
If the original salesperson had called us, he might actually have been able use what he learned from our test drive to persuade us to come back in. But that’s not even close to what happened.
So let me ask you – do you ever find yourself saying something like this:
“Why won’t my sales prospects call me back? I keep following up, and I hear nothing from them. What am I doing wrong?”
The answer to this perplexing and frustrating question is usually found in one or more of the following four reasons:
1) You waited too long to call your prospect
Good follow-up = fast follow-up. Think you can call your prospect a week after your initial visit and they’ll be waiting for you? Think again.
As our research and infographic show, your competitor already called your prospect. First movers win the sale.
Here’s my tip – call your prospect back on the same day you meet with them. Yes. Same. Day.
Now that you’ve got their attention, make sure you avoid these other pitfalls…
2) You made your presentation about the product or the deal and not about the prospect
Here’s a question for you: did your sales presentation focus on the customer’s mission—on how their life needs improving, on their pain points and how your product could directly help—or did you just ramble on about how great your product is?
Did you learn any personal details about them and their situation or did you focus on telling them about your company and what you had to sell?
Here’s a tip: Just because your prospect nodded throughout your presentation doesn’t mean he or she was into what you were saying.
They were just hoping the pain would end soon!
Prospects are only interested in re-engaging with salespeople who make the process about them, not about the sale or the product.
3) Your follow-up message wasn’t compelling
Did your follow-up message sound anything like this: “Hey, it’s Ed. Just following up! What did ya decide? Call me! I’m here all day.”
Boring and sounds self-serving! It reeks of – hey, I’m a bit short on my sales numbers for the month, can you call me so we can make a deal so I don’t get fired?! Not good.
Make your follow up message personal and make it all about the prospect, not you.
Not to beat a dead horse, but if you are not making your messaging about the specific prospect, then they have no real interest in reconnecting.
A stronger follow-up message includes specific details about the prospect’s motivation for buying your product, how the purchase will alleviate their current pain points, and how it will specifically improve their lives.
Make your messages prospect specific and don’t be afraid to include a little humor!
4) You didn’t control the next step
As a salesperson, you should always own the next step. Never put the burden on your buyer to move a sale forward.
Salespeople often make the mistake of ending sales conversations with phrases like “call me,” “let me know,” or “I’ll wait to hear from you.”
When conversations end this way, following-up feels awkward because the proper expectations were not set from the beginning.
Always set the next step and control it – for example: “How about we do this: I’ll give you a quick check-in call this evening to see if you have any questions that may come up between now and then so you don’t stay awake all night churning on them. How does that sound?”
Getting your prospects to call you back is the key to converting more sales. Your challenge is to make your prospect welcome and appreciate your follow-up call.
Build trust with your prospect, make your presentation all about them (not about you!) and you’ll create the chance to change someone’s world!