James E. Thompson, JD
Just why don’t we hear this more often, could it be that we just don’t make a follow-up call in the first place? Why is it that most of us have a tendency to not make the follow up calls. I believe that for the most part we have this feeling deep down that we are going to be bothering the person. Because of this, we do not make the calls and we lose the sale We may even lose someone who could have been a very good long term client.
I bring this up because I was recently speaking with a women who is in one of my programs and she related what had happened to her and I wanted to share this with you.
As we were talking about following up with potential clients she told me how she had made a call to a prospect, that she has not talked to in a couple of months, and the prospect told her “ I am so glad you called, I have been meaning to call you and I just have not gotten around to it. When can we get together“ If she had not made that call she would never have gotten one of the biggest sales of her career.
Simply put you just cannot sit around waiting for the client or customer to call you, because it just isn’t going to happen. If you don’t believe it, just think about a product or service you want or need, but have for one reason or another put off calling the sales person back.
So why is it that knowing this we still do not call.
Does this sound like you?
I would prefer to do anything but make marketing calls and some of your reasons might be:
- fear of being rejected
- not wanting to bother people
- not knowing what to say
So to avoid these feelings, your marketing action plan includes all sorts of tactics that you hope will inspire a prospects to call you instead of you calling them.
Unfortunately, with this approach, you inadvertently put the future of your business into the hands of your prospects. You will send emails until the cows come home or post blog entries to your heart’s content, but ask yourself, do you plan to follow up with a call, and all the reasons why not come tumbling out.
Everyone is busy, even the people who want to hear from you.
Anyone who would truly benefit from hiring you, and is the kind of person you want to work with, is someone worth contacting. It’s not your place to decide that they don’t want to hear from you or are too busy to talk. Practically everyone is busy. When you take the time to make a call, the person who has thought about contacting you is relieved that you took the action, not annoyed by it. If he or she can’t actually talk when you call, make a later appointment that works for both of you. Voila! Done. On to the next call.
You do not need to be that script-reading telemarketer you don’t enjoy hearing from. You get to be just the kind of salesperson you’d like to hear from: polite, interested, respectful, professional, intentional, and focused. And, by no means do you need to have the perfect script. Just keep your attention on the person on the other end of the line, stick to business, and act appropriately.
Try this experiment to find out what happens when you contact people you’d like to work with:
- Gather any stacks of cards or leads sitting around your office, or do some new research to identify likely prospects in your target market.
- Make a list of those who you think you’d like to work with, and of those with whom you might want to exchange referrals.
- Write out a short call script, and a template for a follow-up call that you can modify with some personal touches.
- Contact 2-3 of these people per day for the next 2 weeks. Send your follow-up emails and make notes about what happens.