Sell 10% more with focused follow-up

Not everyone buys the first time they have the opportunity. Without focused follow-up, many of these people will never become clients. However, when these 10 ideas are implemented, stand back and watch your sales soar!

Follow-up is an attitude before it’s an action
It’s much easier to follow-up when you truly believe your customers will be much better off after they buy from you. When you put the customer first and the sale second, follow-up becomes a pleasure rather than a chore.

Follow-up before meeting the customer
After setting the appointment, follow up by sending a short letter restating the time of the meeting and telling why you need their help to solve their problems. Also include premuim product literature.

At best, they will read the literature and be excited about your meeting. At worst, you’ve set yourself apart from the crowd and shown you’re professionalism. If you don’t have time to send a “pre-meeting package”, follow-up by calling at least 45 minutes before the appointment to let them know you’re on time and on the way.

“You seldom accomplish much by yourself, you must get the assistance of others.”
Henry J Kaiser

Follow-up during the meeting
During the meeting, ask questions and take notes… then follow-up by repeating back the important things they said. Next, show them how they’ll get what they said they want. This allows the customer to gain trust, peace of mind and “ownership” all at the same time.

“Nine-tenths of the serious controversies in life result from misunderstanding.”
Lois D. Brandeis

Tell how you’ll follow-up after the sale
One of your jobs is to allow customers to transfer their worries to you. During your presentation, tell them you’ll return after the sale to complete a final inspection, show them how their new system works and answer any questions that might arise. When people find out that you are more concerned about them than making a sale – – you’ll make more sales.

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say, I watch what they do.
Andrew Carnegie

Agree upon a means and time to follow-up
You did a super job … but the customer says, “We are not going to make a decision today.” Now what?

Follow-up is your responsibility not theirs! Before leaving, set the next appointment. Face to face is best. If its not possible to meet in person, ask if you can call their home or work number at a pre-arranged time. When they want additional information, don’t send it, schedule a time to drop it by.

Know the difference between following-up and pushing
We hate pushy people but trust those who work in our best interest. When following-up have a reason to call back like … an added benefit your system offers … an unexpected opening in your schedule … or the arrival of new information or literature. Stay in touch, but don’t push.

Follow-up on pending sales
Implementing a tracking form is a little thing that can make a huge difference. It is designed to help you follow-up on all pending sales. When you begin a new form each month, pending customers’ names will stick out like a new hundred dollar bill. The only way to move the name out of the “pending” category is for them to buy from you (or heaven forbid, someone else) or convince you they won’t make a decision until next May. In this case place their name on February’s tracking form and start following up again. You can modify this form to track other leads as well.

Follow-up for referrals
Immediately after the sale, send a thank you note. Within 24 hours, call to ask customer if they had any additional questions or need information. Next, schedule the final inspection and customer training session. When you return ask, “Are you happy with your new solution?”…. If no, do what’s needed to make them happy. When they answer yes, ask, “What exactly are you happy with?” They’ll usually tell you three or four things.

Next, ask, “Would you do me a favor… and write me a short note outlining what you said … it will take me about 10 minutes to complete the final details.” At this point a large number of your customers will write you a testimonial letter before your leave. Here’s the exciting part, people who write testimonial letter also give referrals. The time you invest going back to the customer’s home is the least expensive marketing you’ll ever do! Referrals are the most valuable, least expensive leads you’ll ever receive.

Follow-up for future work
Place customer’s name in your database and follow up with a phone call, letter, post card or newsletter every quarter. Stay on top of your customers’ mind and get additional work for years to come.

How many customers do you have?
Do they know they’re your customers?
How easily can your competition talk to them?

Follow up on lost sales
You have absolutely nothing to lose following-up on lost sales. You’ve invested hours of your time with nothing to show for it. So don’t stop there, five more minutes can turn lost opportunity into future dividends…because you can get referrals from people who didn’t buy from you, especially if they bought from someone who over-promised and under-delivered. Send a note thanking them for the opportunity to help design their new solution. Include two business cards: one for them and one to pass on to a friend in need of solutions like yours.

Following-up on lost sales can also give you powerful information to help make the next sale. Just call and ask, “Do you mind if I ask why you didn’t go with us?”… “ABC Company was less expensive”… “Besides price, was there anything else?”… “They had six months, 0% interest”… “We have six months, 0% interest”… “Yea, but you didn’t tell me.”
Bottom line: When you follow-up you show you care and can be trusted — and trust is the foundation of every sale you’ll make now and in the future!

“The past can not be changed, but the future is still in your power.”
Hugh White


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