Following Up and Closing More Sales
It is often thought that the first point of contact is the most essential part of the sales process, but to close a sale, the follow up is just as important, if not more. First impressions play a key role in how people are introduced to you and your business. You want to make sure that you can grab people’s attention and capture their interest in your products. However, there is much more to the process than that. In this article, we will explore the importance, strategies, and impact of the follow-up and closing process.
What is a Follow-Up?
In the sales process, following up is the act of reaching out and contacting your potential customers after the initial contact that you previously made. This further encourages your customer to continue considering what you have to offer, and continues to develop a positive relationship between you two. Relationship-building is key in closing the sale.
What are the Standard Methods of Follow Up?
Following up is most commonly done through either phone call or email. Other methods can include social media platforms as well as texting. However, as time goes on and the internet continues to enable new and unique ways of connecting with others, there are new methods being developed and utilized. Consider the fact that different people will prefer different methods of follow-up and communication. You should try reaching out through all methods of communication at your disposal. This way, you will be able to identify which method that they are most responsive to and prefer.
What is the importance of Follow Up?
Following up is extremely important for your business to achieve sales. It is common for people to think that if you do not hear back from your contact that they are uninterested in what you have to offer. This is often not true. In many cases, your contact is just too busy. This study conducted by Brevet found that 80% of closes in the sales process need an average of five follow ups. They are professionals with meetings, responsibilities, and deadlines. Potential customers have a need and you are looking to help fulfill that need with your product. Important sales decisions can require a lot of time. It is key to remember that if you do eventually get a confirmed “no”, this allows you to focus more of your time and energy on customers who are more interested.
What is the Impact of Not Following Up and Closing?
Failing to follow up effectively can have a negative impact on your business. Obviously, this would mean lost sales that could have been closed eventually, which are big missed opportunities. Not following up can also mean that you lose these relationships that you initially worked to build. Relationships and connections can always be valuable for you and your business, and you can provide them value as well. This will have an effect on them remembering you and your services, eventually revisiting them in the future when they are potentially looking for something new again.
What are the best strategies for following up and closing?
One of the keys for following up is timing. Timing can have a huge impact on how the potential customer can perceive you and your business, and if they choose to continue to explore your offerings. Spacing out your follow-ups can allow you to figure out and understand their interests. Sending out daily notes is a poor strategy. You want to develop regular contacts on a reasonable timeline. Depending on the business, many choose to do weekly follow ups, or even follow up sooner if they feel it is appropriate.
You want to focus on providing value to your customers. Focusing on personal connection in addition to focusing on their problems or needs is always going to have benefits. The value you provide does not always have to directly be through what you are trying to sell. Having a personal connection with them can allow you to help them out in other ways as well. People who excel at sales understand that closing does not require a certain number of aggressive follow ups, but rather understanding the wants and needs of their prospective customer. Then, you can truly provide value for them with your offerings as you perform each follow up. This is how you can experience a more natural sales process. If you truly are engaged to them and see them as people above all, you only increase your chances of eventually closing a sale in the future.
There are some other more minor useful tips that you can implement as well. If following up through email or message-based social media platforms, you should make sure that you are using relevant and attention-grabbing subject lines. They should provide enough detail for the reader to understand the main idea of your note, without being difficult or confusing to read. Always focus on clearly communicating and defining the necessary next steps to continue the sales process, with a clear call to action that guides your contact to the close.
There will eventually come a point where you need to stop your follow up efforts. If you have used several strategies without seeming to gain any progress or get reliable signs of further interest, it is time to move on. You should send a note for the last time, because of the slight chance that they have not replied to you because of factors outside of your control. Make sure that you leave this follow up open-ended. For example, you can provide a general overview of your offerings for them to have if they eventually wish to reconsider in the future.
All of this information will help you take inventory of your current strategies and efforts when it comes to follow up and closing. There are many different elements that can influence how you should approach each of your potential customers and contacts. It can feel uncomfortable to constantly follow up, but it is unreasonable to believe that you are being viewed as annoying or inconsiderate. Remember, people are busy and they are responsive to things put directly in front of them. Remain confident that your product can greatly benefit them and focus on communicating this value to them. Following up and closing is a crucial and fundamental part of the sales process, so always keep this in mind as you set out to sell your product.