Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sales Follow-Up: How Much is Too Much?

We recently found ourselves in a situation where an overzealous sales rep was a bit too enthusiastic about following up on an inquiry – calling multiple times per day for weeks on end. While we appreciate tenacity in a sales rep, his over exuberance cost him the sale. It made us reflect back to our own sales strategy and, ironically, we came across an article highlighting 5 rules for following up without being annoying.

The ultimate goal of a sales representative is to follow up to make a sale, but you may not hear back from prospects right away. They might be busy, your email/voicemail may have been buried in the clutter, or they actually might be ignoring you (ouch). How can you tell whether your strategy is working?

Here are 5 rules, as laid out by Mashable:

  1. Be overly polite and humble - Regardless of how offended you may be that someone hasn't gotten back to you, resist the urge to reflect your feelings via email. Always maintain a polite and sincere tone in your writing - letting them know that you understand they're busy (while keeping you on their radar).
  2. Persistent doesn't mean every day - According to the article, the general rule of thumb (depending on the industry) is to give it at least a week before following up (as not to come off pushy).
  3. Directly ask if you should stop reaching out - After sending multiple follow ups via email and phone, there comes a time to pull back on the reins. Sometimes it's necessary to come out and ask the person if he or she is no longer interested and if they prefer you did not follow up again. This can be tricky though - make sure you state your concern in the right way (as not to offend them!)
  4. Stand out in a good way - Find ways to add creativity to your follow ups. Each time you send an email, include something else of value to your prospective customer (rather than simply repeating yourself each week).
  5. Change it up - Try switching up the times that you attempt to connect with the person. If you send emails or call at the same time each day (and you receive no response), it may be that you caught them at a bad time. 

Read the entire article at: http://mashable.com/2014/04/05/effective-follow-up/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

by Samantha Warner
Marketing Extraordinaire