Being an effective sales person is more than just making fancy presentations and cold calling. Becoming a great sales person takes a concerted effort to see beyond initial needs, through strategic follow-up and communication with customers. While it’s possible to eke out a modest living as a sales person by doing just the minimum, if you want to take your sales career to the next level you must step outside of your comfort zone and learn the fine art of follow up.
Find out how to use strategic follow-ups to land more customers and more sales.
Take action. One of the hardest things to overcome as a sales professional is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of jumping the gun. Fear of rejection. The best way to overcome this fear is to simply take action in a positive way. Write that email. Pick up the phone. Give it some effort and follow up with everyone you encounter because it will put you in the right place to make that next big sale.
Listen for more. As you communicate with others, develop active listening skills that include not only providing solutions, but also hearing what the person on the other end is really saying. In the midst of one conversation, you may discover that this customer also has a need in another area that you can serve in some way. This is the beginning of a potential long term relationship if you foster this in every follow up call you make.
Clarify everything. When people communicate, they very often hear bits and pieces of the conversation, which then gets filtered through the brain and eventually interpreted in countless different ways. This means, as you follow up with every person by phone, be sure to write things down and email this follow up list to the client to confirm. In general, this is a good way to make sure you cover yourself in the event that client has a completely different idea.
Create anticipation. One of the best ways to encourage sales is to create a level of excitement and anticipation with your contacts. This can be done by mentioning an “exclusive” offer or information of some type if the person is willing to accept a follow up call, newsletter or email in a specific time span. Make sure to create something that speaks to the interest level of the targeted client and follow through as promised.
Use business etiquette. Many times people just don’t know when to follow up with a customer. The general business rules are to follow up by phone on the same business day. If following up by email, try to do so within 24 hours. With a text, don’t wait more than 15 minutes to respond. You’ll impress the other person with your speedy response and have a better chance of making a sale.
Remember as you work on your follow ups that it’s always better to under promise and over deliver on your word. Get past your fears and on to a path of success through consistent follow ups. To learn more about improving your communication and sales skills, consider taking a Dale Carnegie course today! “Effective Communications & Human Relations/Skills For Success” is enrolling now for January 2012.