In today’s age of digital marketing, social media promotion, and click-through rates, the actual art of person-to-person interaction has all but become a lost art. Despite the ways we now attract and interact with customers, sales strategy still remains an art built upon the foundation of personal trust and connection. Any good salesperson will tell you just how far that personal touch means when it comes to turning a lead into a conversion.
So how do you stand out in today’s marketplace? Simple, become great at the art of the follow-up.
To succeed in business, you need to commit yourself to something, so why not the follow-up? Sales is a difficult business that has a tendency to chew up and spit out those not committed enough to dedicate themselves to becoming the best salesperson possible. It’s tough to be great at sales without making a total commitment to the job and what it entails to succeed.
To help boost your sales technique to the next level, here are a few tips on a few common mistakes made by sales specialists in all industries.
Not Following Up with a Phone Call
Considering that sales is about establishing a relationship with the client, it seems hard to believe that a salesperson would fail to make a follow-up phone call to a potential prospect. Unfortunately, many of those who fail to make that call come up with a lot of reasonable sounding excuses as to why they didn’t. Whether they’re too busy, don’t have a good relationship, need to figure out what to say, or are looking for a script, people can come up with all manner of excuses not to make a call. To succeed in sales, however, you need to make at least one follow-up phone call to a prospective client no matter what reasons you may think exist.
Not Having a Clear Purpose
When you do finally make that call, it’s important that you have a clear reason why you’re calling. A good practice for many new sales associates to consider practicing is simply stating “The reason I’m calling is…” at the beginning of every contact with a potential client. This helps you establish upfront why you’re calling and gives clear a subject to discuss with the client. If your purpose is to ask the client how their holiday was or about their family, stick to these subjects and avoid making a sales pitch. Just make sure the purpose of your call is clear. Be honest about your purpose and you’ll always have a reason to make that call. If you have a clear purpose about the reason for your call you have no excuse for avoiding calling in the first place.
Not Leaving a Message
Sales associates can easily psych themselves out of doing the little things like leaving a message when they call. After all, they don’t want to seem too desperate or they don’t want to waste their follow-up phone call on a voice mail. But the truth is that most sales associates are desperate. You’re in sales, which means you need to sell. There’s nothing wrong with letting the client know you want and would appreciate their business. Every time you reach out to a client and fail to connect, make sure to leave a message. If they don’t get back to you, don’t try to make them feel bad. Stay friendly and leave a short message.
Not Collecting Data
Failing to collect data to use in future sales attempts only helps to make your job more difficult in the future. No matter what you sell, you need that valuable data to help make connections with clients and future sales. Have you ever been in the grocery store, purchased something for dinner and then regret not picking up one more ingredient. This type of buyer remorse happens to everyone, as we often don’t fully consider our options until later. Always keep a look out for other potential sales opportunities, buying cycles, and anticipate what’s about to happen next.
If you want to succeed at sales, you need to master the art of the follow-up. How do you rank your ability to follow up with your customers? What you need is a combination of the creative tools and willpower to push your uncertainty and self-doubt away so you can establish the types of successful strategy needed to excel at sales.