No one likes rejection. When we have heard no once, we are even more reluctant to ask again for fear of being annoying, pushy, or ignorant. That’s why following up after in sales after you’ve already heard no from a prospect is so hard – you have every reason to believe that you will hear “no” again.
However, it turns out that you are actually more likely to hear “yes.” In fact, most sales take several follow-ups to close. There are a lot of stats floating around on the optimal number of follow-ups, and unfortunately, these likely won’t work for your business since every organization has its own cycle. Regardless, you should not take “no” for an answer (at least the first couple of times).
Since following-up is critical for your success in sales, but also one of the most awkward parts of the job, we’ve compiled tips on how you can overcome those feelings of anxiety every time you need to send follow-ups.
1. Look for different ways to follow-up
The most common ways for salespeople to follow-up is through the phone or email. Unfortunately, these are also the easiest ways for your prospect to screen you. Your prospect can avoid your call or delete your email or voicemail in a matter of seconds. If you are worried about sending follow-up emails that are simply going to be moved to the trash bin, try different channels for following up.
Adding your prospect on Linkedin and sending a Linkedin message is one way you can get their attention. You could also try following them on Twitter and retweeting some of the content they share.
In age when social selling dominates, sending direct mail will also surely get their attention since; mail is now one of the least noisy channels for marketing. Look for creative ways to break through the noise, and your response rate will improve.
2. Send content you think they will find interesting
No one likes reading pointless emails that don’t contain any new information. Perhaps the reason you are afraid to send your follow-up emails is that you don’t have anything interesting to say. Instead of sending a generic “just following up” note, try sending useful content. It could be something your company has produced, or it could be a news article or infographic that you think your prospect might find interesting.
Sharing a piece of information that contains valuable information will give your follow-up communication more substance, and it will help to build a rapport with your prospect.
3. Send a break-up email
There is a point in time where you should stop sending follow-ups. This point is not the same at every organization, so you will need to determine the number of follow-ups that make sense at your organization. However, before you classify a lead as cold or lost, consider sending one final break-up email, for example:
I haven’t heard back from you in several days, so I want to find out if you are still interested in our services? Please let me know if I should stop emailing you”.
Ironically, this is the point where you may actually hear back from your prospect. If you don’t, then you will know to stop following up, and pass the lead back to marketing.
Follow-up fear is real, but don’t let your fear get in the way of good sales habits. Using these tactics, you’ll have a unique approach to communicating with your prospects, and a better likelihood of closing the sale.
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