Has this ever happened to you?
You've made the call. You generate interest. Maybe you send a proposal or quote. You make a follow-up call and leave a message and wait for reply. And wait...Maybe you make another follow up...no reply.
In a short while you are convinced the client was stringing you along. Frustration sets in. Anxiety. Uncertainty. 'Do I call again? Won't I look like I am stalking? He's not interested. If he were, he would have called right. Why waste my time? Forget about it. Let's move on."
This negative self-talk is repeated every day, every week by hundreds of reps. It gets easy to convince yourself not to make that extra follow-up call.
The trouble is there can be any number of reasons why the prospect has yet to get back to you. In fact, at last count there are 28 reasons why the prospect hasn't returned your call. You should follow up because:
1. The squeaky wheel often gets the oil
2. The contact lost your number
3. The contact inadvertently deleted your voicemail message
4. The prospect/client simply forgot to call you back
5. Your e-mail was sent to their SPAM folder and never seen
6. Your e-mail was lost "in space" and never made it to the client.
7. Your e-mail was lost, misplaced or forgotten in a pile of other e-mails received
8. Your client is swamped with work and has been too busy to call
9. The contact is putting out a major fire and her priorities, for the moment, have changed
10.Your prospect inverted a number or two when copying down your phone number and was not able to reach you
11.The client or prospect expects YOU to follow up and keep them on track
12.Your prospect or client is grotesquely disorganized and needs someone to keep them on track
13.Your contact figures if YOU don't show interest in following up, you and your product can't be all that important
14.Your prospect has had a minor delay and needs to someone (you) to get them on track
15.Your prospect has put the project on the back burner or has gone with another vendor and you need to find out to have closure and stop fretting
16.Your prospect figures the ball is in your court and is wondering why YOU haven't made a further follow up.
17. You did not include a signature file with your contact information on it - and the client did not have it handy to make a quick call back
18. Your voice mail (and phone number) was delivered so rapid fire or slurred that the prospect gave up trying to decipher it
19. You accidentally sent your e-mail NOT to Brian Basanda but to Brian Adams when you used your Contact info in Outlook
20. Most of the other vendors calling your prospect fail to follow up ... which gives you the competitive edge
21. Your contact may have a gatekeeper who erased your message
22. Your prospect has a wicked sense of humour and is waiting to see how many times you will call
23.Your voicemail script needs a re-write; it simply lacked 'umph'
24. This could be the deal of your career - you'll never know unless you call
25. Your prospect deleted you e-mail on their Blackberry by accident and there's no "undo" feature
26. A poor, hungry and driven competitor will make the persistent follow-up call that you didn't make ...and will get the business you should have got.
27.What do you have to lose?
28.What do you have to win?
So there you have it: 28 compelling reasons to pick up that phone and make a few follow-up calls. Print this list on a bright yellow sheet of paper. Post it at your desk and refer to it whenever you hesitate about making that follow up call. Do it now. And close more sales!
About the Author:
Jim Domanski is president of Teleconcepts Consulting and works with companies and individuals who struggle to use the telephone more effectively. Author of four highly regarded books on tele-selling, Jim has provided training and consulting to audiences, universities, and clients through the US, Canada and Europe.