I am a HUGE fan of Paul Castain (Uncle Paul) and his blog, tweets, Linkedin Group, etc.
I recently hosted a Sales Playbook! Group discussion "What fresh way of following up for a decision aside from the lame "I'm just calling to follow up" (often accompanied by a crackle in one's voice) has worked for you?"
I got some great responses and thought I'd summarize them here, for your benefit.
- Communicate that you're following through, not following up
- Provide a new value. That could be a new product or idea, news about their company, news about their industry, new marketing materials/brochures, tid bits
- Compliment/flatter them by letting them know you were thinking about them, that you want their business
- Set expectations when you agree to follow up in the first place ... that you will be calling back on an agreed-upon date and that you will need to confirm milestones along the way
- Create a sense of urgency by communicating that "today is the day we agreed I'd call you to activate our plan in order to begin achieving the desired results," that you require lead time once a decision is made
- Be respectful by acknowledging their right to say "No" while providing new, additional benefits to their moving forward
- Pay it forward. Do something unexpected. Give them something. Refer them to someone who could benefit them ... no strings attached
I was encouraged by the fact that the responses overwhelmingly made it about the prospective client/customer and NOT about the sales person. What that tells me is that Zig Ziglar has done his job well in that we understand "You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. "
If you have additional ideas, please leave a comment - for the benefit of those who follow.
John Patrick, Profit Doctor