If you want to be the ultimate closer, then you have to master the art of follow up. Staying in touch and being able to move prospects through the sales funnel is what makes a top producer. Most sales reps follow up with leads 1.3 times… BUSH LEAGUE!!! To close the deal you, score the order, and land the commission, follow this follow-up plan.
Guys we’re going through the series on cold calling and today I want to talk about this topic of how many times should you follow-up with your prospect? How many times should you call them? This is the million-dollar question in sales. We all want to know should we let the lead go? Should we continue to follow-up? And what I tell my sales reps, a lot of people don’t like my answer, but I tell them at the end of the day guys, you call as many times as it takes to get that order. Because the reality is when I look at top producers they have this character trait, this attribute of persistence. They keep going when the average sales rep gives up, they go again and again and again. And there’s a great study done by insidesales.com, if you don’t know them, check them out. They have unbelievable resources, but they partner with MIT, and they showed us that the average sales rep guys, is following up 1.3 times with their leads. But in that same study they showed that if you call a minimum of six times, your chances of reaching that prospect, and getting them on the phone goes up to 90%. Think about that, the average sales rep maybe you, are following up with your leads 1.3 times, but if you just enhance that to a minimum of six times you have increased your chances to get your prospect on the phone to 90%.
And when I look at my sales career, and I look at the prospect and the follow-up journey that they go on, I really have seen it broken down into this acronym called C.A.R.R. The first phase of this buyer’s journey is the curiosity phase. You’re calling your prospect, your caller ID is coming across their phone and, they’re going “who is this calling me, why are they calling me?” Maybe they let it go to voicemail, maybe they talk to you for a little bit, but you didn’t get them on the first call, so now you’re in the follow-up process, and they move to the second phase.
And the A stands for annoyance. I hate to state it like it really is, but the truth is no one wants to get a sales call. No one wants to be sold, so they get a little annoyed with these calls. And this is where the average sales person gives up. This is what inside sales is referring to, the 1.3 times the average sales person gives up because they sense this annoyance, and they don’t want to be intrusive, and they don’t believe enough in the value of their products, so they give up.
But a top producer, they keep going and they enter into the third phase. And guess what? It doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. They move to this resentment phase. Where this person has gone from annoyance, to being really annoyed. They’re almost resenting you because you keep following up with them, you keep sending them e-mails, but what separates top producers, is they’re not just calling six times, sending six e-mails, and six voicemails, they’re being unique, they’re adding their personality, humor to their follow-up process.
Maybe writing a personal note, sending a funny picture, they’re differentiating themselves, and it takes them from the resentment phase to the final phase which is respect. And I’ve seen it time and time again when I’ve closed deals, that after I get the order, I get the credit card, the prospect turns to me and goes, “Luke I just have to compliment you on your follow-up. You are so persistent you have so much tenacity, I wish I could be like that.” This same person was annoyed with me two weeks ago, and now they’re praising me for my follow-up skills and it leads me to my third and final point that there’s a fine line guys between persistence and harassment. You never want to harass a client. You need to disguise it, and be passionate. The truth is, if your client or your prospect is perceiving you as pushy, aggressive you’re not doing a good job. They should be perceiving you as the passionate person that you are. That you believe so much in the product and services that you bring to the table, that’s why you continue to follow-up. That’s why you can make it through this journey of curiosity to annoyance, not give up at annoyance, go to resentment, and when they’re slamming doors in your face, or they’re hanging up on you, you continue to follow-up because at the end of the day you believe that what you have and what you bring to the table will change their business and their life forever. And that’s what’s going to make the difference in this buyer’s journey for you and lead them to the final phase which is the respect phase, and ultimately giving you the order.
So guys don’t be average, don’t follow up 1.3 times, follow up a minimum of six times. Take action on this today.