How to Succeed in Sales
It’s surprisingly simple … follow up on leads
Cody Butler, this week’s Stay Paid guest, calls it a “massive mistake,” but that doesn’t stop agents and other entrepreneurs from doing it … they fail to follow up on leads.
Rarely will someone make a significant commitment or purchase the first time you approach them.
Buying a home, life insurance policy, car, legal services, financial services—these are big ticket items with long term consequences. Purchases of this type—non-routine sales—tend to affect not only the person making the purchase, but also their families.
It’s simply not reasonable to expect this type of prospects to say, “Yes, I’m all in,” the first time you approach them. But the way so many service-based and sales professionals behave, you’d think that’s exactly what they expect. And when they don’t get what they expect, they stop.
What they fail to understand is no doesn’t usually mean no. It means not right now.
And the mistake they make is giving up too soon.
Why follow up on leads?
There are a few reasons why you should always and repeatedly follow up on leads:
- You can identify and overcome objections for not making a purchase.
- People will say no five times before making a purchase.
- You don’t want to leave money on the table.
- You don’t want prospects to forget you.
#1 You can overcome objections
Different people will give you various reasons for why they don’t immediately buy something that will benefit them in some way. Some common sales objections include:
- Cost is a concern.
- No budget or money.
- Don’t have enough time.
- Being preoccupied with other distractions.
- Not being sufficiently motivated to do anything about their problem.
In Episode 172, Luke says all objections boil down to two:
- Your prospect doesn’t believe in the value of your product or service.
- Your prospect doesn’t believe they’ll use your product or service.
Later in the same episode, Luke and Josh present a three-step process that will enable you to overcome any objection.
#2 It only takes one yes
Studies will vary, but generally speaking, 80% of non-routine sales like the ones listed above occur only after at least five follow-ups.
And this is why too many salespeople lose too many opportunities—they give up too soon[i].
- 44% of sales people give up after one “no.”
- 22% give up after two “nos.”
- 14% give up after three “nos.”
- 12% give up after four “nos.”
To follow up on leads after four rejections can be a challenge, and even the toughest sometimes suffer from rejection anxiety. Rejection is so discouraging that 92% of salespeople give up before the fifth attempt.
What does that mean for the salesperson who makes that fifth attempt?
If you consider that 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”, then it looks like 8% of salespeople are closing 80% of the sales.
Prospects may say no five times, but it only takes one yes to make the sale.
#3 You don’t want to leave money on the table
If it’s not reasonable to expect people to make a non-routine purchase after the first pitch, then what is reasonable?
According to Cody, of all your prospects, approximately 15% will make a purchase in the first 90 days. However, 50% will make a purchase within 18 months. It’s between 90 and 560 days when you’ll experience the majority of your sales, and that’s why you can’t quit too soon.
#4 You don’t want prospects to forget you
Here’s the thing—if the bulk of sales happen between 90 days and 18 months, do you really expect a prospect to remember you at day 90, let alone day 560?
You have to follow up consistently if you want to make a sale.
From their first encounter with a prospect until they become a client (and after), successful salespeople and business owners continuously provide value to those prospects and clients. They follow up on leads with value because it’s the way they build trust and build their brand so that when one of their prospects is ready to buy, or one of their clients offers a recommendation, their name is top-of-mind.
Listen to Luke’s and Josh’s full interview with Cody Butler to hear more about how to approach and develop a 90-day marketing plan.
And if you’d like more information about how to follow up on leads, then you can download How to Effectively Follow Up with Clients, a free success guide from ReminderMedia.
- What you do is your product, but your business is marketing.
- If you don’t follow up you’re leaving money on the table.
- No doesn’t mean “no.” It means “not right now.”
- Create an affirmation that says, “I won’t quit until I [fill in the blank].”
- Examine each critical aspect of your business, and determine which 20% is producing 80% of the results. Then double down on that 20%.
Connect | Resources
- Website: codybutler.com
- Podcast: Small Business Marketing with Cody Butler on iTunes
- Book: The 90-Day Business Plan on Amazon
- Success Guide: How to Effectively Follow Up with Clients
[i] Robert Clay, Why You Must Follow Up Leads, Marketing Donut, Accessed October 8, 2020, https://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/sales/sales-techniques-and-negotiations/why-you-must-follow-up-leads.