If there’s one thing I expect when people are selling to me, it’s that they will follow me up.
Follow up is a necessary part of converting business. The research shows that 80% of new business is converted after your proposal has been sent and after you’ve made anywhere from 5-12 value-added follow up phone calls.
80%. So that’s most new business.
If you expect that your proposal or quote is going to bring you all the business, you’ll be sadly mistaken.
Selling anything that involves some kind of summary email and/or proposal or quote, should be accompanied by the expectation that follow up is necessary in order for you to convert the business.
78 – 83%. That’s my conversion ratio. What’s yours? How many people buy from you compared to all those you send a proposal to?
If you want to increase your conversion ratio, then you need to learn proper follow up.
I’m a realist and I also follow a structured, repeatable sales process, which is my own Infinite Sales System™ that I teach people, just like you.
I never expect anyone to buy from me in our first interaction. Doing so would lead to rejection overload and probably, would have me hating my business because of the frustration. Who knows, maybe that’s how you feel sometimes.
As part of my process, after I’ve had my first sales conversation, I let my trusty CRM help me along the way.
Now, if you’re a smart business operator who is serious about increasing your revenue, then you’ll be using a CRM (customer relationship management software).
A CRM is just as essential if you’re an organisation with a sales team of hundreds as well as a solo business operator who does all the selling themselves. If you’re in business and you want to make sales, a CRM is necessary. There is no way I could run my business without a CRM.
PRO TIP: Head over to Your Hive to chat with them about how a CRM can help your business. Tell them I sent you 🙂
To take this one step further, if you’re smart with how you operate your CRM, you’ll have your follow up dates and ideas entered in each prospect’s record.
Before I share with you my 2-prong follow up strategy, let me quickly share why follow up is more effective over the phone, then sending an email.
How many emails do you get a day? If your inbox is anything like mine, there seems to be some sort of ‘rule’ that Outlook applies that says “every time I get my inbox down to a manageable level, send me one billion (actual number) of new emails.”
If I’m strapped for time, or working in flow, then the emails least likely to get my attention are those which are asking for my business.
Given it’s Olympic season, it would be remiss of me to not add a sporting analogy…
If there was a legitimate gold medal up for grabs, which race would you rather be running, the one with a billion competitors, or the one with a few?
Inboxes are the same. Every email is competing for the gold medal attention of the recipient. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the kind of race I’m up for.
If you want to stand out, then do what others aren’t prepared to do. Pick up the phone. If you simply did that, and even if you did it poorly, you’d be a shot at a medal, if not gold.
Now, try this 2-pronged follow up strategy to go for the gold and convert more sales, more often and for more margin.
1. Have your voicemail message ready to go.
Tip for new players: calling to say “did you get my email” is likely to win you nothing but a pulled hamstring.
Assume from the outset that your call will go to voicemail, because it most likely will. So be prepared with a message that will most likely encourage a return call.
What is the value you can bring your prospect, other than asking for their business? Can you help them with an introduction to someone? Bring them some business? Make a referral? Answer a question they had? Solve an unrelated problem?
Be genuine here. It brings me great joy when I get to add value to my network by introducing people and calling for a great reason. I love to help people and purposeful follow up allows me to do that.
2. What will you say when you connect?
This is an easy one. Once you’ve nailed point 1 above, it becomes really easy for your conversation to flow once you’re in dialogue. Provide them your value-adding reason and also ask how things are sitting with them in regard to your proposal.
It’s ok to ask respectfully and courteously for the business.
Follow up is by far, the biggest needle-mover in many businesses, so I encourage you to consider how you might do this differently, starting from tomorrow.