We see it over and over! Sales People who fail to ‘follow up’!! If you are a Sales Professional, do some quick self-analysis and ask yourself… ‘Have I been following up with my customer? Have I recorded and done EVERY LITTLE THING they asked of me or that I committed to?’. Unfortunately, the answer is often no. This tends to be one of the complaints by frustrated clients, and one of the biggest reasons why some sales people never see the success they crave. It is the seemingly non-important ‘little stuff’ that often matters the most …Did you email the information the Customer asked for? Did you deliver the literature you promised? Did you call the Customer back when you said you would? Did you take care of that annoying invoice error that they asked you to take care of? Ask yourself ‘DID I DO WHAT I SAID I WOULD’??? Often Sales People fail to follow up, not on purpose, but unfortunately because they simply forget. They don’t have a system in place. The average person forgets 50-75% of any conversation by the day’s end. Think about it. How many sales calls do you make in a day?? You can’t possible remember everything unless you keep notes. CREATING A FOLLOW UP SYSTEM IS EASY IF YOU:
- TAKE DETAILED NOTES – This is key in any sales call for multiple reasons yet it still shocks me how many sales people fail to do. Not only does it show the client you are interested and engaged in the conversation, but it creates a ‘follow up’ system. I suggest writing down the commitments you make and putting an ‘asterisk’ beside them. That way you can go back at the end of the day or week and ensure completion of those items.
- BE DILIGENT & CONSISTENT IN YOUR PROCESS – Make it a habit to write down your commitment on every call, with every customer.
- SET ASIDE REGULAR ‘FOLLOW UP’ TIME – Set up a fixed amount of regular time weekly to go back through your notes to make ensure you have done everything you said you would. When completed, highlight the task as completed.
- Consider yourself lucky if the Customer complains directly to you, giving you the opportunity to correct before anymore damage is done.
- The Customer complains to your boss, lessening his/her image of you, creating a red flag and putting you in their disfavor. It may not feel like it but this too is a blessing.
- A worse alternative ….the Customer tells your competition and others, damaging your reputation in the industry while you are completely amiss to the situation.
- Or you call on your Customer, they nod and passively agree but nothing ever happens. No orders, no shelf space, no interaction. You simply spin your wheels, waste your time and never land with any traction.
- And unfortunately, what you will often see the most, and is the worst situation possible, is the customer simply stops buying from you, refuses to meet with you, and falls off into never-never land! Often we will dismiss these clients as ‘non-buyers’ but take the time to do a self-assessment … am I responsible??