4 Keys to Master Follow Up in Sales

Does picking up the phone to call a client back scare you? Do you reach for your cell phone, only to change your mind because you don't know what to say? Don't feel bad. All sales people struggle with the same habit. Perhaps you're afraid of pestering the client, or maybe you're afraid the prospect will say, "Don't ever call me again!" (Possible but not likely!) Or maybe you just don't know what to say without coming across as sales-y. I understand. I have the same concerns, too. But if you are aware of this habit, I have good news for you! You can conquer your fears and close more deals simply by calling clients back to follow up. Here are a few highlights from a webinar that will help you reframe your efforts in a positive light. In the webinar, I cover 4 keys to become more successful in follow up so you can close more sales.

Follow Up Success Mindset

When you touch base with a client, what kinds of thoughts go through your head? Are you concerned about helping the buyer solve a problem, or are you worried that you are pestering them?  If you struggle with picking up the phone, chances are a fear of rejection is holding you back. Another lie we tell ourselves is, "Well, if they were really interested, they would have called me back." Often times, our own thinking holds us back.

How do we correct this mindset? I recommend 3 things. 

  • ‍First, use affirmations in the present tense to reset yourself in a positive frame of mind. Telling yourself, "I follow up because I am a professional" or "I show I care when I follow up" focuses your attitude to being other centered. Then it's much easier to make the call. Right? 
  • ‍Second, study how to follow up (like reading this blog or watching the video). Experts like Art Sobczak and Mark Hunter share great ideas that you can use to create scripts for you calls. Knowing what to say makes phone calling much easier. 
  • ‍Third, just do it. The greatest antidote to fear is action. While your first few phone calls may be a little rusty, you will get better the more you do it.

Follow Up Failures (I'd like to credit Art Sobczak for these insights)

  1. Failure to wrap up the initial conversation with action items for your next chat. Get agreement on what the prospect will do and what you will do to prepare for your next meeting. By doing so, you both have a good reason to get back together again. Makes follow up much easier.
  2. Failure to call back in a timely manner. Need I say more? If you go too long before making the call back, the lead can grow cold or possibly forget about you. (Oh no!) How soon should I call back, you ask? Mark Hunter, author of "High Profit Prospecting" recommends that you follow up twice as much as you think you should!
  3. Failure to have a compelling reason to call back. If you set up the call with action items, this should be easy. If not, no problem. Reaching out to the client with the latest research related to their problem provides value to client without being sales-y. I have all my high profile clients on Google alerts so I can track good news to congratulate them with.
  4. Failure to take notes in your CRM about your last contact. Customer Relationship Management software helps you track each time you contact a client. You can write notes about your conversation or annotate when they opened your email. When I make calls, I keep my CRM and my calendar open to take notes and schedule the next contact.
  5. Failure to use creative ways to reach the contact. Do you have a rhythm of phone call and email? Does your prospect or client do better with text? Difficult to reach buyers may best be contacted through a co-worker. Think out of the box to connect with your customers.
  6. Failure to be consistent. Sometimes, customers are not ready to buy at the moment we meet. Stay in touch with them at least quarterly to stay top of mind, and to show you care.

Follow Up Systems

Create your own system for follow up using a variety of techniques to show you care. In the video, the attendees and I talked about a few ways to reach out to customers and prospects (look at the 27 minute mark). Some ways can be automated (like emails and social media). Some will require your personal touch. Whatever methods you choose, schedule them so that your client hears from you in some way on a regular basis. The key here is consistency. It's not the great big efforts all at once that make a difference. It's the little things done every day.

Be creative!

Follow Up Scripts

Sales newbies often shy away from scripts for fear of coming across as phony. We've all experienced telemarketers who read scripts, yet don't hear a word we've said. The purpose of a script in follow up is to know in advance what to say, that will lead the buyer to some kind of action. Perhaps you want to know where your proposal stands. Or it's the agreed upon time to get a decision. How we use our language often determines the response we receive. Agreed? So here are some tips to creating your own scripts for follow up.

  1. State who you are and what company you are with. Giving that information up front shows respect for the prospect and pride in your company.
  2. Reference a key interest that the buyer previously shared with you. "Ms. Prospect, the last time we spoke, you mentioned that you were interested in our training program to increase production. Is that right?"
  3. When leaving a voice mail, state your purpose for calling and be brief. Under 20 seconds is good. Fifteen is better. By doing so, you are respecting their time, and that goes a long way!
  4. In email, use the person's first name in the subject line. Studies have shown that people are more likely to open an email with their name in the subject line.
  5. Avoid saying, "I'm calling just to check in ..." Of course, if you follow the guidelines I've shared above, you will have a good reason to follow up, and you can tell the person on the other end of the phone what it is.

Using scripts designed for her business, one of my coaching clients is getting ready to close a deal in excess of $20,000 for her business. Through persistent, consistent reaching out to her prospect, she is getting close to sealing her dream deal!

Watch the webinar on follow up. (Use this password for your exclusive access: FollowUp) Then click here to schedule your free Sales Breakthrough Session. There is no obligation to purchase anything. We will go over your dreams for your business, the successes and the challenges, and how to make your dreams come true. You will walk away with at least one good idea to move your business forward. So take advantage of this offer today!

Remember, the fortune is in the follow up!

Anna Scheller

Wife, mother of 7, Black Belt, Sales queen, entrepreneur, International Speaker; Loving life and finding good in everything and everyone! Passionate about your success!