Follow-ups are equally important as initial contacts to prospective customers. Based on the fact that you already had a first conversation, the chances to turn the deal into an opportunity are even bigger. While initial contacts make it often difficult to evaluate the probability of deal closing, follow-up contacts can be categorized much better. Effective follow-up processes are strategically important for every salesperson and should not be underestimated. A great salesperson differs from a good one by the experience of dealing with follow-up conversations.
Structuring your follow-up process
Instead of making follow-up calls between your telesales activities, your follow-up calls should take place at a planned time. Make sure that there are no interruptions during these follow-up phases. After planning follow-up conversations, it is important that you summarize all data of your previous conversation(s) in your CRM system. Don’t waste your time for asking the same questions as you already did. Follow-up calls are there to deepen the relationship and to put the deal to the next stage in your pipeline. If you have not already collected background information about the prospective customers before the last call, you should get your job done until the next call. In case that you already collected enough information about the potential client, you should demonstrate your interest by looking closer on what has happened at the company between the last call and your follow-up contact.
Follow-up emails vs. follow-up calls
Follow-ups can take place via email or over the phone. However, it is important that you include both elements in your sales process. The day after your call should be used to send a nice follow-up email to your prospective client. Thank him for his time and summarize again on what you concluded in the meeting. Don’t forget to include a sales presentation in the email which describes the advantages of your product again. A reasonable time after your last call (depending on the deal size, the level of interest and the background information which you gathered), you should plan the next follow-up call. In the best case, you already scheduled a date at the first call. If not, you should try to phone your contact for scheduling another appointment as soon as possible.
The crucial elements of a follow-up call
Of course, it is important to start your follow-up call with a friendly atmosphere. Some small talk helps to deepen the relationship to your prospective client. When getting down to business, it is important to highlight again the advantages of your product. It can also be useful to mention some references and other use cases where your product successfully contributed to another client’s success. While your follow-ups take place via phone, it is important to show some visual information at the same time. By discussing presentations during the follow-up call, you make it for your listener easier to follow the progress. On top of that, the visual information which you show helps the listener to recapture the information later. At the end of your phone call, it is important to schedule another date for the next call. By doing so, you must be able to find out how interested the prospective client really is. Ensure that you understand his concerns. Most doubts can be solved – if you know them!
Follow-up after your follow-up
After the follow-up call is before the next follow-up call. Between these two calls, you should again write a nice email to keep in regular contact. Again, it is important that your next phone call adds further value to the opportunity. Update yourself about the company’s progress and make sure find a solution for all the concerns which your contact person had. As already mentioned in the beginning, taking follow-up calls serious is as important as taking the first contact serious. Since the likelihood of closing the deal increases at the second stage of your pipeline, the overall priority of follow-ups exceeds the priority of your ordinary sales calls. Therefore, make sure to put follow-ups on the top of your weekly priority list in future!
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