How to massively improve your sales conversions
This is such an easy thing to do, but so few people do it. What am I talking about? Following up.
‘80% of sales require 5 follow up calls after the meeting. 44% of salespeople give up after 1 call.’ Source: The Marketing Donut
These are professionals – people who are paid to sell. Not very impressive is it? However, you can use this information to help you. Obviously this is an average figure, so that means some sales will need less than 5 calls and some will need more, but at least you know what is required. As a sales trainer, this is one of the most common issues I have to deal with in the classroom, so here are some practical things you can do to help you follow up better.
1. Be aware. Now you know you might have to do a lot of calls, get your head round it and just see it as part of the journey to your sale. That means you need to accept the unanswered calls, the not returned voicemails, the ignored emails and the ‘I’m too busy to talk right now’ responses as just inevitable (and not a personal rebuff). They are merely steps you have to take to get to your goal.
2. Get organised. Use your diary or your customer record system to help you follow up. Set dates to ‘speak by’ and try and keep to them. It’s a good strategy to allocate a chunk of time each day to telephoning.
3. Make your follow up appointment while you are with the customer. So when you conclude your initial meeting, get the diary out and schedule the next meeting while you are both motivated and keen to progress. If you wait a few days and then call, the chances are your prospect will have lost some of their enthusiasm – not because there is anything wrong with you and what you are selling, but just because other stuff gets in the way.
4. Don’t be a chicken! OK – you should have called your prospect last week (or even last month!) and now you feel all guilty that you didn’t, so the thought of contacting them isn’t very appealing any more. Well get over it and call! If they were interested enough to see you in the first place, then what have you got to lose? Although this brings me neatly on to the next tip, which is;
5. Follow up Promptly. Don’t wait too long – most people appreciate prompt responses and it shows you are professional and can be trusted – especially if you say you are going to do something by a certain time and you deliver. Leads can go cold if you leave them too long, so don’t delay and do whatever you reasonably can to keep the momentum going.
6. Don’t procrastinate! Really – come on – these people might actually buy from you if you call them! The worst that can happen is nothing (which of course is where you are now) so just give it a go and try.
I hope these sales tips will be useful to you. Let me know how you get on!
Janet is based in Enfield, north London and trains small businesses and entrepreneurs how to sell more. She has recently reached the final of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s national awards (BESMA 2016) in the category of Sales Trainer of the Year and, in November 2015 won ‘Start up Business of the Year’ at the Enterprise Enfield Business Awards.
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