A lot of business owners are hesitant about using phone call sales follow-up. That’s because they don’t want to be seen as pushy or suffocating to their leads.
The truth is phone calls are a really important form of follow-up for any business. You just need to change the way you think about follow-up.
Just a quick true story: So, one these days I arrived home and found a leaflet on the letterbox advertising cleaning services.
My wife was mentioning that she was tired, and so was I, so, we decided to give them a call to the phone number advertised on the leaflet.
I remember calling about 4 or 5 times to which I got no answer.
Then, I went online on my smartphone (because I actually have an old “dumb” mobile phone) to visit the website that was on the flyer and filled the form.
The website seemed updated, so I just filled the form and waited…and waited…and waited…for 2 weeks.
Obviously, it’s needless to say that I just found another company to do the work.
You see; as a business owner you invest in a leaflet drop campaign, website, and the lot, then prospects do what you expected them to do, which is, call your business.
But you are not at the end of the phone line, and worst; no phone call follow-up.
I was actually disappointed and the truth was that I expected that phone call follow-up, and would never have taken it as pushy or salesly, but rather, good customer service and customer care.
You aren’t calling prospects to give them a sales pitch.
You are calling because they showed an interest in your company in some way and now, you are calling them to provide them with more information, address any concerns that may be causing them hesitation and to answer any questions they may have about your company, products, or services.
In this article, I’ll give you some tips to providing lead nurturing follow-up that helps your company close more sales.
The two most important components of an effective follow-up phone call are direction and intent. Where is this conversation going to go and what are you looking to accomplish through it?
The first step is nailing down the intent of the call. You’re calling to follow up with a prospect who has shown interest in your company somehow.
Maybe they requested a quote online or called in to get a quote, but unlike myself in the story above, they decided they wanted to think about it a little more.
Now you are calling them to find out where they are in the decision-making process, and to help give them everything they need to make an educated decision.
Your intent for these calls is providing prospects with information, and addressing their reasons for not becoming your customer after their initial interest.
During the conversation, you can tell them how specific products or services can help them, but make sure you are listening to hear what their specific situation is before you promote a particular product or service to help them.
It helps you present the most relevant, and therefore most attractive sales opportunity, to the prospect.
When you know exactly why you are calling, your calls will seem more genuine and this will build more trust with the prospects you are calling.
Along with having a good sense of the intent of your follow-up, you also need to have an idea of the direction you will take with it.
Calling a prospect without both purpose and direction isn’t going to give your company the best results. You should have a loose outline of what information the prospect should know by the end of the conversation.
Knowing the direction you want to take allows you to drive the conversation without dominating it.
Remember, you are the one calling your prospect, so you are going to need to generate the conversation. However, you want to be flexible and focus on the needs of the prospect.
To accomplish this goal, prepare an outline for your follow-up calls.
This won’t be everything you’re going to say word-for-word.
There’s nothing worse than coming across like an advertising robot reading a script. Simply write out what information is important for prospects to know in order to choose your company.
Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is an important piece of information to provide to prospects because it details what you offer, that your competitors don’t.
Another important thing to prepare is an outline of common hesitations your past prospects have had and your responses to them.
That way when your prospect brings up one of these topics, you have a response already on hand.
A prompt yet thoughtful response to prospect concerns shows them you know what you are doing.
This gives you credibility and makes prospects trust the competence of your company.
As I mentioned earlier, you absolutely don’t want to sound as if you are reading off of a script. It is important to know what you will tell the prospect, but let the structure and the flow of the interaction determine itself.
You want this to be a conversation.
And should speak in a conversational tone, and you should listen as much as you speak.
Also, You need to understand each prospect’s perspective before you can introduce them to the most relevant sales opportunity.
This way You will establish your professionalism through your industry knowledge and the skill with which you handle their questions and concerns, but your tone shouldn’t feel too formal.
If done right, This is the best way to make the prospect feel comfortable and build a personal connection between your prospects and your company.
People want to do business with people. It’s a part of human nature. So you can do your marketing a big favor simply by being yourself in your follow-up calls.
Let your own personality show, as you discuss how your company can help your prospect. Building trust with prospects is about letting them get to know you, so it’s very important to present yourself genuinely and personally.
One of the distribution/sales manager here at All Homes is actually brilliant at this, his name is Ray; and I was observing the other day how he approaches follow-up calls; he is super genuine, friendly, and I have noticed that the way he talks on the phone with a prospect, is exactly the same way he talks during his normal day here at the office.
Friendly, good at listening to the customer, experienced with his answering, and I also noticed that his main concern is to answer any queries or doubts our customer may have.
You can experience this yourself if you call us and ask for Ray! Just be Yourself…
A big question business owners ask is, “How many times should I be calling prospects? Won’t they be annoyed by too many calls?”
Many business owners don’t follow-up with prospects enough (or at all) because they are afraid of bothering their prospects. They don’t want to lose them forever by creating a negative attitude towards their company.
This is a valid concern, but the truth is, personal, prospect-focused follow-up won’t have those negative effects nearly as quickly as you think it will.
True, if a prospect expresses that they are clearly not interested and you continue calling them twice a week, they’re not going to be thrilled with your company.
However, doing follow-up the right way is crucial to your company’s success.
Just look at these statistics about follow-up:
Clearly, following-up leads help closing sales, because most sales take more than 5 contact points to close. Yet…
Make sense to you? Me neither. If you need more than 5 contact points to close the majority of sales, why do only 12% of sales professionals follow up more than 3 times? They’re leaving lots of potential sales on the table by not following up enough with their prospects.
For the hard to close prospects; Use follow-up phone calls once a week for a 8 week period after the initial contact with your company. If by the end of that period, the prospect is not showing interest in your company, you can scale back your contact.
You can take it down to once a month, once a quarter, etc. This allows you to get into that 80% category, where your prospect is very likely to convert, but won’t wear prospects out if they are truly not ready to buy.
Look back at those stats. It’s unlikely your prospects will be sold after one or two calls unless they are sales ready or in buying mode.
That is why you need to establish a new contact opportunity at the end of each of your calls. Let’s say a prospect asks you a question that you aren’t able to answer off the top of your head (and wasn’t in your “common questions” materials).
You can tell the prospect that you would like to get them some more information about that subject because you can’t give them a thorough answer at the moment.
You can tell them that you will call them next week to address their question fully.
On the other side, if you are able to field all of their questions and concerns (because you were so well prepared), then you can ask them if you can call them next week after they have had some time to think about what you discussed.
If you have been focusing on the prospect’s needs and how your company can help them, they will most likely be fine with a check-up call.
This establishes another point of contact where you can continue to try to close the deal through your dedication to the needs of prospects and clients.
After that a call to check-in and see if there is anything your company can offer them isn’t out of line, as long as they aren’t rigidly uninterested.
Hope that you have found this article useful.
Call Us Today 016237155 or request a leaflet distribution quote here