In many ways, a follow up call to a prospect is more challenging than a cold call.
Typically, it’s the follow up call that really gets the sales cycling rolling. It’s here where value truly begins to manifest itself. It’s here where substantive information is gathered; and it’s here where the relationship begins to establish itself.
So that’s why it is absolutely vital to have a superb follow up strategies and tactics so that you can make the most of the moment. Here are eight tips to making a perfect follow up call.
Tip #1: Get commitment for the follow up.
Perhaps the single biggest mistake reps make is not establishing a specific date and time for the follow up call at the end of their initial call. Vague commitments from the prospects (“call me next week”) or the sales rep (“I’ll send the proposal and follow up in a couple of days”) result in missed calls, voice mail messages and ultimately a longer sales cycle. All you need to do is simply ask for a follow up date and time. For instance:
“I’ll be glad to write up the proposal (quote, whatever) and e-mail it to you. And what I would like to recommend is that we set up Tuesday, the 16th, at say, 8:45 to review it in detail and determine the next steps if any. How does that sound?”
If this is not a good time, recommend another time. If that doesn’t work, get them to establish a time and date. Creating a deadline is a simple but extremely powerful tactic. Use it.
Tip #2: Build equity and be remembered
Here’s another huge tip. After every call to a first time prospect, send a thank you card. Handwrite a message on small thank you card that simply says, “John, thank you for taking the time speaking with me today. I look forward to chatting with you further on the 16th! Kind regards. . .” No more, no less.
In today’s fast paced world, a hand written card tells the client that you took the time and the effort to do something a little different. At some level this registers in the client’s mind and creates a degree of “equity” in you. It differentiates you and it gets remembered. And it gives the client a reason to be there when you make you follow up call.
If you don’t think a card will get there in time, send an e-mail with the same note. Just be aware that an e-mail does not have nearly the same impact as a handwritten note.