Sales Persistence – Don’t Be A Sales Stranger
For those of you with Netflix out there, I really hope you have had the pleasure of their new and original series Stranger Things, truly a brilliant piece of TV. If you have not watched it then get it in, you won’t regret it. Speaking of strange things have a look at this screen grab I found. Strange huh?
I wonder how many sales people out there fall into the first category?
What about the second one?
I bet if you are sales person and falling into the fourth one you are probably hoping the sales people in the first three categories above you keep giving up! In a funny way I do!
When I train sales people I say persistence pays, keep in touch, don’t be a stranger and yet more and more I hear delegates on courses tell me that they do not want to pester their clients or come across as too pushy. Well if there is any truth to be had in these statistics and I suspect there is, then take heart as clearly many sales are made from the fifth to the twelfth contact.
Here’s a Strange Thing
Very recently I was in a meeting with a potential client, he was charming and very open about his sales team. He told me that he could not understand why they would not follow up more than once or twice with a prospect either by phone or email. He was frustrated that he was potentially losing massive amounts of business to his competitors because there was no follow up. I am explained to him that often sales people do not want to make the client feel pestered or badgered and that there was a balance between persistence and badgering to which he agreed. Funny thing was, when I had finished the meeting and got back to my desk I followed up with an email, then a couple of days later a call, then another email that day, two more calls later that week, yet another email the week after and finally when I left another phone message nearly three weeks later he came back to me to book. I did ask the question, “were you testing me as a trainer to see if I did what I teach?” and he laughed and said no, but if he was I passed the test. I also got the business.
It is really important to remain in touch with a client once you have spoken to them, it demonstrates that you actually want to do business with them and that you are not just a fly by night sales person. Besides you don’t know for sure what is going on with the client that could be causing the delay. Sure they could be avoiding you, it happens, but often buying decisions can take time. Think about a time when you have invested in something pretty big, say a new computer or a car. Did you rush into it and buy the first thing you saw? Probably not, and even if you did then you probably did a fair bit of research to support your belief that it was correct. In sales this is what happens when people talk to sales people, it can be simple research and sometimes things can take time, it seems strange but it is true and some customers won’t be rushed. However these customers often like consistency and so don’t mind you calling them as they prefer to deal with someone who demonstrates an approach that instills trust.
I do have a good tip for you, if you are running out of ‘reasons’ to call then try this either on email or phone message.
“Hi this is XXX from XXX. I have left a number of messages for you and I do hope they have been getting through. I am keen to establish where we are in terms of your thought process to my product. Would you be kind enough to come back to me to let me know the status of where we are even if it to let me know you have decided to not go ahead, that way I can close your enquiry.”
By approaching the message this way, you subtly tell the client that you are willing to hear them say no and will not be offended, and that you will stop staying in touch for now. This will not affect the relationship you have, it is polite and simply asks the question, and by doing so stimulates the client to respond and in my experience they often come back with something very positive. Try it; see what you think, if it doesn’t work, well you have lost nothing, stranger things have happened!
Thanks for reading this blog, it forms part of the Sales Training offered by SerialTrainer7. If your business needs its sales skills improving then why not get in touch with me Simon Hares at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07979 537824