I am sure if you are in sales you dread the word "follow up." No salesperson wants to call and say, just "checking in." The problem with following up after a presentation is the prospect has all the information so what do you say now? Plenty- read on for ways to follow up no matter what you sell.
Set the Stage
Do you ask your buyer what communication they like to receive? Some of us prefer to communicate through email, text, and some phone. Find out in the present state how your buyer would want to connect. Set the expectation in advance: I will contact you in the next week, how would you like me to reach out? Email seems to work best for me, by the way, if I send an email, when should I expect to hear back? I know when I get an email I usually respond within 24-48 hours.
First Follow up
Do you send an email summary of the meeting? If you take notes, it will serve you in many ways, and this is one of them. Outline discussion points and finish with next steps. Ask for confirmation from the buyer at the end of your email. Sending a thank you email is standard, however, emailing a meeting summary sets you apart.
Giving the Reason Behind the Why
When you follow up what do you say? If you don't have a reason, you should not make the connection until you have figured out an idea that's not all about you. Set the stage for moving the sale forward by maintaining the professionalism you used to begin the sales conversation.
Do you have price changes in your industry? How about the costs of supplies?Do price changes affect the customer's customer? Think regarding the entire sales landscape.
Do you know your customer well enough do a Gap analysis? What will be needed to go from their present state to their desired state? Think like your buyer to create a relationship that fosters a partnership.
Does the industry you sell into to adhere to regulations? Are they governed by an ever-changing landscape of rules they must comply with to do business? How will these changes affect them? How can you help?
Taxes and death are the only sure things in this life. Corporate taxes are always changing. What tax changes will save them money, or increase costs?
What is their deadline to make a decision? Who is the contact for follow up? If you don't ask early, you will be at the mercy of guessing when a decision will be made. Ask at the present meeting and get a clear date to refer to when following up.
Helping the Customers Customer
What ideas could you bring to help the customers customer? Does this change impact them? How can you strengthen this relationship to enhance yours?
Are there sales that might impact them? Do you have negotiations, incentives, or any other offering that might persuade them to move forward? If prices fluctuate, the buyer should know when you anticipate the change.
What updates have been made? Did you get new products, technology, locations, business partners, capacities?All ways to add value.
What do you know about their industry, competitors? Company leaders are busy, and often know a fraction about the field you sell into every day. What news can you share to add value and insight in their world?
Hope these ways to add value keep you from the dreaded "just checking in" in your next sales call.