VP of Sales Shares His Follow Up Secret
Last week, I had an interesting conversation with a prospect who's the VP of Sales in the technology industry. He commented on my level of professional persistent follow-up. He shared his secret on how he chooses which sales professional to engage with in a sales conversation. If you're not doing this one thing that the VP suggests, you might want to consider adding it.
In today’s article I'll be sharing two examples; one example of what to do and one example of what not to do.
The Right Way to Follow Up
Glenn, the VP of Sales shared with me the reason he took my first call was simply this…I took the time to send a follow up email the day before our call took place.
Here’s the email:
Just a quick reminder that I’ll be calling Thursday morning at 10:00 am EST to begin our conversation…
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Case Study: http://bit.ly/2wXGyuK
He shared that he took my call because I sent him a follow-up reminder 24 hours a head of our scheduled call.
He explained that persistent follow up shows the level of commitment and importance the salesperson places on the prospect.
While you may think you’re being a nuisance, the prospect finds it refreshing to actually receive follow-up! That’s how rare it is.
My touchpoints with Glenn, through emails, phone calls and LinkedIn introductions have been around 13 as I write this article. And we’ve been engaged in conversation since the end of August to give you a time frame. Because Glenn, like most prospects, is busy I'll send a follow-up email on the follow-up!
Here's an example:
From: Christine Harrington <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:29 AM
Cc: Christine Harrington <email@example.com>
Subject: It sounds like you're really busy
Good Day Glenn,
Yesterday I left you a voice message and this is a follow-up email. It sounds like you're really busy.
I’ll give you a call on Thursday at 12:00 EST. Hopefully you’ll be available to continue our conversation.
This level of follow-up activity is typical of most business prospects that become my clients.
The Wrong Way to Follow Up
In the past 6 months I’ve been engaged in a conversation with a sales rep. pursuing me to buy their product. I had two conversations with the rep about their product, which spanned over the course of a month, with no email follow-up. Then, as a prospect, I was handed off to an AI follow-up bot. I kid you not.
Twice a month, I received a generated follow-up email, saying the same thing. I no longer have the emails to share them with you because out of frustration, I deleted every single one.
This is bad on so many levels.
After my first initial phone conversation with the sales rep. he was to provided additional information. That didn’t come until two weeks later when he called again, then subsequently, passed me off to another team member who gave me a broad scope of how their product could benefit my business.
Again. No follow-up email or phone call after that presentation from the team member. Crickets.
Then a few weeks later, the AI follow-up bot began sending me the same email over and over.
I don’t know about you, but I am not buying from a AI bot!
My questions are still hanging in the air with no answers. And as of this article, I’ve never heard from the sales rep again.
My conclusion is this sales rep did not perceived me as a serious prospect. What other conclusion is there?
How could this sales rep be hitting sales goals with this level of neglect?
Yes..it is neglect when a sales rep initiates a conversation with a buyer then doesn’t take seriously the time he/she spent talking with the buyer.
The 1.5 hours I gave to the rep over 2 phone conversations was a complete waste of my time. And we wonder why buyers are so reluctant to take calls from sales reps?
By the way…I was never asked to buy.
Readers…heed the words of the VP of Sales at the beginning of this article. One follow-up isn’t enough. One reminder of an upcoming scheduled call isn’t enough.
Rules of Engagement Opportunities
Here are a few rules of engagement for follow up whether by phone or email.
Follow up with the buyer:
- after a phone call detailing the conversation and who is to provide what information to the buyer.
- when another team member has spoken to the buyer.
- 24 hours before the scheduled phone call as a courtesy
- To thank the buyer for the time spent with you
- After providing information that the buyer requested
- To find out if any questions have surfaced that requires an answer from you or your team.
- TO CLOSE THE DEAL
Anything less is irresponsible selling.
Whenever I review a sales team's level of follow-up activity, it’s no wonder goals are not being met because rarely do I run across a sales professional that matches or exceeds my level of professional follow-up.
Don't misunderstand me...I'm not bragging about my professionalism...however a day doesn't go by when I hear from a sales professional..."I don't want to be a nuisance and follow -up too much." Following up consistently is behaving in a professional manner.
You can easily turn your sales around by just being consistent in one vital area….FOLLOW UP!
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