Following up after a meeting, sales pitch or phone call is essential to maintaining a successful business. TollFreeForwarding.com spoke to a number of sales experts on how to maximise your chances of repeated business.

 

Sales managers are often tasked with contacting prospects on a daily basis and this may be helped by analysing which businesses are viewing your website or who has signed up to your company newsletter.

 

The Research

 

Studies have highlighted that it takes an average of eight contacts to convert into a sale. Most sales associates generally stop at two – the initial contact and a follow-up. Some prospects may be interested, some may not be interested and few may make it past the initial contact stage. However a study by salesforce.com found that over 90% of sales are made after the fourth call. It was found that:

 

  • 2% of sales close on the first call
  • 3% of sales close on the second call
  • 4% of sales close on the third call
  • 10% of sales close after the fourth call
  • 81% of sales close after the fifth call

 

It was found that most salespeople stopped following up after the second call with 48% of the study quitting after the first call and 24% quitting after the second. The results from the study highlighted that businesses should focus on improving their follow-up technique.

 

Besides following-up with prospects you should follow-up with current clients.

 

You should approach a pitch with a different angle if you have already sold a product or service and you are attempting to generate a repeat sale. You should first contact the customer to ensure that they are happy after the purchase and create an opportunity to build an ongoing sale relationship; encouraging them to refer your business to others.

 

Below are the top five tips from TollFreeForwarding.com on how to follow-up to achieve repeated sales.

 

  1. The Five No’s Approach – You may want to try out the “five no’s” strategy. This is where you maintain contact with prospects until each has said “no” or “not now” at least five times. This strategy is better aimed towards experienced sales staff who are experts in strategizing a sales call.

 

Ask for guidance on what service they would like and how they would like to be contacted in the future and remember to ask open-ended questions.

 

  1. Generate a database of contacts – Relationship building tends to start during the initial contact and follow-up stages. By implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system you will be able to take stock of your prospects and prioritise them by importance.

 

Business coach and consultant, Dan S.Kennedy presents a straightforward secret to success: you must have a living, breathing customer database. Kennedy states that:

 

“If you want the strongest possible customer base, you must actiely, systematically, and methodically build your customer base. All your contact, prospect and customer data, order and billing information—everything—needs to be entered and stored in the database.

 

You need these people organized into meaningful groups. And you need the flexibility to sort through the database so you can easily pull up prospects or customers who might bring you more business.”

 

  1. Cherry-pick your follow-up leadsEnsure that you have an existing understanding of the customer’s needs. There is no point in trying to sell them something which they won’t need – this could even backfire on you. Having a solid relationship with a customer will allow you to direct the right products or services for their needs.

Before contacting the customer ensure that you have an established call to action. Have a purpose and plan the call or email.

 

  1. Timing is everythingIt is never a good time to contact early on a Monday morning or late on a Friday afternoon. Midweek before midday would be suitable when your contact will have enough time to talk, or you can re-schedule if necessary. You don’t want to be too aggressive or pushy, but if they don’t reply to your emails or calls set the follow up dates to be further apart.

 

  1. Reward loyaltyAll consumers prefer personalized care and attention. They want to feel like they ‘belong’ to your business and by offering rewards or loyalty schemes you can help to generate business and trust. Invite your customers to take part in customer referrals as this can generate the potential for repeat sales. Consider offering demonstrations, sending monthly newsletters via email marketing methods, pushing out social media updates and do avoid spamming

 

Image source: www.konftel.ru