Following Up Without Being a Pain In the Neck

Nov 01

Following Up Without Being a Pain In the Neck
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Follow Up.

You know the drill, you had a great meeting with a prospect and everything looked and felt great during the meeting. But, a week has gone by and you have not heard back from the prospect and you are wondering what to do. Questions begin to enter you mind:

  • How long should you wait before you contact your prospect after a meeting?
  • What did I do wrong they were so interested?
  • Am I cut out for this?

Anybody who has ever read a book on sales etiquette or has experience in sales knows that the follow up is just as important as the meeting itself. As entrepreneurs enter the 21st century is it ok to email or text the prospect, or should you just call? Even more important than how you get back with the prospect is when should you get back to the prospect? I have compiled a list of answers from some of the world’s best entrepreneurs in an attempt to give answers to when you should get back to your prospects without worrying if you are acting out of place or being a pest.

We’ll start this series of posts off with one of my personal favorites, Jeffrey Gitomer. In his book, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, Gitomer asks, “Are you a sales leader or a sales chaser?”

“Chasing your prospect too hard? People not calling you back? Pushing too hard for orders? Try running the other way – let the prospect chase you. It’s the best follow-up technique I’ve ever experienced.”

“If prospects are not returning your call, whose fault is that? You’re chasing too hard. They’re running away. You couldn’t get their interest. You couldn’t get them to chase you.

Here are some tell-tale symptoms the chase is going the wrong way:

  • You’ve followed up a few times, and now you’re searching for a reason to call them – but you can’t think of one.
  • You are uncomfortable about calling, you are unprepared, you have not established the needs of the prospect, you are unsure of their status, or you don’t have much rapport with the prospect (or some of each).
  • You call, get their voice mai, and hang up.
  • You left your best message and they didn’t call you back.
  • They told you a decision would be made Tuesday, and Tuesday has come and gone.
  • The prospect is giving you a bunch of lame excuses. And you are accepting them!
  • And the worst symptom of all – you are blaming the prospect for you inability to generate enough interest, create enough value, or for not having a solid reason to call you back.”

If you have never read any of Gitomer’s books and you are an entrepreneur, it is time to invest in your education. The guy is funny and he can cut right through the bologna. His books are short and easy to read. If you want to learn more from one of the masters on how to get prospects’ attention and more on how to follow up with your prospects, he is a must read.

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