I’ll be the first to admit: I am not comfortable with the entire sales process. It’s a necessary part of building my business, though, so I am coming to terms with selling my services. Here’s how I am adjusting my “salesperson” mindset:
First, I needed to accept my discomfort with selling. Then, I had to accept that selling is just a means for people to get the marketing help they need. Finally, I focused in on the parts of the selling process that makes me feel the “ickiest.”
And for me, I feel the most “icky” when I am following up with my sales prospects. So, to help combat these feelings, I created a powerful but loving follow-up sales process that may help you too.
#1: Take excellent notes during your Get-Acquainted Calls
Here’s why this is so important: Your notes can help guide your follow up. If you do your Get-Acquainted Calls properly, you’ll learn about your prospect’s struggles, goals and pain points. This is great information to use when you follow up. (Keep reading to see what I mean).
#2: Set up a time every week for following up
To make following up with sales prospects a priority, block time on your calendar every week. I add it as an appointment on my calendar, and I hold this time as very sacred. In other words, don’t book over it!
#3: Set a reminder on who you need to follow up with
Each sales prospect may have a different frequency for when you should follow up. For example, someone you just spoke with last week should be emailed today, while someone who’s been on your follow-up list for months may only need to be contacted once every four weeks.
Therefore, it’s important that you stay organized with who you need to follow up with and when. Again, use your calendar to help you here. On that week’s appointment, write down who you need to follow up with.
The key is to set a reminder notification to help you remember who you are following up with on that certain day, which is why I like to add this information directly to my appointment.
#4: Vary your follow-up methods
Email is the most popular form of follow up (and one of my favorites). If you love to email, make sure you vary what you say. One email could include a link to a relevant article, and another email could be more conversational. This is where your Get-Acquainted Call notes come in handy! Ask how your potential client is doing with their pain points, or if they’ve overcome a certain struggle yet. Make sure to be assuring that their issues are surmountable, and you’d be glad to help.
Don’t forget to include your sales prospects on your mailing list for your e-newsletter; that’s another excellent way to keep “top of mind” with your sales prospects (without being pushy).
Also, don’t just rely on email for following up! I know I personally hate cold calling, but it is an effective way to follow up. You could also “snail mail” a letter or card to your sales prospect. If it’s his or her birthday, consider sending a small gift.
#5: Just be yourself
To me, this is the most important part of the follow-up sales process. Recognize that “people love to buy but hate to be sold to” – and then be yourself as you approach each sales prospect. I tell my potential clients that I hate to sell and be pushy, and that I am just checking in because I have been thinking about them (all true words). Be yourself – whatever that looks like for you – and you’ll feel more comfortable with the sales process.
Most sales people will tell you that the magic is in the follow up. That’s because those who follow up consistently close more sales. I believe, however, that the follow up is magical because you get an opportunity to show that you care for your sales prospect and hope to help them. While getting paid is part of the business, most purpose-driven entrepreneurs have an innate need to help people. Following up is how you show this purpose time and time again. Get comfortable with the follow-up process by automating your tasks, blocking your calendar and corresponding with authenticity. The more you follow up, the more comfortable you’ll feel – and yes, the more sales you’ll get.
Photo courtesy of Axel Bührmann