If I had a penny for every time a sales representative has either complained that people don’t call them back, or asks for tips on how to get prospects who’ve they already met with and even customers to call back – I could retire early! Although tempting, let’s address these ‘big secrets’ and generate some great sales training ideas:
Secret 1: Accept that they aren’t going to call you back. At least they won’t if you haven’t given them a compelling reason to. This holds true for cold call prospecting or a follow-up to a sales call.
Secret 2: You can get them to call you back and it’s easier than you think.
Prospect Call Back Tips That Work!
Tip 1. Recap the conversation and gain commitment
It’s been a great conversation. You heard or determined a gap that your product or service can fill.
You’re ready to get back and begin putting a proposal together.
Slow down a bit in your excitement to avoid wasting precious time creating a proposal that isn’t going anywhere.
As you conclude the call, summarize what you have discussed. Recap the highlights of the conversation in a few points. Make these points the important ones!
People have short attention spans – so leave them with the juicy bits!
Challenge yourself to recap the conversation like this:
- I heard these were your key issues
- Do I have that right? Is there anything else?
- Are you open to exploring these options with my firm?
By including the question where they tell you whether it’s even an option to move forward saves you from spinning your wheels.
If they aren’t interested, then they aren’t going to return your calls and you’ve wasted time on a proposal.
If you can find out on the spot that they aren’t interested, you are face-to-face or phone-to-phone where you can find out why they aren’t interested in moving forward which gives you the chance to turn that concern or resistance around if applicable.
If you don’t ask this question, you are wasting your time and guess what, they won’t take your call or call you back.
Tip 2: Set up the next meeting before you end the conversation.
How do you currently end each conversation? Does it sound like this, “I’ll call you next week,” or “I’ll be back in touch.”
These are too broad and non-specific. Everyone’s busy today and if you don’t pin point a date and time, they will be doing something else. Instead use phrases that are call to action oriented. Therefore, be specific with a date, time and stick to it!
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get the customer to narrow down a time frame. Rather than asking, “When can we get back together? Instead, call the shots yourself.
Setting up the next meeting may sound like this, “Here are our next steps… let’s review our calendars for the week of x.” And each time they review their upcoming calendar, they are reminded of how you are going to save them time, money, productivity or remove a thorn in their side.
Tip 3: Follow up immediately after and then before your next meeting.
Now that the meeting has been successful you are eagerly working on the proposal. They on the other hand have gone on to other business and you are not their every waking moment thought.
Following up with an email is a great way of thanking them for their time and recapping the conversation.
Once again it’s the opportunity to validate the decision to explore an option with your firm and puts what they heard in visual content.
In the event they want to take the information to someone else or they in fact are asked about your meeting – you’ve not only made it easier for them to provide the recap – you have included all of the ‘what’s in it for them’ to solidify the deal.
If it’s left up to them, they most likely are going to present the facts and not necessarily bridge your offer with all of the benefits. They are your internal sales person when you aren’t there. Give them the selling points without them knowing what you’re doing.
Also, sending another email a few days before you’re about to call back is useful because it gives them a prompt! Remember to include a ‘what’s in it for them’ as part of the confirming the upcoming call.
Following up means that you are serious, confident, reliable and are willing to make the extra effort: That is a good message to send out.
Here’s your challenge: Implement these tips for the next 3 weeks. Monitor the return calls and compare them to your previous experience and then be sure to let me know the outcome.
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