“How do you follow up with a prospect who requested a quote and/or more information, but then didn’t follow up on the information?”
Classic question from sales reps when they are struggling to get a response from their pipeline full of leads.
So, what can you do about it?
Most reps do not like my answer.
Episode 90 – Transcript
Hey there. Welcome to the show. Welcome to the sales experience podcast.
This is episode 90 finishing out another week of episodes, a week of questions and answers where some guy talks into a microphone talking to himself, answering some questions, talking about sales with the goal of helping you, the listener, whether you’re a salesperson, whether you’re a manager, you’re an owner of a company or you’re thinking about getting into sales, you’re curious about sales.
My goal is to help you create the ideal sales experience for yourself and for your prospects to understand that there’s so many different ways to be effective and great at sales and not just the what everyone thinks, which is the charismatic manipulating, closing line using salesperson.
There’s so many other ways to go about it where you’re very effective, you’re very happy, and your prospects turn into customers and they’re very satisfied with what you do.
So many different ways to do it. There’s so many different things to use that you have naturally in your talents, your skills, your abilities, your experiences to bring all of that and be you in the sales process instead of trying to be somebody else.
You are, you, you do you and bring you to the sales process in a way that works for selling. Now again, I mentioned a couple episodes. If you find yourself talking too much and that’s who you are, either fix that, change that, adjust that in the sales process or maybe sales isn’t for you or find a sale that works really well.
We’re talking a lot is actually going to lend itself well. But no matter what, make sure you bring who you are [inaudible] don’t try to pretend or actually like anybody else, that will never work. All right, this question on this last episode of the week, this one’s all about follow-ups.
So the question that I see a lot is how do you follow up with a client who requested a quote or more information and then just literally isn’t responding? So how do you follow up with that person? What’s the best way to go?
I think this one is going to depend on your situation, on your sales process, the sales timeline, but really the best advice I have for this, no matter what your vertical, your product, your service at your price point, whatever that might be, my best advice is to always treat it like you would if you’re in a courtship situation where you’re trying to date somebody else. Okay?
So a lot of people laugh, but if you’re a true sales professional and you’re enrolling and not manipulating, if you’re helping people solve a problem or get a goal or get to where they want and you’re not selling them, you’re not being a sales person, then you’re going to want to treat it like you were.
If you were to be courting somebody who you wanted to go out with them, what does that mean? Well, [inaudible] somebody were trying to date you. Would you want them to call you five times a day or send you five texts a day wondering what’s going on and when you’re going to go out with them on the next time? Most likely not.
That’s usually really creepy. However, salespeople do that all the time, especially when they get desperate. They get towards the end of the month, the quarter or the end of the year, and there’s a fine balance as a sales professional with follow up, tenacity, persistent [inaudible] keep going, not stopping and having that drive, but not being creepy and desperate.
The problem is if you follow up too much in your [inaudible] calling a lot and sending lots of emails, you’re basically putting all of the power into the prospect’s hands. They are now driving the bus because you’re coming after them instead of them coming after you. So the problem is, is that they’re now in control of the process, whether it’s about price or it’s about when they sign up. But at this point, if you’re chasing them, they are in control to, same thing in personal relationships as well.
The person who’s being chased has all of the control and is driving the bus. So what does that mean for you? The first thing is, a lot of times I see sales reps who have a pipeline full of prospects who are not responding. They’re trying to do the follow-ups and not calling back.
They’re not responding to emails and so on, and really the issue actually started during the sales call. If you have a pipeline full of people who aren’t responding, then you need the step back and you need to look at how you did those interactions, those phone calls or those meetings in the first place.
Did you go through your discovery questions? Did you find their pain? Do you know why they should buy from you and do you know why they didn’t buy from you on the spot? Now, do you have a one call close and they didn’t buy it from you? That’s one thing.
If you have a long sales cycle, its multiple calls, then you have to keep that in mind. The fundamental thing, whenever I’m in a coaching or training situation and I have a rep who has a pipeline that looks like this, my question to them always is, why did that person need to buy from you on that initial call?
What was it that they needed to solve or what was their goal? Most of the time sales reps can’t answer that. They didn’t go deep enough. They didn’t try to find out what actually was going on, how to solve it.
They went into sales mode, Speaking mode, presentation mode, where literally they’re just talking at the prospect instead of asking questions and diving deep and you turn out with [inaudible] a situation where you’re now just an order taker.
Literally all you’re doing is taking orders if they’re interested in buying and that’s generally what happens. So keep that in mind. The solution is actually being more proactive on those initial calls. Well, make your pipeline stronger.
Now, if it’s already too late and you have a pipeline full of people who aren’t following up with you who aren’t responding, who aren’t calling you back, then all you can do is really send them some information and give them time [inaudible].
If you can leave them a message or send them an email where you want to get on the phone call and you just want to update your file and try to get a chance to go through your questions and go deeper and find out what that pain is that you can help solve without the pain.
It doesn’t matter. This is why like if we think about health, for example, somebody who has a heart attack, it’s more likely to now change their diet to change what they’re doing to exercise to get better. Until that happens, even though they know it’s bad, it’s not bad enough, right? There usually has to be pain that’s going to trigger action.
In this case here, your job as a salesperson is to uncover that pain. If somebody comes to you [inaudible] and they already know what their pain is, then that’s easy. That’s a lay down. You don’t have to do any work. Anybody could have done that sale, Yeah.
What your job is as a professional is to be pulling out that pain to tease out that pain and challenge those goals, hopes those dreams. What wakes them up at two in the morning. They feel like they’re missing out on that they want to accomplish or they’re stressed about or they’re worried about happening, whatever that is, as to what you should be finding out, try to get another chance in front of your pipeline, set up a time, or you just want to be strategic.
Say, Hey, I just want to set up a session. We can talk for five minutes, go through this and update my file and see if that works. There’s also going to be a good percentage of your pipeline because of how you set it up. That literally is just going to die if you didn’t do it right in the first place.
They’re just going to die and there’s nothing you can do about it. Yeah, except maybe put it into a nurture campaign where they get some regular emails and when the time is right, they will come to you. Unfortunately, when you get into this cycle, you’ve become an order taker because if you chase after them and be desperate again, they’re going to have all the control.
If you try to say, hey, it’s the end of the month. I think we should try to do these specials. They do it or don’t do it, but you really have no reason and you’re just throwing stuff out there hoping that something’s going to work.
That’s the case. Put them into a nurture campaign. Send them regular emails and hope that at some point they’re situational change such that it’ll trigger them to think about you and buying from you. Now I know that’s not the answer that you wanted.
A lot of times I tell that to salespeople and they look at me like they were hoping I had the silver bullet, the magic pill to solve their pipeline issue, to make everyone answer, to get back on board, to close those deals and it just doesn’t exist.
There’s nothing you can do to revive those deals because you call them too much. It sounds bad. You could do some takeaway breakup type emails and messages to people where you just let them know, hey, follow up with me when you want.
Sometimes that’ll work. Sometimes it won’t. Either way. You’re now at the whim of when they feel like it and that’s all you can do.
Focus on what you’re doing during your calls and your presentation, how you’re setting things up, how deep you’re going in the problems you’re solving. If you get off that phone call, scheduling a followup or knowing that it’s going to lead to a second call and you don’t know exactly why that person needs your prospect or service you’ve most likely already lost.
Again, I know that’s not the advice that you probably hoping for, but it’s the truth based on all of my experience. Hopefully that helps. That’s it for another episode of the sales experience podcast. That’s it for episode 90 I appreciate all of you listening.
Make sure to subscribe everywhere that podcasts are at [inaudible] Send me a message on the cutter consulting group.com website.
f you need help with your sales team, if you want to develop a different sales process with your reps in order to solve problems on the initial calls and set up your pipeline in a better, stronger way, send me a message on the website and until next time.
Always remember that everything in life is sales and people remember the experience you gave them.