Selling Technique Ė Follow
© 2007 David Peterson
Selling is basically a learned
skill. If you follow the sales process of Open, Probe, Pitch,
and Close then you are bound to land at least some deals.
Have you noticed that some
salespeople are better at closing deals than other
salespeople? You can have two sales representatives sitting
side by side using the exact same leads yet one is a clear
saleís leader. Both of the sales representatives are using
the sales process to the fullest. Both of them are finding and
solving for their respective prospects wants and needs. Yet
more always; one representative makes a significantly more
amount of money in commissions than the other representative.
There is a 5th
element beyond Open, Probe, Pitch, and Close. That element is
called Following Up!
What I have noticed in my
career as salesperson, a sales manager, and a business owner
is that everyone tries to follow up. Everyone calls their
respective prospects back. Everyone has some ďlistĒ that
they use to follow up with. Everyone is putting in the effort.
What creates the disparity in
commissions is not that everyone is following up; the
disparity comes in WHO and WHEN the representative is
To be effective at following up
you need two items:
1. You need an
effective contact manager like ACT!
2. You need to be
disciplined when following up.
A contact manager like ACT!
will allow you to arrange your prospects into groups such as
Hot, Medium, and Cold. Also while you are putting the
prospects into groups you can schedule callbacks and keep
track of all past correspondences. You can also make notes,
schedule tasks, prioritize activities, etc., etc.
A solid contact manager will
allow you to get organized so you know WHO to call and WHEN!
Salespeople that donít use
contact managers to the fullest are really just order takers.
If they donít know who and when to call someone back then
they really are just prospecting with their own list. They are
not really following up. If they donít know how to use a
contact manager be a bit cautious when hiring them for a sales
The next step to be a
successful salesperson is to understand that you need to have
discipline to succeed. Discipline means that you focus on your
hot prospects, and work on deciding what needs to be done to
get your medium prospects closer to a decision.
Discipline doesnít mean that
you are going to spend an entire afternoon calling all of your
cold prospects. That is a waste of time. If the cold prospect
has agreed to future information then send them a standard
sales letter by mail or email and then move on. They are a
cold prospect for a reason. You have already determined that
What I find with
middle-of-the-road salespeople is that they donít think that
they need to improve their follow up skills. They think the
system they are using is perfect.
representative probably has his contacts on paper or in
Microsoftís Outlook. Some of them using Outlook even have
them color coded to get the prospects more organized. But at
the end of the day if you were to ask this middle-of-the-road
representative to give you his top three prospects that he
will be calling on next Wednesday I bet he canít give you
the prospectís name and/or the prospectís business name.
Ask him to give you the size of the prospective deal!
representativesí waste way too much time following up with
cold prospects. They should be prospecting not following up
with cold leads.
If you find your salespeople
sending half their day following up with no results then it
may not be their effort. It may be that they really havenít
learned the skill of following up.
Get yourself and your
representatives organized, then classify your prospects into
hot, medium, and cold. After you classify them you should
close the hot prospects, move the medium prospects closer to a
decision, and then do yourself a favor and skip the cold
prospects altogether. You are just wasting your time with that
The object of sales is to sell.
Concentrate your sales representativeís efforts on the hot
and medium prospects only.
Been There - Done That
Peterson's Search Engine Optimization Guide
send all correspondence to: email@example.com