Are you leaving money on the table?

How many times do you follow up with someone after a sales conversation if they don’t buy on the first call?

1. I never stop following up.
2. I follow up six to ten times.
3. I follow up three to five times.
4. I reach out once or twice and wait to hear back.

I asked this question on a webinar once via a poll.  100% of the respondents chose #4. – once or twice and wait to hear back. And yet, 80% of all closed sales require five or more follow-ups.

What this means is that by reaching out once or twice and waiting to hear back, you are most definitely leaving money on the table.

When this comes up in my coaching calls and I suggest that they never stop following up until they’ve gotten a definitive “no,” people get very uncomfortable. They wonder, “Won’t I be bothering them?”

Well, how important is it that they work with you?  Is your product or service valuable enough that they’ll be seriously missing out if they don’t use it? (Your answer better be “yes” to this or else we’ve got a different issue!!)

Look, there could be a hundred reasons that they haven’t responded yet, including having dropped their phone in the sink while brushing their teeth. And if you stop reaching out, they’re going to assume that they are not important enough to you to follow up.

One simple way to keep the conversation going is to ask before you get off your call when they plan to make their decision. Then tell them that you’ll follow up with them if you haven’t heard back from them by that date.

If they don’t respond after that, a good rule of thumb is to follow up two days later, then three days later, and then another 3 days later. If they still haven’t responded, reduce your follow up to weekly or monthly until you do hear back from them one way or the other.

Whether you ultimately drop the lead if you never hear back is up to you. I’ve had people reach out to me as many as three years after our initial call, so I always operate on the assumption that they’re a “no for now” until I hear otherwise. There’s a difference between “persistent” and “pushy.” If you treat people with respect and align your solution with their problem, they’ll welcome your call.

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