Years ago I came up with the tagline "Life's too short for follow-up calls," and it has always been met with a mixture of agreement and confusion.
Those who like the tagline are still a bit confused because we've all been told:
- You gotta get to 5 NO's before you get to YES!
- The money is in the follow-up.
- You gotta touch the prospect 5-12 times before they'll buy.
And for for most part, all of those recommendations are true, but they can also be exhausting and debilitating if you're trying to do them all manually.
Let's look at getting 5 "no's" to get to "yes."
This stems from the sales training our fathers received when they were cutting their teeth in sales in the 80's and they were trained by old school managers who made their living in the 60's and 70's.
The way you had to sell back then was vastly different than today.
Today, no means no...unless you have good follow-up.
But what is good follow-up?
Today, good follow-up follows a sequence like ABCDE. It's a professional process. It's multi-media, multi-step. It's relevant. It's timely.
Now that doesn't mean you send a bunch of robo-calls to your entire list morning, noon, and night, but it does mean you have implemented multi-step, multi-media nurture sequences that deliver timely, relevant information at the moment of relevance to your prospect and customers while leveraging their preferred method of communication.
As part of that sequence, your automated system may assign you a task to call the prospect or send them a hand-written letter.
But if you're really skillful, your system informs you that a certain prospect has opened your emails, clicked your link, visited your website 10 times in the last 7 days, browsed 22 pages, and downloaded three additional free reports.
Now when you call that prospect you're not just randomly following up and asking for an update.
Instead, you're calling and saying
Hi Mr. Prospect, I see you had an interest in our sales training calculator as well as the HubSpot vs Infusionsoft article. What's your priority this quarter? Getting your staff the professional sales training they need, or implementing the best inbound marketing platform for your business?"
See the difference?
I'm not "checking in" on random prospects at random times hoping they'll throw me a bone if I sharpen my pencil.
No way, Jose.
If I'm making an outbound call it's to an inbound prospect that has demonstrated many specific buying signs and I'm simply making myself available to eliminate any confusion, fear, or concerns they may have so I can help them make an informed buying decision.
Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.