Often in sales we have some amazing conversations and we think wow this is great, they have a problem that our solution/product/service fits and serves and it all seems to going swimmingly until it happens…they go quiet and stop communicating.
What happened? Did you say something wrong? Did they buy something else from someone else? Maybe they did maybe not? The lesson i learned today from an amazing guy called Steli Efti from the company close.io is that it is all about the follow-up.
If you do follow-up and that may take a few calls or emails and they have purchased elsewhere or changed their mind they will soon tell you. They will not want you calling them once or twice a week and then sending an email shortly after as it will just interrupt them from getting on with whatever it is they are trying to achieve.
What is more likely the case is that life happened.
What do I mean by that? I mean something came up and now is not the right time. It is not a no, its a not right now.
This is why they are not replying as it is not that they are not interested and your emails and calls are little reminders that you are still there and eventually they plan to get back to you.
This is why they do not reply at all, possibly as they do not want the reminders to stop. So why do not they not say that? Because within the next few seconds life happens again.
Think about how busy you are and how many different things you are trying to achieve right now?
For me for example I need to finish the last chapter of my book, write 2 blog posts a week, record 1 podcast a week, keep active on social media, complete a least 7 different courses I have started, finish 4 books i currently have started reading, update and finish 2 websites, start a 2nd podcast I have been planning, and write and learn 2 keynote presentations. This is all just projects I have after the traditional 9-5.
So when an email comes in to me at any point in the day or night it really has to grab my attention and stand out amongst all the other things I am trying to achieve. It is not that the email or call is not important it’s just not top of mind or the priority list.
So how do you break through the noise and get that conversation going again in order to have some chance of winning the business? Steli advises to remain persistent in your follow ups. He gives an example where he emailed a particular prospect that was a big deal to him 48 times with suggested dates to meet and little useful and helpful updates and eventually he replied and said yes lets meet tomorrow and the deal was closed.
This prospect was just really busy with something major that had happened and this particular project was not a priority by Steli remained on his radar with his persistence.
Now sending 48 emails maybe a little out of your comfort zone but if he was not interested at all he would have just replied that very quickly. Also Steli advises to at least start with taking the number of follow-ups you would normally do and double it and you just might see some amazing results.
Just think about all of the opportunities that have gone to waste because we didn’t follow-up? I am guilty of this too. Those prospects probably did or are still planning on purchasing something at some point and yet we are not making ourselves top of mind. We give up too soon and yet we know just how busy the new world of business and life is with time being our most valued possession. We do it ourselves and see emails and think ah yes I remember those guys they were interesting and then move on to the next thing.
So lets stop being scared of building these relationships even they take months or even years by offering value and owning the relationship. Tell your prospect you know how busy they are and you are taking control of the relationship until they tell you otherwise.
If they do say no that is fine, it means that today they do not have a problem you can solve and you can concentrate on those that do.
I for one am going to implement this and would love to hear your thoughts. I highly advise listening to the podcast the Eventual Millionaire by Jamie Tardy And i will be checking out the podcast by Steli and Hiten Shah here – http://blog.close.io/thestartupchat-podcast