Sales growth is now, more than ever, a profession of disciplined and focused follow up. If you want to increase your sales by developing new business (and I wanna meet the person who doesn’t!) then you need to master the skillful art of following up with your prospect or customer. Here’s what you need to know:
- It takes 8-12 touchpoints to get a meeting – this statistic refers to first meetings with new companies with whom you have not met before.
- A touchpoint is something that the prospect receives from you – an email, a voicemail, a notecard, a LinkedIn message, a Tweet, etc. It does not include phoning and not leaving a message, however you can do that as often as you like!
- The most powerful touchpoint is meeting your prospect at a networking event, so find out which ones he/she attends so you can meet face-to-face. I specifically choose events on this basis and then always meet the person, have a conversation about his/her business and tell them I will follow up for an appointment.
- Make these touchpoints on an intermittent basis – I usually start out weekly for a few weeks, then move to every other week, then monthly and then quarterly with some type of helpful and relevant information.
- Never, never, never stop reaching out to a prospect that you know you can help, unless he or she tells you specifically that you will never, ever do business together. A business associate of mine always says, “In sales no means not now.”
- Touchpoint messages must be of a helpful nature to the prospect. Read on to learn how to send an email (or leave a voicemail) that gets the attention of a prospect.
One of my colleagues told me it took him ten years to finally get business from a prospect with whom he was keeping in touch. As the years went on the touchpoints became further apart so he didn’t become a pest, but he never gave up. And this business resulted in a 3-year contract – now that was certainly worth his time because a touchpoint shouldn’t take very long to send.
The only time you should give up on a prospect if they haven’t told you to go away, is if you are assigned to another territory (then pass the file to your successor), learned something about that person that precludes you from doing business with him/her, or some other very, well-thought-out decision in your own best interest or the prospects (like they really and truly would not benefit from doing business with your company). If you want to do business with that company, then keep following up.
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