Your salesperson has done ample research on the prospect. Your product is exactly what the organization is looking for, and the salesperson has even managed to get on a call with the prospect. The prospect did express mild interest, so you decide to send him a few case studies of your product.
The next step in the process is the proverbial follow-up. Picking up your phone and making the follow-up call can be terrifying. You know that there are so many things that can go wrong. You don’t want the prospect to think of you as too pushy or too annoying. You certainly don’t want to contact too many times nor do you want to exaggerate the benefits of your product. Finding that balance can make or break the conversation.
Will phone follow-up annoy your prospects?
While it is the fastest way to reach your prospects, phone calls can be thought of as intrusive. If the prospect doesn’t pick up the call, you can always leave a voice message, but you never know if they have heard the message. Another downside with phone calls is that if the prospect doesn’t pick up or respond to the voice message, then you have to make the phone call again.
If you call the prospect five times in a single day, then you can certainly expect them to be annoyed with you. Let’s say you are not able to reach the prospect over the call, then send them a text like this-”Hi Peter, I tried reaching you, but I guess you were busy. Please do let me know when I can call you back.” Based on the prospect’s response, you can make the call or email the prospect at a later date and mention that you weren’t able to reach the prospect earlier on the phone. The contact will be warm if you follow these steps.
Steps for proper phone follow-up without being annoying:
#1 Schedule the calls:
People are extremely busy these days. Calling your prospects without notice might annoy them. Ensure that you schedule the call in advance through emails or any other channel. Before you make the call, please decide the objective of the call. No, it cannot be “circling back on our call.” It should have a specific objective apart from just selling.
Instead of asking them to buy your product, tell them how your product will help your client. Keep the best interests of the client in mind when making sales calls, it will be easier that way as the person on the other end will be piqued to hear what’s in it for them.
#2 Write a sales follow-up script:
While you know what to talk about, even if you are an experienced salesperson, having a prepared script puts you in a comfortable position. Have a checkbox of benefits that you want to tell the prospect, ensure that you pore over it during the call. At no point should the prospect feel as if you are reading lines from a paper during the follow-up call.
#3 Be a good conversationalist:
The prospect should not feel as if it is a one-way communication. Good salespeople listen to their prospects more than they speak. Keep listening to what your prospect says and you will be able to offer them the right solution. By asking questions and listening to their answers, you will gain a deep understanding of your prospects. Using this insight, you can create personalized product offerings for them.
#4 Clarify your answers:
When you are having a phone conversation, the chances of being misheard is always there. The client might have been abstract in explaining something crucial, you need to be sure about what was discussed. To avoid making errors that both of you will regret later, it is best to clarify whatever you heard by repeating it back to the prospect in a slow manner. This is such a life-saver, especially for the prospects who think that you might not have understood.
#5 End with an action step for the future:
Before the call is ended, both the parties should determine the next step of action. No matter what the plan is, you should ensure that there is clarity about it. When the conversation goes really well, the prospect will suggest the next plan of action. Otherwise, you should slip it during the end of the conversation. If you find that the prospect is hesitating, don’t press too much as it can put them in an uncomfortable position.
Phone follow-ups are not an eagerly awaited exercise for most prospects. It is an important part of business, since even the prospect might be looking for technology solutions like yours. Quality phone conversations can create a great rapport that will make the process of selling the product easier.
By combining emails and follow-ups, you will be able to get responses from your prospects. Following up is an art, and it requires a lot of patience. Once a salesperson talks to a lot of prospects, the process of following up becomes relatively easy with time.