Sales Prospecting: Follow-Up or Follow-Down

No salesperson is ever going to admit they don’t follow-up.

If a salesperson is asked if they follow-up, they’re naturally going to respond with a yes.  The problem is most salespeople are not nearly as good at sales prospecting as they think they are.

I’m not talking about the salesperson who does not follow-up for the 5th, 6th, or even 10th time to try and make a sale.  What I’m talking about is the salesperson who doesn’t even follow-up the 1st time.

The reason I’m writing about this is I recently had a conversation with a prospective customer  who had been given my name as a possible speaker for a sales conference.  Along with my name they were given several other names.

The prospective customer shared with me how I had been the only one who followed up.  This blows my mind since the customer (and yes, he did become a customer) was looking to do business with people who proclaim to teach sales training.  Please don’t get me wrong — I’m not singling out the industry I work in.

What I am doing is using my own experience to drive home a point about how too many times we don’t even take the first step in following up with a prospect.

Sure, the initial follow-up may not lead anywhere, but how do we know that if we don’t at least start the sales process by following up with the prospect?   I’ve seen this happen not just once, but on several occasions. It certainly drives home the old phrase “the early bird gets the worm.”

If you’re not making it priority one to follow-up with each and every prospect, regardless of whether you think they might be good, you’re missing out on business.  I’m a very strong advocate of immediate follow-up, even on those you feel have no chance of turning into business.

A big reason I feel you follow-up with everyone immediately is it keeps you in the groove.  I’ve watched too many salespeople run into serious sales slumps because they start making assumptions about a prospect before following up with them.

Your mission as a salesperson is to create sales. When it comes to sales prospecting, you need to follow-up with every prospect.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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