I had a conversation with a small business owner several months ago that reminded me why sales training is so vital in all businesses.
The small business owner told me that once he had sent over a proposal for his services, he would never contact his prospect again. Literally checking my ears to make sure I had heard correctly, I asked him to repeat himself;
“Yeah – so, if someone emails me for my prices I will gladly send them over a personalised quote for my services but I rarely hear anything back.” He went on to tell me.
“Ok. And you never email them back to see what their thoughts were? Or give them a call to see what’s going on? To find out why they have not come back to you?” I responded. “Nope. If I do not hear back from them then I guess they do not need me.”
This is not so uncommon amongst business owners and sales professionals alike. The inability or lack of motivation to follow up after a sales proposal, quote or list of prices that has been sent to a prospect is very common and could potentially be costing you £10,000’s in lost sales year on year.
Upon reflection and many a conversation with other sales trainers and sales professionals this kind of reluctance could stem from many avenues;
Firstly, is the business owner being too arrogant and simply does ‘not want’ the business?
Or, is the business owner too anxious to follow up due to a fear of rejection.
In my example, the business owner was the latter. He was far too scared about what the potential customer would say about the pricing structure, and to hear those words no sales person wants to hear; “no”.
Now let me tell you something; there are plenty of sales professionals and business owners who are far too guilty of doing this themselves, and have hoped that the first contact made with the customer would result in a sale. But, what can be taught through some good and proper sales training will have you changing your mindset about the importance of following up with your potential customer.
I found some statistics to use as the back bone of this blog post. These statistics are truly eye opening and will have you wondering why you have never followed up with a prospective customer before.
I am going to start with the amount of sales that are made within the first contact; 2%. Just 2% of sales are made on the first contact.
Want to know how many are made on the second? 3%. And what about the third contact? Only 5%.
In fact, it is between the fifth to twelfth contact with your customer that 80% of your sales will be made.
Let that sink in for a minute. 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact with your customer.
Want to know something else? 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect. Only a mind boggling 12% of sales people make more than three contacts with a customer, meaning that 25% stop after the second contact.
So let’s look at that a little deeper and remind ourselves of the importance of those sales statistics. 80% of sales are made between the fifth to twelfth point of contact and only 12% of sales people make more than three contacts.
That should be eye opening enough and should be making your mind come alive about ideas and ways you can reach out to your prospective customers and regain some form of contact.
It is far too easy to just send a proposal to a potential customer and hope that they sign up, but only 2% of sales are made this way! It is also very easy to give up after the fifth time you have called your prospect and they have not put a lot of thought into your proposal or have not had time to run it past the primary decision maker. But if you want to truly succeed in your sales, or in your business, you need to be willing to go the full hog.
Keep picking up the phone until you hear a final no. Don’t stop emailing until you have found out the real reason why your prospect won’t buy from you. Don’t stop sending letters until your prospective customer tells you clearly why they do not need your service or product.
You should never feel that you are ‘pestering’ a prospective customer by checking in with them to see what they thought about your proposal, or to see if they had thought any more about the quote you had given to them. Sure, and I need to be honest here, there is a chance that whatever you have offered is not up to scratch and not quite what they were looking for. If this is the case, you now have the chance to either move on from it ( and learn), or to tweak the service to meet their needs.
Or perhaps the price is too steep and they have gone for a cheaper option. Can you add value to the sale? Can you discount if need be to get the sale? Can you remain as a back up option should the other sale fall through?
Perhaps the prospect has not had a chance to look at the proposal? Or even they have lost it, and not been able to read it as of yet.
All of these elements you will never know the true answer to unless you simply ask.
What I want you to take away from this blog post is this; if you have sent a proposal and expect a sale from it; you won’t. You feel like you are pestering your prospect after five emails; you are not. If you are feeling too important to make follow up calls; stop it. If you truly want the sale, go after it and work for it.
There is a lot more to be said about following up; it’s importance and also the best ways to follow up. This is where good sales training comes in. If you as an individual, or a company would like to talk to us about our sales training courses then please message us HERE where we can speak with you about your needs and determine how we can help you get the most from your sales process.
Paragon Sales Solutions are Leicester’s leading sales consultants, offering:
– Sales Contracts
– Sales Training
– Social Media Management
– B2B Telesales / Telemarketing
We cater for any size business, and what makes us stand out is that we truly care. Our services can be catered for your business and our sales professionals will work tirelessly to ensure your sales targets are met. Be sure to visit our website for more details on how our sales solutions can help your business.