In sales, “the fortune is in the follow-up”. However, according to HubSpot, 44% of salespeople give up after only one follow-up. Hubspot also found that 80% of sales are made after salespeople follow up five times, but most never get that far… not even close.
The problem is salespeople worry they’ll come off as scammy, pushy, or annoying if they follow-up very much. Instead of being patient, staying positive, and remaining consistent, they simply let fear cause them to miss out on how rewarding follow-up can be, especially if they do it without “commission breathe” or being annoying.
Why follow-up doesn’t make a salesperson come off as pushy
In general, people are busy. Not everyone stays on top of things as well as they wish they would, and sometimes people are simply too busy to respond to salespeople.
We all have our normal everyday responsibilities with work, family, hobbies, homes and possessions to take care of, etc. We also run into unexpected events and challenges on a regular basis. As a result, we don’t always have time to respond to emails, return phone calls, think, or do enough research to make decisions about products or services we’re thinking about buying.
Also, we don’t always take action to purchase something we want right after we become aware of it because the timing isn’t always right. Sometimes we just forget or think we’ll do it later. On top of that, sometimes we just need a purchasing decision to settle in our minds for awhile before we actually make the purchase.
These are the main reasons salespeople should be consistent with follow-up attempts.
Often, salespeople who are good at executing follow-up close deals after they’ve worked with prospects for months. They’ll tell you that it’s not that their prospects didn’t want to respond or make the purchase sooner. It’s just that they were super busy with other projects or things they felt were more important. In the end, by being patient, staying positive, and remaining consistent, their follow-up finally pays off.
Don’t work in sales with “commission breathe”
This advice doesn’t need much explanation, but it definitely deserves attention.
Greed and desperation are easy to detect. Often, when consumers feel salespeople are desperate to make a sale or only looking out for themselves, it’s a huge turn-off.
“Commission breathe” destroys trust, ruins client relations, breeds customer dissatisfaction, and ultimately causes salespeople to make fewer sales. Truthfully, that all stinks.
The best salespeople focus on their customer’s needs instead of how much money they can make off of them, and their customers can sense it. Furthermore, sometimes consumers choose to make a purchase because they like the salesperson they’re working with at the time.
Prospects need to hear from salespeople on average seven times
On average, prospects need to hear from salespeople seven times before they finally decide to make a purchase. Sending a few emails, text messages, dropping in once in awhile or making a few phone calls is not enough.
On the bright side, this means that if prospects don’t respond to the first several follow-up attempts, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested. They might just be busy, or maybe they just haven’t heard from the salesperson enough to feel motivated to buy yet.
With this information in mind, here’s an important point to remember about follow-up: Salespeople don’t have to push for the sale every time they engage a prospect. Normally, people want to feel important, cared about, understood, listened to, etc. Follow-up becomes easier if the prospects are happy to see the salesperson, especially if the salesperson actually cares about their needs and isn’t pushy or acting desperate.
Data from Hubspot highlighting the importance of follow-up
The following statistics from Hubspot clearly illustrate why follow up is so important:
- 80% of sales require salespeople to follow-up at least 5 times.
- Salespeople who follow-up within 5 minutes after they receive a lead online are 9 times more likely to make the sale.
- 63% of consumers who request information about a product or service will not purchase it for at least three months.
- 20% of consumers referenced in the previous point will take more than 12 months to make the purchase.
- 50% of qualified leads are not ready to buy after the first touch.
Clearly, based on these statistics, follow-up is necessary for salespeople to experience much success in their profession.
Modern technology makes it easier to follow-up
With modern technology, follow-up doesn’t take much time because it can be automated or delegated. What’s more, it can be programmed ahead of time. For example:
- Automated email or text marketing after sales presentations that runs on autopilot is regularly part of sales funnels created ahead of time.
- Automated email or text message templates can be tailored to specific needs of prospects and then sent after meetings even though they were all written ahead of time.
- Virtual assistants can be utilized to handle follow-up responsibilities.
- Software from companies like Client Tether or Boomerang for Gmail allow salespeople to schedule manual follow-up attempts in advance.
As well, there are many other ways to make sure follow-up happens. Sometimes the hardest part is making the time to create the content and program it all in an automated system. However, as soon as they’re put to use, automated systems usually create a lot more sales.
To learn more about follow-up or any of the marketing products we offer to make sales easier, contact us today.
Having owned an advertising magazine in Utah, I’ve worked in marketing for over twenty years.
I started writing for MediaFast in 2014. The first time I held one of their video brochures, I thought something like, “Wow! This blows away our magazine and any other print advertising I’ve ever seen. This is like a TV commercial, and I’m holding it in my hands. Amazing!”
Since then, video brochures, video mailers and video boxes have become leaders in marketing performance. It’s a privilege to write about them. I also love MediaFast—with its top-notch product quality, industry leading customer service, and all of the wonderful people I get to work with.