Have you ever bought something on a whim? Have you been sold right away without ever seeing evidence of it being any good? How about buying a service or product from a company you’ve never heard of? It’s probably happened, but rarely.
Strange isn’t it… we’re often slow to decide, and it all comes down to a few factors.
Trust, finances, and timing.
What you sell might well be the best in the world but if the person you’re selling to doesn’t trust you, can’t afford it right now, or simply doesn’t want or need it yet, you’re going to find it harder to sell.
Of course, some will borrow money, buy from you on a whim, and do it at the wrong time, but they’re rare. Most of your customers will need to have their moons aligned for your sales to hit the spot.
It’s a chemistry that you need to get right – but the good news is that you get more than one chance to do it.
Do you have a simple system to make sure you’re never forgotten?
Just one follow up isn’t enough. In this modern world we’re inundated with messages, calls, emails, adverts and sales. It’s no wonder that the process is taking longer than ever. Most research points towards customers needing between 5 and 12 points of contact before they will buy from you.
Managing all that from memory can be incredibly difficult and often not done at all. It doesn’t surprise us at all that most follow-ups (80% of them) stop before the fifth point of contact. Think of all those missing sales.
If you’re good at filling your sales funnel and actively gathering new leads then the problem only gets worse, too. Managing just 50 new leads requires at least 250 contacts and maybe even 600 if you’re forced to work really hard to get to 12th base.
Remembering all that, doing it well, and keeping track of what you did, when you did it and how you did it is pretty much impossible for the human brain. That’s where a CRM comes in.
Managing your follow-ups and harvesting those leads into sales in a seamless process makes sure you don’t miss out on those sales. It stops you leaving money on the table.
But why does it take so long and why is it important to systemise this process to make sure you’re ‘everywhere’?
Trust takes time
Trust is the pillar of business and the foundation of all relationships and sales. If there’s no trust then the business isn’t going to come easily. Trust is built over time and all those times you call, email, take an interest and genuinely give value to your leads you’re adding to and building on that trust.
Say hello to Joe (at least five times).
Let’s say you’ve meet Joe at an expo. You know Joe needs what you have to offer so you exchange details (it’s not up to Joe to follow up – remember that!).
Having a process to this follow-up is going to make it very simple, especially when you add another 49 Joes to the equation!
Imagine how much simpler it would be if your follow-up was a process. Let’s look at building the trust first. Here’s a possible example scenario:
- Send Joe a personalised and friendly email including information about him that you’ve gathered from the company website or LinkedIn
- Add him to your email list
- Add yourself to his emails
- Add Joe on LinkedIn with a personalised connection request
- Follow Joe on Twitter and drop him a tweet in a few days
- Like his company’s Facebook page from your Page
- Email Joe a free piece of content that you know he will find useful
- Call him in a few weeks to see how he found the content and if you can help him some more
- Invite Joe to a networking event where you’ll be going
- Advertise to Joe and the other leads from the show via Facebook advertising using the email list from the expo with a specific ad that will relate to them
- Post out a small freebie for Joe to his office to remind him you exist
- Check in on Joe’s LinkedIn and Twitter and reply to some content
- Comment on his company’s latest blog. Thanks to remembering to subscribe to their emails you’ll have this in your inbox.
… and so on.
Now you’ll be ‘everywhere’ but you’ll be showing an interest. (You can make sure this is nicely casual so Joe doesn’t report you for stalking!)
This is just an example of what you can do. The beauty of SalesRadar is that you create this system and then SalesRadar will remind you each day to do the next part of the follow up for Joe and everyone else.
Obviously, it’s all dependent on where you are with the process too. So if you go to an exhibition next week then those leads will start at the beginning of the process while you continue to build on your relationship with Joe and the other 49 leads at their stage of the system.
Managing this on a CRM enables you to not only show interest and build trust as your relationship grows but it will also keep a record of every interaction too.
Finances and budgets are in constant flux
No budget right now…
You have the best product in the world and you know it will help Joe… but the budget isn’t there right now – so try and find out when cash will be available. Often a company’s budget will reset at a certain time in the year. Knowing this will give you insight into when’s best for you to follow up with a timely reminder and you can simply add that to his profile in SalesRadar and set a task to pop up when it’s time to call him again.
Joe doesn’t hold the purse strings…
Maybe Joe doesn’t have the authority to make a buying decision in the company. He tells you that he wants what you have, but he’ll need to get sign off. Ask him when it’s best to call him back and set a reminder to do so in your CRM. Or speak directly to the decision maker if you can.
The VAT man comes before you…
The VAT is due and Joe is nervous about spending too much right now. Ask him when that is due and set a reminder to call him a few weeks after.
Finances are a tricky area but more often that not are one of the main barriers to making a sale. If you’re clearly explaining your value then more often than not the funds can be found. Using your CRM, you can track the conversations and remind yourself of the best times to go back and ask again.
Timing is crucial in sales
Timing is everything. You probably already know when you customer is likely to buy, and you may well be able to predict this with your CRM. Research certainly suggests that after the fifth follow-up you’re more likely to make the sale so making sure you hit this and knowing when this is will increase your chance of closing the deal.
Also, spotting behaviour on your email marketing can be a great signal too. Checking on the engagement of Joe on your emails and what he clicks on can give invaluable insight into Joe’s interest in you and your company. If he opens every email or clinks on a link to something you’re selling then it’s likely he’s pretty interested and just needs a little nudge or perhaps some more information.
Maybe Joe will publish on LinkedIn with an article or update that gives you some insight?
Perhaps Joe will tweet about an issue he needs help with that your product can solve. It’s indications like this that you should be on the look out for.
Setting timely reminders for you to check in on Joe’s social media and email activity could be the difference between making a sale and missing the boat!
Whatever your process looks like, build it, add it to SalesRadar, and take action!
Following up builds trust but it requires good timing and the money in the bank.
Although never a simple process, following-up in a timely manner and making sure you’re there at the right place and the right time is better than sending one email, hoping for the best and then forgetting all about them. Don’t leave it to them to remember you.
We’ve been to many exhibitions and shows and spoken to people on stands who simply never follow up with us or just sent us a generic email addressed to everyone they saw. This isn’t what we’d recommend at all. It doesn’t make anyone feel special.
Sales is a personal thing. We’re all unique and the conversations you have with your leads will be too. Build a foundation to your follow-ups with SalesRadar and then react to the responses by setting tasks and actions to put you in the right place at the right time.
Most business is done after the fifth follow-up, don’t go all guns blazing on the first and miss out on the steps you need to take.