The Number One Mistake Outbound Salespeople Make
“Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.”- Otto von Bismarck
It can take most entrepreneurs years of experiences and failures, quite frankly, to really fine tune their craft and become a proficient salesperson. But like we have said before, time is money in the world of sales and we want to save you some time, and money, by letting you profit from our experience.
We could sit here and list countless tips and tricks on how to become the “next best salesperson,” but today let’s discuss what NOT to do. The number one mistake most sales professionals make is the lack of follow up with their cold prospects.
- This article was originally posted on my company’s website which be viewed here.
Don’t Give Up Too Early In Your Sales Process
Crafting your initial email is easy and straightforward- it’s a virtual handshake and normally reads like this, “Hello I’m So-And-So and here’s all the reasons why you should work with me.” Sometimes these generic introductions work on the first try. If so, congratulations. Pat yourself on the back. The truth, however, is most salespeople do not hear anything from their potential customers the first time they reach out. The number one mistake most sales professionals make is the lack of follow up with their cold prospects.
Recent research has shown that following up just ONE more time can get you 22% more replies, with the majority of prospects replying to either the second or third follow up. Unfortunately, many salespeople assume if they don’t get an immediate response, that it’s a dead lead. Follow up with a cold lead until you receive either a “yes” or a “no.” Non-responsive leads aren’t necessarily dead leads. It has been shown that as many as 70% of sales reps ignore this rule, and send only one message.
The reason this does not work is because most people need to see something they would “buy into” more than once before making a final decision. They may consider responding after you send the initial email or leave the first voicemail, but ultimately decide against it. By sending at a minimum one more follow up, that may be the difference between a “maybe” and a “yes.”
There does, however, need to be a balance. You don’t want to get into the mindset of “more, more, more,” to the point where you are in danger of borderline harassing your customer. You can quickly become part of their junk email if you send too many follow ups too quickly. The key is to find the right balance. Wait a couple of days from the first email before sending another follow up.
Get Creative With Your Outbound Strategy
Your follow ups don’t always have to be simply an email or phone call. Think outside the box. Not getting a response? Send a letter, walk into an office, send a LinkedIn message. One of our favorites is to send a $5.00 Starbucks Gift card via email. When they open it, include something catchy like, “Would love to talk with you over coffee,” and then be sure to leave your contact information. Remember, follow up with a cold lead until you receive either a “yes” or a “no.” This is the AgencyFlare motto, and it should be on your incorporate as well.
Offer additional helpful information when you are following up. Simply saying, “did you receive my last email?” a) does not add to the previous email and b) can hurt your chances of a reply. Instead, send them additional content, share ideas, competitive insights, etc. Try and schedule a phone call, making sure to suggest a certain day and time. If you can get your prospect to commit to a conversation over the phone, you will have a much stronger chance of being able to close. Plus, you can get to know them on a personal level. Keep in mind, people want to work with someone they like and connect with.
Find A New Contact For Your Prospect List
If you can’t get ANY response from a cold lead, look to find a new contact in the company. Your lead might no longer be working at the company or may just be a bad fit. Look to develop a contact with someone else at the same company and reference that you’ve tried to reach out to “old lead” several times.
The best salespeople know that perseverance is the key to success. If you don’t continuously follow up, you won’t be able see the return. Be persistent yet mindful. Before you send the next follow up ask yourself, “how would I feel if I were the customer? Is this information helpful and informative?” Continue to follow up and you will ultimately see higher sales numbers. Guaranteed.
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