I often joke about tattoos I would get – if I were the tattoo-ing sort.
There are 5 or 6 phrases I use so regularly. They’re soundbites that are recurring in most of our training sessions – that after a while, my sellers can repeat them back to me like audience members that know the retort within a style of a joke – the “Who’s there” to my “knock knock.”
One of my favorite to repeat is, “The Money is in the Follow Up.”
Meaning, that if you persist and follow through in your business development efforts, you WILL be successful.
This blog post, and its rather cheeky title, is evidence of how strongly we feel about following up.
I’m going to add an addendum to this directive. Following up and following through is so critical to successful new business development and HOW you follow up is key.
Don’t just FOLLOW UP with an email or a phone call asking about where they are in the process. That serves only you. And, it’s pretty lame (as in THIS blog post). As in, ineffective. I mean, really, what’s the point of checking in without offering value or trying to understand why your customer is where they are in the process.
Instead of FOLLOW UP think about how to MOVE FORWARD opportunities. (Yes, that’s going from FU to MF – I’m dying here after making that realization).
Instead of sending a FOLLOW UP message ask yourself how can you impact your prospect’s decision to MOVE FORWARD?
- What’s next for this customer?
- What information will help them make a decision?
- What are competing priorities they are dealing with?
- Can I provide resources, tools, or connections to help clear the path?
- What administrative details, paperwork, or roadblocks can I help alleviate?
- Who else is involved in making decisions and moving forward?
- Can I make introductions – to my team? To theirs?
- Ask, “How can I help you move forward?”
What moves a sale, a deal, a contract forward?
Information, action, influence, alignment . . . these are often things out of our control as a seller but even if we simply understand what the buyer’s priorities, timelines, and challenges are, we can try to contribute value to their buying process. There are many times you CAN add value or help solve their problems. You can do more than your competitors, who are just waiting for your customers to figure everything out themselves and call them back.
Following through on your initial calls is key to developing new business but understanding how to move opportunities forward is what makes stellar sellers super successful.
Until next time, stop hoping and start SELLING!