One challenge facing salespeople is how to follow up with customers without annoying them. Salespeople are eager to prove their value and show their commitment to the customer. Oftentimes, salespeople will robo-dial customers and send multiple e-mails that create no value. A persistent salesperson that creates no value is an annoyance.
The most challenging prospects are the unresponsive prospects. Salespeople everywhere have been strung-out on a maybe from an unresponsive customer. Salespeople in our seminars admit that they would rather hear a quick no versus a long maybe.
In sales, you will hear maybe because customers buy on their terms, not yours. Customers are more interested in their needs, not your need to close the sale. If you are in deal limbo, the goal is to stay top-of-mind without annoying the customer. Here are some tips to persist without being a pest.
Create Value For The Customer
Every time you contact the customer to follow up, share something of value with the customer. Send the customer an article or share a market insight. The key is to create value for the customer. Creating value for the customer positions you as a resource, not a pest.
Send The Customer A Letter
There is no delete button on a letter. A letter also has more perceived value than an e-mail. A letter is less intrusive than an e-mail. When you send the customer an e-mail, the customer is expected to hit the reply button and contact you. A letter has no reply button. A letter takes the pressure off the customer.
Connect Your Customer To Opportunities
Increase your likelihood of success by helping your customers be successful. Many salespeople will comb through their contacts and identify symbiotic matches. After they identify a few key matches, they play the matchmaker.
Rather than focusing on closing a short-term deal, build a long-term relationship with the customer. Seasoned salespeople in our training programs admit that they no longer sell to customers, they do business with their friends. Create value and build relationships.
Empathize With The Customer
Imagine you are the customer. Put yourself in their position. This gives you a clear perspective of the customer’s needs and priorities. By empathizing with the customer, you realize they have other priorities than just your solution.
Surround The Customer With Your Message
Sales is an exchange of information and, hopefully, money. Customer messaging is part of that exchange. Customer messaging is the ongoing conversation with your customers. Surround the customer with your message by clearly articulating your value proposition, your key differentiators, and the value-added extras you offer.
Salespeople struggle to find balance between annoyance and persistence. A customer appreciates persistence to the extent you provide value. Therefore, a follow-up with no added value is an annoyance. Before your next follow-up campaign, apply these tactics and create more value for the customer.