If you want to really max-out the income opportunities in your career you must make sure that you stay interested in your customer, no matter the outcome. This is a big mistake that we have all made when we don’t follow up enough on those people that are not immediate sales or maybe even with those customers that we were not successful in selling.
Remember people are more concerned and interested in themselves, their families, their businesses and their lives than they are in your products, plans and programs.
It is vital that you continue to stay in touch with people and show interest in them throughout the year, not just when they are shopping or buying. Make investments in showing your interest in those prospects you don’t sell today. The ancient saying, “you reap what you sow” suggests the same thing. Stay in touch, keep plowing the field and planting seeds of, “I am interested in you.” If you do this persistently, it will sprout green in the future.
Look, you can’t expect to make a withdrawal from your bank account if you haven’t made the right number and size of deposits over time.
Technology can make this so much easier today. You can send emails, text messages, non-traditional birthday wish on a day that isn’t a person’s birthday, a tweet mentioning a client or others to follow, a post about a prospect’s company on your facebook page, a personal visit, an invitation to lunch or even a short video, like you may have seen me use recently with the Co-Video software, so you are informed with your client receives the video.
For follow up to truly be effective you must genuinely show INTEREST in the person, not just the sale, and then do so in the following three ways;
- Be Creative,
- Be Consistent and
- Persist- even over long periods of time.
The purpose of the follow up is to demonstrate INTEREST in this person and those things that are important to them. If you don’t have interest, you need to immediately get this worked out. Only when you are genuinely interested will you be able to effectively understand or implement the three points.
Then be creative in how you stay INTERESTED. Great sales people are creative – not at selling – but as entrepreneurs. Look for creative solutions to show interest in your clients. Technology like CRM’s, electronic calendars, automated reminders or an old fashion day timer will not make you great at follow up. That takes dedicated and motivated people – YOU. Creative follow up only comes after a commitment to making investments in staying interested in people. Then you must be consistent (not sporadic) and most importantly persist over a long duration until the person you are taking interest in actually becomes touched at your genuine interest in them. This will forever separate you from the rest of the field. I talk about this in my NY Times Best Selling book, If You’re Not First, You’re Last. This three step formula for follow up will separate you from all the other wannabe’s.
Most all sales people neglect staying interested in their clientele and they pay the price when they finally get in front of the neglected customer. Persistent contact, for example, 12 contacts over a six month period of time, will make the next sale more possible and more profitable.
Just last month I was bidding on a large apartment complex in Tampa, Florida. The real estate group and seller awarded the deal to another buyer – the agent’s firm didn’t even take the time to call and inform me. Does this group think I was only interested in their product and will never buy another apartment building? Or maybe their business is so good right now that they can afford to ignore me as a potential buyer? The reality is, he has more buyers, today, looking for apartment product than he can fulfill! This guy must be thinking this period of time will last forever when we all know it will not. The real professional business person isn’t just a salesman and knows and plans for the inevitable cycles that occur in sales. The real pro KNOWS the fastest ways to separate one’s self from the rest of the field is through creative, consistent and persistent follow up.
Interesting this problem with follow up isn’t just confined to Tampa. In the last quarter of last year I bought 242 units in Austin Texas. The broker that sold me the property never even called me back to thank me or to see if I was interested in other product. It’s beyond hilarious to me. On top of that, the person that provided me with the Fannie Mae loan, who did an unbelievable job for me, did follow up but not creatively, consistently and with persistence over a period of time. Since closing on that deal, I have sold the Austin property, using a different broker, and I have bought or have under contract 1500 more units. The original real estate broker could have earned a commission on me buying the property and then selling it for me 6 months later but he didn’t. The lender could have provided me with funding on six more deals since that time. CRAZY!
Your future in your business will be determined by your ability and willingness to be creative, consistent and persistent in staying interested in your customers through FOLLOW UP. Every contact is greasing the line – lubricating the relationship – separating yourself from all the other players and demonstrating to your customer that you are there for them all the time, not just when its time to close the deal. I assure you that by being creative, consistent and persistent in staying interested and following up with customers you sell, as well as those you don’t sell, will improve your self-esteem, improve your closing ratios, increase your sales and is the number one ingredient to improving your profits and margins.
A handful of follow up calls or emails means nothing to most of your clients and will only feel ‘salesy’ to them. It is only when you get very creative on a consistent basis and then persist over time that you will start to see the relationship become something more than just a contact, lead or opportunity. If you want your sales team to have specific motivation and examples of great ways to follow up check out our online training program at Cardone University and Cardone On-Demand.
Look, everyone knows follow up is important; but most people never do enough of it to make a difference and then start thinking follow up doesn’t work. And they are right, follow up does not work until you are able to get creative, consistent and persistent over long periods of time. And remember no piece of technology, CRM or call center can do this for you. It is completely up to you.