Having solid follow-up strategies and tactics will separate you from the dozens of other sales counselors who are likely calling the same prospect as you. It increases the likelihood of getting a voice to voice connect when you call out, as well as increasing the likelihood of closing to an agreed upon next step.  Here are six steps to get you headed in the right direction.

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Six Steps to Effective Sales Follow-Up

Tip #1: Get commitment for the follow-up.

Perhaps the single biggest mistake made is not establishing a specific date and time for the follow-up call at the end of an initial appointment. Vague commitments from the prospects (“call me next week”) or the sales person (“I’ll follow up in a couple of days”) result in missed calls, voice mail messages and ultimately a longer sales cycle.

Tip #2: Show your appreciation.

After every initial tour, send a handwritten thank you card–email does not have the same effect.   People notice!  In today’s fast paced world, a handwritten card tells them that you took the time and the effort to do something a little different. Less sales reps do this than you would think.

Tip #3: Email a reminder.

The day before your follow-up call, send an email to your prospect to remind them of your appointment.  Your email should confirm the date and time of the appointment.

Tip #4: Add value; be remembered. 

At the end of your email, add a P.S. that references an article you thought they might enjoy reading.  This helps them remember you and gives the client yet another reason to take your follow-up call.

Tip #5: Call on time.

Don’t start your relationship on the wrong foot. Call on time. Don’t be late with your follow-up call; even a minute can make a difference to someone already teetering on the idea of an ongoing follow-up relationship with you.

Tip #6: Avoid opening statements that reference closing.

Regardless of how short or long of time has lapsed since you last spoke or saw them, in a world where excitement can easily turn into fear, confusion or frustration, it is critically important that your follow-up calls allow you to “test the temperature” before attempting to close.  Keep the reason for your call short and to the point. “Mrs. Smith, I wanted to thank you again for coming to tour our community on Monday.  Can I ask you a few quick questions in follow up to your visit?”  Obtain permission to move forward and ask questions that allow you to “test the temperature” before closing.  This will allow you to identify if you quickly need to pivot and make a plan B.

Know of other strategies to increasing follow-up effectiveness?  Share them with us!