Select your communication method based on what is most effective for your prospect.
Too many salespeople choose the follow-up method based upon their own personal comfort levels, rather than the most effective tool for the job.
For example, I find email to be a relatively simple, and therefore comfortable, form of communication.
Let’s say I have important information that solves a significant problem for a buyer. The easy way to communicate: send an email. “Good news! I have a solution for your concern about . . .”
But if, in this example, I am solving a major problem that makes it easier for the customer to move forward, wouldn’t I want to be on the phone to ask for the sale immediately upon the resolution of said problem?
Selecting a Follow-Up Medium
Are you selecting your follow-up medium based on what is easy for you or what is effective for your prospect?
Beware of your own tendencies, my friend. Our brains are designed for one primary function: to keep us alive, to survive.
When you face a discomfort (making a phone call, for example), your brain has a tendency to interpret that discomfort as a threat. And when you feel threatened, your brain goes into survival mode.
With an understanding of how the brain works, we can easily see how we can get fooled into believing that the most comfortable follow-up method is also the best one.
That explains why emails are sent when phone calls are more appropriate, or text messages are delivered when video messages would have far greater impact.
The Customer’s Best Interest, Not Yours
In every case ask yourself the critical question: What is in the customer’s best interest?
Do not answer this question according to your personal preference.
Having answered the question, ask one more: Did I just rationalize the answer because I’m uncomfortable?
Enter the rationalizations as to why you should not make that request. I mean, will the new prospect really be all that impressed?
And isn’t the speed of a text more important than the time it would take? Can I do something that looks good from my smartphone? And do I really want to do this when Jupiter is in Libra?
(Trust me. We can get really creative when it comes to fabricating rationalization stories.)
It is always a good idea to ask customers directly for their preferred communication method. However, don’t get yourself locked into that. Give yourself some options.
This week, use the right method for the situation and track your results.
I think you will find that your conversion rates increase when you think methodically about which follow-up method goes with which situation.
Incorporate Video Messages Into Your Follow-Up Process
Want to really stand out from all the other salespeople out there?
Try doing what others aren’t: sending video follow-up messages.
Video is a powerful tool for connection and for follow-up because it engages our emotions. Here’s why your phone is all the technology you’ll need to stand out in front of your prospect.
NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice once said: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can have what others can’t.”
Regardless of what industry you’re in, you have a product or service whose features or results are visually appealing.
If you listened closely to your customer during the initial meeting, you know what features of your product or service were appealing. Send a quick video message of that feature to keep her emotional altitude high.
One sales practitioner I was working with once said this:
“I called a couple about a spec home that recently came available. It worked perfect for their time frame. I remembered how they love to walk and really loved the walking trail we had. I sent them a video of me walking on the trail and the new opportunity that came available.
They called me back and we met the next day. We spent half of the meeting walking the trail talking about next steps, then we saw the home. They bought the next day. I still see them walking in the community daily.”
The Impact of Video Follow-Up
To appreciate the impact of video follow-up you must first understand how the brain processes information. According to the American Journal of Ophthalmology, 50 percent of our neural tissue is directly or indirectly related to vision, which assists in visual learning.
When our eyes are open, our vision accounts for two-thirds of the electrical activity of the brain. We are, in short, a visual species.
Video is interesting, humanizing, and memorable. Why is it so powerful? Because it engages our emotions.
We tend to process text in the logical/analytical portion of our brain, while we process video in the emotional core of our brain. You tell me which is more powerful when making a purchase decision.
Video Follow-Up is Key for Every Industry
Don’t think that video follow-up doesn’t apply to your industry. In technology sales, you could record one feature that your prospect was interested in and send that to them after the meeting.
If you work in the hospitality industry, you could record a small part of something similar to what your customer was looking for.
It doesn’t even have to be product specific. Do you have a big sales presentation coming up that you’re excited about? Record a 30-second video and show your client how excited you are to visit.
With video, the possibilities are endless, and you already have all the technology you need: your phone. Utilize this novel and free way to stand out above the rest. Lights, camera, action!
Learn how to effectively blend virtual selling techniques, like leveraging video-based technology, into your current sales process with Virtual Selling Skills Training on Sales Gravy University!
About the author
Jeff Shore, founder and president of Shore Consulting, Inc., is a highly sought-after sales…