Written By: Mike Brooks
One of the hardest things for sales reps to handle is a prospect who is not responding to them after they have done a presentation to them. I’m sure you’ve got some of them in your pipeline right now. You’ve given them your 45 minute demo, answered their few questions, asked for the deal and were told that they would show this to whomever… Then you start chasing them with phone calls and emails but never hear back from them. What do you do now?
The answer is you must have a structured approach and that starts with perhaps the most important part of the follow up and that is setting an appointment with your prospect before you get off the phone after your demo or presentation. Now I know what you’re thinking: “But they didn’t know when they would get an answer from the decision maker so she just told me I could follow up in a week – or two weeks, etc.” It doesn’t matter and here’s why:
Schedule A Date
At the end of each contact with a prospect, it is imperative that you schedule a date, or at least get the OK for a day and time to follow up with your prospect. Even if they won’t have the answer yet, that’s fine – what’s important is that you have a day and time to check back in with them. Ask them what day and time is good for them and let them know you’ve got it on your calendar and suggest they do so as well.
Once you’ve made this appointment (and don’t worry – I know there is most likely a 50/50 chance of them remembering or being ready for you, that’s fine – you now can reach out to them and use the following voice mail campaign to begin your reengagement. If they are not there or available when you call on your appointed day and time, use the following scripted voice mail sequence as it is and you will have the best chance of getting them to call you back.
Here is the first voice mail message to be used if, when calling to actually do your demo or presentation, they do not answer their phone:
“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m just calling you for the appointment we have today at (2 pm) for the demonstration of our (marketing solution/lead gen – whatever your product or service is for your business). You may be on the phone or finishing up a meeting, but when you get this message, please reach back out to me.
You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll stay off the phone for a few minutes in anticipation of your call. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”
Here is your follow up voice mail for after you’ve made your demonstration, for if they don’t answer their phone:
“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m just calling you for the appointment we have today at (2 pm) to see if (Corporate/Regional Manager, boss, etc.) has any questions on the proposal I emailed you last (whatever the date was).
You may be on the phone or finishing up a meeting, but when you get this message, please reach back out to me. You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll stay off the phone for a few minutes in anticipation of your call. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”
If you don’t hear back from your prospect for a day or two, then leave this voice mail the next time you call:
Third Voice Mail – Follow up to the initial follow up
“Good morning (afternoon) _________ this is ________ _________ with (your company). I’m sure you’ve been busy, but I do want to connect with you regarding the proposal I sent to you on (date sent).
_______, even if you haven’t gotten an answer from (Corp/Manager/boss) yet, please do me a favor and reach back out to me so we can schedule a time to speak.
You can call me on my direct line which is: (Leave number slowly). I’ll be available most of the day, but if you get my voice mail, just leave me a message. Once again, my direct number is (leave slowly) and I look forward to speaking with you soon.”
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Now, if after leaving these messages you don’t hear back for a week or longer, I would send them an email (by the way, you should also follow up each of the voice mails above with an email that is very similar to your voice mails), and your email should be the “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” email. I’ve written about it before, but listed it below for your convenience:
The subject line from the title song by The Clash – “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” – is one you probably know and are already singing the song in your head… And here’s the body of the email:
“_________ I haven’t heard back from you and that tells me one of three things:
1) You’ve already chosen another company for this and if that’s the case please let me know so I can stop bothering you,
2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet.
3) You’ve fallen and can’t get up and in that case please let me know and I’ll call 911 for you…
Please let me know which one it is because I’m starting to worry… Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you.”
Are you smiling yet? It’s no wonder that people respond to this. Besides making someone smile, what makes it effective is it gives prospects a way out. It lets them know that it’s OK if they aren’t going to move forward with you, and it’s always better to know this in advance rather than to keep chasing and begging.
Also, this email gets those people who are still interested to reach out to you and let you know that as well.
The bottom line to an effective follow up strategy is to make sure it is set up right (always get an appointment for follow up), to use a structured and integrated voice mail and email approach, and to script these communications out in advance. Start following this approach and you’ll begin seeing more contacts and more deals.
Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…
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