Of all the topics I’ve ever shared or learned about, a good follow up may be the most simple as well as the most powerful. Without follow up, bills don’t get paid, statements don’t get mailed, sales are lost, parts go unordered, commitments are not kept and more. Most businesses have some sort of system in place to manage all of these important tasks. That said, it amazes me that these same businesses don’t have a system in place to manage the sales process and specifically the follow up process.
These same companies all say they want or could use more sales, but the question is: What are they doing about it? Most power equipment dealers are great at completing a sale and following thru once the actual sale has been made, but what do you do when the customer isn’t ready to buy and is just looking?
Build a rapport
It is important to understand the sales process, and the very first step to completing a sale is establishing trust or rapport. Think for a moment of the people you choose to spend your money with. Do you trust them? Typically people buy from people they know and trust. Without a doubt, following up on potential sales leads is a great first step toward establishing rapport and coming one step closer to the sale of your product or service.
Over the years I’ve developed a simple, quick process to ensure that I follow up with my clients and potential clients. Follow the steps bellow to ensure thorough follow up.
Understand this concept: if it isn’t written down, then it doesn’t exist. As it relates to the sale of outdoor power equipment or anything for that matter, I always keep a small note pad in my back pocket with a pen for jotting notes on the fly.
Generate a quote
I use a simple Microsoft Excel-generated quote for giving quotes to customers. This benefits me in two ways:
- I easily get and store their information to follow up with them later.
- I give them a professional looking quote which they may not be getting from my competitor.
Once the quote is given, I strategically save the document so that it will enable me to find it later in my sales folder. For example, ABC Landscaping wants a quote for four new Z mowers on August 25, 2013. I simply fill in the qoute information and save the document as: 2013-08-25 ABC Landscaping. By doing this, it will store my quotes chronologically and enable me to search for a quote by their name as well.
Schedule the follow up
Copy the quote file and paste it in your Outlook calendar for a scheduled follow up phone call at an appropriate time based on their feedback during your conversation with the customer. On the future date, the reminder pops up with the quote and their contact information for the follow up.
This only works if you actually make the call on that day. By using this simple method, customers feel valued and more sales are closed. Give this simple but powerful follow up strategy a try, and you too will see better results.