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How quickly should you follow up a sales call to a prospect?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 | By Marcia Griffin

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by Griffin+Row’s founder Marcia Griffin.

 

This is an interesting question as there is no one answer! However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your feelings of insecurity.

 

The answer lies largely in what you told the prospect or, better still, agreed with the prospect at the time of the presentation. What arrangement did you make with the prospect regarding the time he or she needed to consider your fabulous offer, product or service?

 

It is extremely important to set up the follow-up time at the point of the initial presentation by asking a few simple questions:

  • “Is our product or service of interest to you?”
  • “When would you like me to get back to you?”

The answer at that point may be “never.” In that case, I would suggest that in your initial contact with the prospect you have not done sufficient research on why he/she would be interested. You have simply not qualified your prospect. So you may have just wasted their and your time.

 

If you have carefully qualified your prospect then you will know the key benefits they are looking for and that means that there is a good chance they may be interested in your product or service.

 

In this case, it is simply a case of when may I get back to you? Then the key is to get back to them when you say you will, whether that is in six days or six months.

 

Anxiety around getting back to a prospect is largely caused by us not asking that key question “When may I…?”

 

If you did not ask that question, then the length of time to get back is dependent on the sales cycle itself. If the company buys your type of product every week or month, make the follow-up call more quickly than that – such as in a week or two.

 

Don’t leave the follow-up call so long that they will have forgotten you, but don’t call next day! There is no substitute for being able to say “I am getting back to you as we agreed at our meeting.”

 

Make sure you leave your presentation with a clear note in you diary on the agreed time to reconnect. This will be the real test of whether your sales presentation was successful.