- July 31, 2023
- Posted by: Dave Kurlan
- Category: Understanding the Sales Force
Several different Zoom sales reps called to introduce themselves over the past several months. The exact same thing happened with Ring Central except Ring Central tried upselling me and put the charges through without my agreement. My Wistia sales rep called a bunch of times to go over their new pricing plans and explained that one new plan would only double, instead of triple our monthly fees. I regularly receive calls from various Verizon sales reps to review my plans to save me and/or the company money and those usually involve a new plan that costs more money. And those are just the phone and conferencing companies that I already use.
Rarely, if ever, have I received a follow up call from anyone selling me anything. I went into the new Lincoln dealership in town, stated to the salesperson and the general sales manager my intention to order either a Lincoln Aviator or another Genesis GV80 for October delivery, but received nothing more than a “thanks for stopping in” email. I guess if you can’t order a new car today they’re not interested.
Last fall, my wife received a proposal to replace all of the windows and doors at our home. The proposal expired at the end of February but the sales rep never followed up.
Salespeople tend to fall into one of three groups when it comes to following up:
- I don’t want to be a pest – they may not like me anymore.
- I don’t want to risk losing the business – better to have a potential piece of business in the pipeline than learn that I don’t.
- I need to keep calling until they make a decision.
I don’t know about you but I don’t like those three groups. A better thought process would be to ask yourself, “How can I provide value when I follow up?”
Sales follow up is a necessary evil but if you don’t add value and make it about something other than, “Have you made a decision?” or are you “Ready to move forward?” or something similar, it is a wasted call or email.
Account management follow up is also important but nobody cares that you’re the new rep and want to introduce yourself and nobody believes that you are calling to get them on a lower-priced plan. Introduce yourself over phone or email and offer to provide advice or help that would help with things like:
- saving time
- a new way of thinking
- a new approach
- what others in their industry are doing
- best practices
I did not include saving money because that flies in the face of selling value. You can’t sell value and offer discounts as those are oxymoronic…and yes, I know I made up that word so please, no hate about how stupid I am.
Some salespeople are following up, not because the time wasn’t right for the prospect to buy, but because they sucked at closing. The best salespeople (top 5%) don’t need to close because they are so good at these five Sales Core Competencies:
- Sales Process
- Reaching Decision Makers
- Consultative Selling
- Value Selling
But for everyone else? They are so ineffective at those competencies, they feel pressure to close at closing time but they are as ineffective at closing as they are at the other five competencies mentioned above.
There are 21 Sales Core Competencies and you can see them, how different industries compare, and how your sales team compares here.