People who are in sales know that getting the initial buy-in isn’t always the toughest part of the sales process — it can be getting those customers to come back again. Following up with those people who have done business with you in the past is paramount to achieving your goals and making your business more successful.
I recently read an article with a question from a sales manager who had recently been promoted within his or her company. This person explained that, in previous positions, he had always been expected to go out of his way to follow-up with customers — but that was not the case in his current position. He asked Michael Crom, vice president of Dale Carnegie Training, for advice on this issue.
“Staying in contact with customers is an important way to increase your return on investment. Organizations of all sizes struggle to keep in touch with their customers because it can be such a time-consuming experience.
Setting up a simple follow-through system with your customers will allow you to keep your company’s solution at the top of clients’ minds when they are ready to buy.”
So what did he suggest? A few tips:
Schedule time for follow-up — and stick to it. We often don’t make follow-through time a priority because it’s time-consuming, and we have other, more pressing tasks to attend to. However, it’s important to set aside specific time in your schedule for it, as it is a long-term investment of your efforts, much like saving for retirement is in your personal life.
Take it slow. If you’re worried about sounding pushy, just use the initial conversation to follow-through. Don’t make an offer the first time you call, and make it a point to circle back with that particular customer when you’ve built rapport with him or her.
Get organized. Customer Relationship Management systems can be a great way to keep track of this myriad information. Always enter as many details as you can, completely and correctly, and use your follow-through time to make sure things are up-to-date and relevant.
To check out another tip, read the rest of Crom’s comments here.
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Photo credit: New Brahmin