Bet you’ve heard this expression a few times!
A common disappointment (in business and in life), is when you have every reason to expect a particular result you want, only to find – at the point when you expect to be hearing a ‘yes’ – that you don’t get a result after all.
In a business environment, you put extraordinary effort into your sales/networking process and your presentations, yet when it comes to the crunch, crickets!
You’ve invested your time, energy and possibly your money – and don’t forget that time is money. All with the expectation that your efforts will bring about a specific outcome. Yet you find yourself disappointed.
You are not converting leads, signing on new clients, or winning new contracts.
This may be down to any number of reasons.
BUT one of the biggest reasons, and one that can easily be remedied, is often because you are not following up.
Not following up and asking for the sale
For example, a few weeks back I contacted a publication enquiring about their advertising rates, circulation etc.
A lovely email came back with the rates; they even suggested a meeting to discuss my needs and expectations further. How lovely I thought to myself. BUT that was as far as it went.
There has been no follow-up. No contact to see if I would like to meet, no follow-up to check I received the rates. Nothing!
They’ve left money on the table.
Similarly, the airconditioning installer that I used a couple of years ago knew I needed to have additional aircon for the other rooms in the house.
Yet they never even checked that I was happy with the work, nor did they follow up. When it was time for the rest of the units to be installed…it was a no brainer, I went to another supplier, and I have since recommended him to others in my network because they went the extra mile.
The moral of the story is…
Whenever you’ve had an enquiry, connected or made a pitch and they haven’t said no, but neither have they said yes, you need to have a system in place to follow up.
You may be pleasantly surprised when a follow-up turns into, “I’ve been meaning to get in touch. I’ve just been so busy/misplaced your email/lost the quote.”
It’s something that happens with regularity.
The worst thing that can happen is you get a firm no.
Follow up extends beyond the actual job/quote, it is about maintaining the connection that you have already invested in.
A follow up strategy does not need to be complex. Simplify to amplify.
2 Simple Strategies
1 ) Create diary dates – these can include for a few days, weeks, months and years after. Anniversaries, birthdays and festive times.
2) Write short profile notes – anything that is stand out about that person/business. If you can remember something specific about that transaction/person that they mentioned, or areas of interest, this is a great way to stand out from the crowd and connect authentically.
It’s all about being authentic rather than salesy! It allows you to pop up with regularity (and what that regularity looks like will vary from one business to another) ensuring that you are working to stay front of mind. When you are front of mind referrals and recommendations are more likely.
When you follow up you are:
– being professional
– building the know, like and trust factor
– clarifying where you stand. No more hanging in limbo-land second-guessing yourself and leaving opportunities to slip past.
In other words, you are doing your utmost to stay front of mind. This means you are more likely to be thought of for referrals, repeat purchases and recommendations.
Fear of rejection
If fear of rejection or being seen as pushy is holding you back from following up, remember that the worst thing that can happen is you get a “No!” but also remember, success lies on the other side of fear!
Fly like a dragon & make the ask!