Ideally, you’ll be able to turn a prospect into a paying customer the first time you speak with him or her. More than likely, you’re going to follow-up (possibly more than once), to close the sale. By following these five follow-up steps, you will have a better chance him of moving that person from prospect to paying customer.
Have a Plan Before You Finish Speaking to your Prospect
Before you end your meeting or conversation with the prospect, have a plan for following up in place. Let the prospect know whether you will be calling, meeting in person, or sending some materials as the next step.
Agree on a Time for Following Up
Part of your conversation should involve determining when you will be communicating with the prospect again. There is no specific schedule which will work for everyone, and the timeframe will depend on the prospects preferences.
If you are forwarding materials to the prospect, you want to make sure that you give enough time for him or her to receive and review them before you make contact again. In a case where the next step involves a phone call or meeting, let your prospect know that you will be calling in a certain week or set up an appointment for the next meeting.
Prepare for Questions
When you follow up with the prospect, you can expect that he or she will have questions about what the two of you have discussed. Before you make contact again, take some time to review what you know about the prospect so you can make sure that you understand his or her point of view when your prospect has a question.
If you are able to provide an answer that the prospect can understand in the context of his or her own experience, you’ll be much better able to develop a relationship with that person and ultimately sell to him or her.
Respond to Objections with a Question of Your Own
When your prospect gets back to you with an objection, respond to it by asking a question of your own. Make sure your question is an open-ended one, and wait for the answer. The response you get will give you more information about your prospect’s real reason for objecting, and you can deal with it directly.
Ask for the Sale
This last item on the list of five follow-up steps for your next sale may seem obvious, but asking for the sale is something that many people neglect to do. At a certain point, you’ve given the prospect the information and materials that he or she needs to make a decision, and asking for the sale is the next logical step. Make a point of asking for the sale so that you can either complete the transaction or move on to another prospect on your list.