The follow-up is one of the most important components of effective sales. If you have a great first conversation and then disappear, it’s not really sales.
But not all follow-ups are created equal. In fact, the only follow up that really makes sense, is the one that was agreed upon.
At the end of the first call or meeting, there should be an agreed upon next step. If that follow-up goes ignored more than a few times (unless there’s a really good reason), take the hint and move on.
Recently, I reached out to a company to buy something. I was resolved. For them, it was the best kind of sales call.
I called with something one step away from the close.
“I’m going to buy this thing. I’m not sure when, I have some details and timing to work out.”
They gave me pricing, they gave me all the info I needed. I told then that I would get back to them once I knew the detail. But I assured them, “I’m in, I’m buying.”
In their first follow up I said,
“I’ve been busy, I don’t know when I’ll get to this, I’ll call you when I’m ready.”
There have been several more “follow up” emails since.
There’s a delicate balance between following up, and coming across as pushy. No one likes pushy. Learn to listen and you’ll avoid crossing that line.
I’m still going to buy, but I don’t feel like they’ve actually been listening.