3 Alternatives to Replace "Checking in" as Your Sales Follow-up Call
For those of you who know me and/or have been through my sales methodology training know that I'm not an advocate for the "just checking in" follow-up call. It really is a waste of a sales call and a wasted opportunity. Even still, many sales people including those with years and years of experience struggle to come up with a compelling alternative.
In order to maintain your sales momentum and keep enthusiasm high on behalf of your prospect (about working with you and your firm) you need to bring value to every interaction. This of course requires careful call planning and rethinking your sales follow-up call strategy. Here are three alternatives to "checking in" as as your sales follow-up call.
Articulate Your Value (and quantify it)
Your prospects are not going to commit to taking action (leave their status quo and work with you) until you demonstrate how you can impact their organization. Do you have a value proposition? If not, download my value proposition playbook and build one. Then, reiterate it to your prospects over and over and over again. Your prospects need to understand how you can impact them and their business. Hint: It has nothing to do with your candidate database or how quickly you can find candidates.
Your sales follow-up call might sound something like this: "Jim, in our previous conversation you shared with me how important it is to getting your new application into production in order to capture market share and eliminate the support costs of your old, legacy product. Let's schedule a time to meet so I can share with you how we have accomplished this for our other clients in the high-tech industry."
Share Your Thoughts, Ideas and Industry Insights
We all know the staffing industry to a large extent has been commoditized and that we all essentially provide the same service offerings and are working from the same candidate pool. But there is still one thing that your competitors can't take or copy from you. Your original ideas, thoughts and insights. You need to share your ideas and insights with your prospects so that they know that you're always thinking about them, even when you are not communicating with them.
Your sales follow-up call might sound something like this: "Jim, I've given our conversation some additional thought including the challenges you're experiencing with your new mobile application. It reminded me of the work we did for <insert client name.> I learned a few things from that client project that I think you would be interested in hearing about and how it might make an impact for you and your situation. What do you say we schedule a time to talk further?"
Constantly Educate Your Prospects
One of the constant challenges for sales professionals is knowing where they stand with their prospects. The reality is you will not always know the answer to this question. In fact, most of the time you won't know because your prospects are trying to figure out the same thing. They're thinking, "do I want to hire Dan and Menemsha Group for sales training? Do I think they could make an impact? Would it be worth the time and energy to change from my current situation?" How should sales people handle this? My thought is we should keep giving them more reasons to work with us. Just look at this blog post as an example. I'm trying to educate my followers. The idea is by educating my followers, if and when they need help with sales training, recruiter training or a sales transformation initiative they will want to speak with me. So keep giving your prospects reasons to work with you by educating them.
Your sales follow-up call might sound something like this: "Jim, I know taking on this project is a big decision and a big investment and that it will have a big impact on you and your team. This is why I thought you might be interested in <insert article, ROI calculator, case study, white paper, eBook, etc.>. Let's schedule a time to talk through your questions and concerns."
Can you see the difference between these approaches and the "just checking in" approach? These alternatives build value into the sales process. They position you as a genuine sales person who sincerely cares about the prospect and his or her well being. They make the interaction valuable and memorable for the prospect. Stop using the line "I'm just checking in," and start helping (and influencing) your prospects decision making process.
How do you make sales follow-up calls? What is your strategy? What do find most frustrating about this process? Let's start a conversation in the comments section below.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.