The unbelievable truth
You may already know that 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact between two people.
If you didn't know that I hope you're shocked, because the next statistic will jolt you even more: 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
The chances are anyone reading this is in business for themselves, and therefore, in sales. But let's face it, aren't most things we do in life sales scenarios? Someone is always trying to persuade, influence and get agreement. Not just in business, but in relationships and personal matters too.
Take a look at the rest of these shameful sales statistics:
- 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
- 25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop
- 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
- Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 3% of sales and made on the second contact
- 5% of sales and made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made in full contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to 12th contact!*
* Figures courtesy of Cardone Industries.
The end to all known recessions?
Tell me if I'm wrong, but if every sales person did what they were supposed to do i.e. SELL [which they would do if they followed up like sales professionals do] a whole lot more business would be carried out. Everyone would be better off, EVERYONE! There'd be more sales resulting in more money to invest. We'd have more money to pay staff who, in turn, would enjoy more disposable income.
So what's the problem?
As it is, companies complain they don't sell enough, why? It's usually because they don't appreciate the relationship building and trust that needs to exist for most people to do business. It's not rocket science. When did you last buy from a door to door salesman or a telephone cold call?
So either businesses are not prepared to put in the groundwork to establish an interconnection or if they do appreciate this aspect they don't follow up because they do not know how to follow up.
Even if they do engage in contacting prospects after the initial meeting or conversation, it'll more than likely be the usual, "Hi John, sorry to bother you today but I'm just touching base with you. Are you ready to order from us yet?" Weak, pathetic and amateurish!
Let's get unhinged and unbalanaced [the solution]
You need to follow up so that it doesn't appear like follow up. You also have to become a little inventive with your communications both in what medium you use and what you actually say.
I recommend my clients integrate a mixture of the following:
- LinkedIn message or skill endorsement
- Tweet - send a cool image and message
- Greetings card
- Facebook contact
- Post card
- Personal visit
- Lumpy mail
- Ask someone else on your team to call
- Google Plus contact
- About Me profile endorsement
- Video email [eyejot.com]
- Ask someone from outside your company to call as an 'agent' for you
Why do all of this?
Some of us don't like the phone. Some don't like email. So if you only email someone and are getting nowhere you HAVE to adapt. You might also be getting bad luck like a spam filter of he/she is away on holiday. By varying your styles of contact you should, one day, hit the person on the right platform and at the right time. You'll also stand out and appear resourceful and imaginative. Tweets and texts will probably get you your best return. Their non-invasive, like the phone, and everyone reads a text. Twitter is like an email guaranteed to arrive, and oh so to the point.
So what to talk about and say
Firstly, avoid clichés like the plague. Be helpful with information you can pass on, ask how they feel, if it makes sense and always call or write with something of value to say. It's easy to share an image or useful aspect of what you do via a free tip. Just keep it high value and you'll be seen as high value. Keep going until they either buy or tell you to go away.
But let's face it, could you resist someone contacting you using everything on that list above? You'd have to speak to them right? It would a lesson in follow up if nothing else.