The follow up call is usually the most important, and the most difficult, call in the sales cycle. Without an organized plan of attack it is easy to lose the interest of the prospect even if they were very responsive during the initial cold call. Here are several tips on how to make your follow up call as effective as possible.
The importance of establishing a specific date and time for the follow up call
Many sales reps will leave this open ended, saying things like “I will follow up with you in a few days”. This can lead to a long game of phone tag, which not only increases the length of the B2B sales cycle but can frustrate your prospect and decrease their interest.
Make a precise appointment time with your prospect for when you will follow up. And when you do actually make the call, make it exactly when you said you would (no points for being fashionably late here).
If they don’t pick up, leave a message and try them back a few minutes later. If they still don’t pick up, try once more towards the end of the day and leave a final message. This lets them know that you were punctual and persistent, but not to the point of being a pest.
Another important thing for the sales rep to do is to be memorable. The prospect is most likely very busy, and will forget all about you within days of the initial cold call. Consider sending them a handwritten note, or even just an email. It is essential to build a relationship with your prospect, and there is no better way to start than sending a thank you note which shows them that you are willing to make the extra effort.
Send a reminder before the follow up call
Before the call, send an email reminder to the prospect which contains an agenda for the call. The agenda doesn’t need to be long; better yet it should be concise and to the point. However it should not contain anything that makes it seem like they need to make a commitment by the end of the call. If the prospect feels pressured into making a decision too early, they might not show up for the call.
When actually making the call, try to demonstrate that you are there to help the prospect.
Open with your name and company name, but then go into a few sentences outlining the purpose of the call: first identify the problem areas for the client to remind them why they were searching for or receptive to a solution in the first place, and second briefly state the purpose/agenda for the call which should include how you plan to address the clients problem.
Be clear and concise; this will instill a sense of confidence in your prospect. The more confidence they have in you, the more relaxed they become, and the more likely you will be to close.