follow-up_origMichelle Moore of Selling Simplified said: “Not following up with your prospect is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain.”  I, however, would like to explore what I consider as the real ‘true’ follow-up.

What Ms. Moore is referring to is part of the process that without it, there will not be a satisfactory outcome; a full tub of water for a bath.  Yes, if there is a request for additional information you should supply it as you should supply pricing, delivery, etc.  However, this all happens before the ‘deal is done’ and is part of the process to get it done.

I consider the real ‘true’ follow-up though to be done after the deal is signed.  In other words, the follow-up starts with: did the order get entered?  This is followed by making sure that it not only got shipped, but that it was shipped complete.  If not, how quick are you in getting back to your customer to advise them that there is a back order, but if you can, offer them an alternative, or, would they like the order held until it is complete.  Did you then further follow-up to make sure not only did the customer received it, but also, did it arrived intact and were there any questions, concerns or challenges in implementing it?

It is this follow-up that leads to the most important customer for your success; the repeat one.  Consider how hard it is to actually get any prospect to become a first-time customer?  Until they buy again, all they are is a prospect that bought.  It is not until they buy again that they actually become a customer.

‘By doing the ‘true’ follow-up, you have elevated your value to the customer…’

Would it not be a luxury to have a confirmed ‘book’ of business coming in every month? Therefore, allowing you to spend more time filling your pipeline with strategic high valued prospects instead of prospects based on desperation?  By doing the ‘true’ follow-up, you have elevated your value to the customer and they are more apt to become those loyal long-time customers that all sales professionals have, but that salespeople do not have.  I am not suggesting that you do this for every order every time, but it should be your ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for the first sale definitely and maybe for the next two or three or however many you feel will make them that loyal customer that your competition has no hope in taking from you.  This also helps in building the trust in case something does go sideways down the road.

Using Ms. Moore’s quote again; the action of making sure that the stopper is in the drain to fill the bathtub is part of the process.  Making sure that the water is at the right temperature, the right amount and that there are oils or bubble bath, as well as dry soft towels for afterward is the ‘true’ follow-up which will make it an experience that you would want to be repeated.

Follow-up on your career by scheduling your 30-minute complimentary strategy session to find out not only where you are, but where you want to be.  Also, you may want to ‘check into’ The Action Suite where the talking stops and the doing gets done to move up to those levels quicker.

Prospects & Selling

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