Stand Out When You Follow Up

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Organiser with a pen and phonePeople buy from you because of who you are, right? That’s what most buyers tell us.

You’re impression on the customer can make or break a sale. Even if you have the best product and service, even if you’re the best value, even if they would be foolish to go with anyone else, you can be that differentiator in the end.

So, when you’ve made the opening call and the customer is still thinking about it, how can you stand out when you follow up?

Well, don’t do what 99% of other salespeople would do. Do what the top 1% do!

First of all, have a system for following up. Don’t simply leave it to chance that you’ll remember to do it. It doesn’t matter whether you use a paper-based system or a technologically advanced one…just have one!

Whether the call was successful or not, follow-up professionally and quickly in order to stand out from your competitors. Here’s my advice:

Send an e-mail within 24 hours of your first visit. This could be a simple “Thank you” note. You can thank your prospect for anything except his time. You want to avoid thanking people for their time because that’s what everybody else does.

Say thanks for introducing you to the decision-maker, showing you around the office, giving you valuable information so you can help them overcome some of their challenges…be specific in your thank-you email, so they know it’s personal, not a cut and paste job from a previous email you sent someone else.

Now, here’s the bit that will really make you stand out. And don’t tell me you haven’t got time to do this, because that demeans your prospect, yourself and your chosen profession; three or four days later, send a handwritten note.

Imagine your prospect has his or her post in front of them and they’re sifting through it all. They come across a hand-written envelope with their name neatly written on it. Which of the letters do you think they will open first. I’ll leave you to guess!

What the note says, of course, depends on your particular situation. If your prospect agreed to a second meeting, your hand-written note could simply confirm the meeting date and time. If they have agreed to read your notes or brochure, simply thank them for doing so. It will make an impression because it’s different. Especially if you write it in ink! Boy, will that make you stand out! Oh, and remember to put in your business card.

Then, 7-10 days after the first meeting, send another  note with an article, business message, web-link or anything relevant to the business the prospect is in. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed; just something simple, like “I know this will interest you” and attach your card.

Imagine doing this with all your prospects. Will you stand out? Will you make an impression? Will you be different to the majority of your competitors? You bet!

And that can only be good for business!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 8 September, 2010

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