Followup call after the letter has been sent
Salespeople often send letters of introduction or information about products and then follow up with a phone call that begins with the stupid question: “Did you get my letter?”
What are you thinking? The prospect will always say “no.” Now what sales genius? Go through the sales dance to send another or explain what it was that wastes the prospects time and destroys your ability to create a credible message.
Try this instead…
“Mr. Johnson, I sent you a letter and some information on Monday about our revolutionary computer software and how it can be put to use by your accounting department to increase productivity and eliminate errors but the information was not totally self explanatory If you would grant me a ten minute opportunity to show you how it’s working in businesses like yours, it could mean years of greater productivity and increased employee satisfaction.”
“By the way, I have a five minute failsafe point in the demonstration. If you have no interest at the five minute mark, you ring a gong and I get up and walk out no questions asked. If you elect to continue, I reward you with the latest edition of Taming the Paper Tiger, a book about office organization and personal productivity as my gift to you for taking the time to listen. When is your best time of day to have ten uninterrupted minutes?”
This strategy of calling after letters and information has been sent will work if you key in on the operative phrase the information I sent you was not totally self explanatory. This gives you the opportunity to ask for time to explain.
The letter and mailing will also play a part in building the “interest” of the prospect. Be sure your letter is BRIEF and asks a few hard questions that creates thought in the mind of the prospect questions like “If it took your accounting department 20% longer to process invoices than was necessary how would you know it?” or “How much does one accounting error cost your company? How many did you make yesterday?” Be sure any information you send cites similar situations and testimonials. One word of praise from a satisfied customer is worth one thousand words of product description.
You can also play off of the letter and ask the prospect in the follow up call “I was calling to see how you were able to answer the questions?” This immediately engages the prospect and if they never got the letter, it gives you implied permission to ask the questions and you still win.
Here are the rules of followup after letter/info pack…
Never ask if they got it assume they got it or better, arrange through an administrative person to have it put on the decider’s office chair.
Have a great question to start the conversation NEVER start talking about your company. This may hurt your feelings, but the reality is the prospect doesn’t care about your company. The key to gaining interest is to ask a thought provoking question about his business that makes him answer in terms of your business.
Use similar situations, not facts and figures.
Don’t pin your hopes on the fact that your product or service “saves money.” Everyone makes that claim. Prospects don’t listen to that claim. The cry of Saving Money is similar to the cry of an automobile alarm they go off so often that no one pays attention. Think about the last time you heard a car alarm go off. Did you drop what you were doing and call the police? No, you just ignored it as “false.” Same with claims of money they are ignored.
Be sincere, friendly and relaxed. If you have a script, rehearse it until it sounds natural. Think of the prospect as your best friend. Speak to him in the same manner.
Inject humor as often as possible. If you’re asking for the appointment and the prospect says, “How much does this cost?” You say “Oh, I don’t charge to make a sales call.” HUMOR Make me laugh and you can make me buy!
Preidentify objections and script answers. Since there are no new objections, it seems silly to be unprepared when one occurs.
Before you call, know your objective (appointment, interview, trial use, sale) and keep that in focus no matter what. Don’t hang up without making some sort of sale, even if it’s just another callback at a more convenient time.
My observation is that the more creative you are in your approach, the easier it is to get the appointment and make the sale. Creative letters, packages, methods of delivery, and phone connections are the key to getting in the door. How creative are you?
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Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112