Here’s some advice that you don’t hear many sales managers share with their teams: Stop wasting your time following up.
David Newman, founder of Do It! Marketing and author of the new book by the same name, says it’s advice that should be given more often. He has grown tired of hearing statements such as, “Nobody ever buys on the first, second or third appointment,” or “Most sales are made after the eighth contact, but most salespeople stop after the third contact.”
“This advice is horse doo, and it’s probably making you needlessly tired, frustrated and depressed,” Newman states.
In fact, he calls it “stinky horse doo-doo” that costs salespeople face time with real decision makers. He offers seven reasons why follow-up calls can be a waste of time:
1. A rep who doesn’t get a prospect’s attention on the first or second attempt needs more targeted and relevant prospects.
2. Life moves too fast for follow-up. You’re either an immediate priority or you’re invisible.
3. Continuing to “check in” for no good reason when you’re in the invisible column gets real annoying real fast. You damage your chances at future sales when you’re a current pest.
4. Decision makers make decisions. A salesperson who is stuck in follow-up hell is most likely not dealing with a real decision maker in the first place.
5. Short attention spans rule the day. If your reps follow up with today’s hot prospect next month, chances are excellent that the prospect will say, “Who are you again? You talked about what? When? I’m sorry, I’m just running to a meeting. Bye.”
6. Alpha dogs buy, sheep dogs bark. Most decision makers are Drivers on the DISC Profile. They make fast decisions with a very low threshold of patience for dickering, bureaucracy or delay. Following up to drag out the process simply turns them off.
7. If your salespeople relentlessly focus on the right prospects at the right time for the right reasons, they will spend a whole lot less time convincing and persuading fence-sitters and a whole lot more time focusing like a laser beam on the buyers who are ready, willing and eager to do business with you.