text 'The secret of success is constancy of purpose'

Note to Sales #23. The most important trait for successful sales is…stubbornness!

Posted: 1st February 2016

Or if we’re being nice:  ‘constancy of purpose’.

We know that sales is a numbers game. But the difference between the salesperson who is successful and the one who falters is simple: The successful salesperson is persistent and continues to stay in touch long after others have given up.

Studies have shown that few salespeople follow-up more than three times, but that most sales happen after the fifth contact.

Think of the number of introducers that you have seem just once.  Have they given you a lead? I suspect not.  Well there are lots of sales managers out there doing just that, and lots of introducers seeing people once and then forgetting them.

Where to start

The first thing to do is set up a system of regular contacts, make sure it’s diarised properly and most important of all – DO IT.

A good contact management system enables you to do just that:

  1. Plan a series of contacts
  2. Set future diary dates to contact
  3. Make sure you stick to it

5 ways to follow up:

1. Email

An email follow up after a meeting is easy and quick.  If you are emailing make it personal but informative.  CALL>EMAIL>CALL.  Or even better; call to get their details, check if they are interested in what we do, and let them know you are sending something, send an informative email and then call to see if they have received it and to start the relationship – 3 contacts for the price of one!!

2. Always have something to invite people to. 

It may be an event or another networking event. Even if they are not able to attend, they will be reminded of you and the business.

 3. Put something in the post.

No one gets letters any more so why not write and talk about a new service (Bad Debt Protection?) or include an information leaflet.

4. ‘I saw this and thought of you’

This is a great one! If you are reading an interesting article, blog or post, or you went to an exhibition or trade show, then think about sharing that with somebody. If you do this in a genuine way, it’s a great and very personal way to get in touch with people again.

5. Catch up with your Linked In contacts

Once a month or when business is a little slow work on your LinkedIn contact list for half an hour or so. Have a look and see if there are people on there that you should be in touch with.

Just scrolling through your contact list will remind you of people you haven’t been in touch with for a while. Send them a quick email saying ‘How are you?’ or send some info on a new service or just invite them for a coffee and a catch up.

So that’s your five keep-in-touch points, and I didn’t even include the telephone!

Now all you have to do is... you guessed it, phone them, and ask for a deal!

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