Calling Unsold Opportunities

If you have neither closed the sale nor scheduled an appointment to meet or speak again with a prospect, calling to see how their process is unfolding IS the next action to take. Always.

It’s a judgment call as to WHEN to reach out, and I invite everyone to examine their follow-up on unsold opportunities to see if you have a process in place (such as reaching out 48 hours after contact unless otherwise noted). At the very least, start by reaching out with a ‘great to meet you!’ email or text…followed by a call or text to discuss what has changed or happened since you last spoke.

This is an action that can be elevated this year. Consider:
1. Putting specific time slots on your calendar for unsold quote follow-up. Early morning and later in the day tend to be better times to reach people. Stick with it. Use the repeat function on the event in your calendar. If you find the time slots you have chosen don’t prove effective in reaching people, move the time slots…don’t remove them, though.
2. HOW will you follow up? Text? Voice message if they don’t pick up? Do both…text and voice messages and refer to the other in your message. Avoid email, as it feels productive (but isn’t) and it will tempt you to give information in an email that you would rather discuss. And if you give them all they need to know, they don’t need you now.
3. Tell them WHEN they can get back to you, and what you will do if you don’t hear from them, like call tomorrow between 9-11. That increases their responsiveness.
4. Be prepared to reach out FIVE times. Yes, five times. Most salespeople stop after two times, as ‘they don’t want to bug the customer’…and research shows it takes three more times to connect with the prospect and to get the sale. Don’t give up too soon.
5. Create some templates for follow-up so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with each communication. It makes the action easier to do and to measure what works.

It takes practice to be comfortable with this action. It feels like a cold call, but it isn’t. It’s a warm call. And if you take good notes when you are with them, you will know WHY they were unable to take action (a sale or an appointment) when you were with them… and that is where you start the conversation. If you notice that you DON’T have this information, then clearly… you need to start taking better notes.

Now, go follow up on all those unsold quotes!



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