27 Aug The Fortune Is In The Follow-Up
I started working in the Real Estate industry back in the early 90’s and believe it or not, my first year in business I only made one sale. One sale! If I were like a lot of people out there I probably would have just given up. I would have given in to the doubts in my head about why it wasn’t working. That wasn’t an option for me though. I wasn’t willing to give up, but I was willing to get better.
In this industry (as with anything in life), learning and personal development are key, so I started asking questions and looking for answers. I dug in, and by doing this I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong and then begin to practice those weaker skills – handling rejections, lead calls, and learning how to effectively follow-up with people so they would come back. I did this to the point of exhaustion and guess what? My hard work paid off! I got better at generating sales and retaining clients and because of this my sales grew exponentially. Why? Because I discovered that the fortune was in the follow-up.
Before the fortune arrived though I had to take a good, long look in the mirror.
If I told you to write down your top five beliefs about yourself, what would you write?
A lot of the reason why we succeed or fail at something is due to the personal beliefs we hold about ourselves. The problem though is that most of the time, those beliefs aren’t ones we formed ourselves, but ones we were given by people we grew up with. Does that make sense?
The reason you’re afraid of approaching new clients could be due to an experience you had as a kid when your Mom made you feel scared about talking to strangers. It was probably for a good reason at the time but it may not be serving you now.
The fact is, most beliefs we have about ourselves are due to situations like this. In order to be successful in life (and business) though, we sometimes need to deconstruct those beliefs, break them down and then re-frame them in a positive way before we can move forward.
What Are You Doing?
Once you’ve mastered your inner beliefs it’s time to look at your behaviours. What do I mean by this? Well, how are you handling your clients? Are you elusive? Do you hate calling people back and always get the timing wrong, or do you have a system to track who you talk to and when, and track what their needs are so you can get your timing right when you do your follow-up calls? Do you even make follow-up calls?
All of this is critical, so let’s break it down.
Chances are you wouldn’t call a person and try to sell them snow tires in Arizona in the middle of summer, would you? I certainly hope not. You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve heard that someone isn’t succeeding in sales because they’re trying to sell people things at the wrong time.
Keeping track of what people need and when they need it is half the battle in sales. If you take the time to do this, and develop a system then you’ll know that in six months from now you should call Melissa back and talk about snow tires because the timing will be better, so you put it in your calendar.
Developing and tracking your relationships with your customers, while also improving your schedule, will help you improve your timing so that you’ll know when the time is right to make that call or send that text.
A good salesperson doesn’t start the sale by shoving their product in a person’s face. You start off slow. You qualify people – asking questions to see what it is the person needs before even getting into what you’re offering. Having a qualifying process is important.
Once that process is complete and you know what they want though, how do you seal the deal? Sometimes sales don’t go through right away. What then?
You add value, over and over and over again – even if it takes them a year to come to you with their cheque book in hand.
For example, let’s say you’re in the tire industry and someone does actually need snow tires that year…but it’s June. You take that tidbit of information, tuck it in your back pocket and then before they leave your store you give them some information on the latest safety tips for their vehicle to make sure they’re well taken care of while on the road. That’s adding value – developing a relationship with the client and letting them know that you’re there to help, even when a sale isn’t on the table.
You’re building TRUST so that when they do need someone in your industry, they think of you first. When winter finally hits, they call you.
It’s All About Relationships
There was a study done by Harvard University years ago that concluded that salespeople need to reach out to people an average of 6 times in order to make a sale. This figure was recently updated to a minimum of 14 – 17 times before someone would have you on their radar, mostly due to the influence of social media, etc. That’s an awful lot of legwork. If it’s worth it to you to grow your business though, then this is an investment you’re going to need to make.
The key really is the relationship you’ve built though.
Hearing from someone you like 14 – 17 times? Great. Hearing from someone you barely know, who’s just trying to make a sale – whether you want the product or not…? Not great.
So put in the work, get to know your people, add value and develop those relationships – so that when you call, text, email them, etc. they’re actually happy to hear from you.
Play The Long Game
If you’re struggling in your sales, there really is hope for you if you’re willing to work at it. Making a career in sales is about the long game – about getting out there, knowing your product to the point of exhaustion and developing those relationships with people so that you become someone people rely on!
Want to be that person for your customers?
It’s all in how you treat people, and it’s in the value that you give to others in your pursuit of your goals. Take that leap, and make a commitment to TAKE ACTION NOW! Take that first step in refining your skills and become someone who people look forward to hearing from.
If you truly love what you’re doing, are committed to making a difference in people’s lives and you decide to follow these steps, then you’ll truly be on the path to finding your fortune. Get passionate to the point of obsession – in the way you talk to people, in how you take care of your paperwork, in tracking your numbers and in the relationships that you’re building with people because at the end of the day, the fortune really is in the follow-up.
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