Sales- No Follow Through

Sales – No Follow Through

It seems to me that as an outsider looking in that when it comes to sales there is no follow through.  I spoke to a woman yesterday about working in a partnership as she looked after white collar engineering and we look after blue collar trades people.  I actually gave her the time of day and provided her with an email address to send me through information and over 24 hours later I still have received nothing.  Sure I have her number, so I could call her, but why would I bother?  She probably needs me more than I need her.  Therefore here comes my theory for no follow through when it comes to sales.


My Manager asked me to speak to a person regarding a product they were trying to sell that was of interest to us.  I organised an appointment and after the conversation he said he would send through more information including prices as I indicated we were interested in the product.  It took him a few days to send it through and by that stage I thought he wasn’t going to bother.  Then after he sent me the information, he gave me a call (quite promptly I might add) to make sure I had received it.  He then said he would call back in a couple of weeks to see if I was interested.  Due to unforeseen circumstances I had not had the opportunity to speak to my Manager so was not able to give him an answer and I’ve not heard from him since.  Here is a lost opportunity in my eyes, we were interested in the product, so why did he not call again?  


As a recruitment agency we require new business to grow and also keep us in jobs.  When looking at potential business opportunity I hear through the industry a lot of occurrences where a customer has said to call back in November and yet the consultant has called back in January instead.  Why the delay and isn’t this a lead that we failed to develop further?  Are we losing business because people are not calling back when requested?   We don’t mind when this happens as Concept picks up where they dropped the ball.

Steps to follow to increase sales:

1.    Build a relationship – with the person you’re trying to sell too (nothing too cheesy, I almost want to hang up on people when they go “I’m great, thanks for asking, its Thursday so who isn’t great with only one more day until the weekend” in their hyped up tone – you know that one you hear when you know they want to sell you something).

2.    Built trust – People aren’t going to work with you if they can’t trust you or what you say

3.    Listen – Sounds simple, but so many people these days interrupt and talk over the other person and it is very off putting.  Also if someone says ‘no’, respect it don’t keep trying to over sell, there are ways this can be done on a more subtle level

4.    Follow through – If you say you are going to do something do it and do it straight away or in the timeframe you have stipulated

5.    Send the information promptly – If someone requests information, send it through that business day, or if you can’t let them know when they can expect it.  Example: A potential customer/client requiring staff quickly at least they know you will act on it quickly and come back to them with updates – this will work in your favour when trying to grow your business.

6.    Call back when asked – If the person asks you to call back at a certain time or within a certain period, make sure you do it.  If a potential opportunity is coming up and you’ve been given a heads up, make sure you jump on it, don’t blow an opportunity by not calling back.  Example:  When doing Business Development in such a competitive market, being given an opening and being asked to call back in April, but not actually calling until July you lose out as another agency would have.  Why would a person want to do business with someone that does not do as asked?  I wouldn’t, ask yourself – would you?

7.    Always be friendly, positive and yourself – At risk of sounded like a self-help book, you are your best asset, people buy in to you as well as a product or company.  If they don’t like you or think you are fake, there is nothing that can change that.  Remember first impressions count.

8.    Regular contact – If the person does not have any opportunities or requirements at the time, don’t give up, follow up with them regular (not to the point of being a nuisance), after all you could email them one month, call them the next and visit them the next.

9.    Don’t pester or irritate the person – As a recruiter I hate (and no this word is not too strong) when a person looking for work rings every day, but then when you call them they turn the work down.  Same principle with trying to sell a product or company, follow the vibe from the person to whether they would prefer to hear from you weekly, fortnightly or monthly.  Daily is not an option, that is the quickest way to p@#$ someone off, trust me I know from painful experience of both making the calls and receiving them.  

I know the reality of selling and developing business is hard in the current economic climate, but all it takes is a little common sense and follow through and I think you will find that it will go from being impossible to possible.