Great post last week by Ottawa-based sales consultant Colleen Francis on a subject I ranted about a few weeks ago: getting people to call you back.
“No matter how persuasive, compelling or brilliant you may be, it’s difficult to build a relationship with a prospect if you can’t get them to call you back,” says Francis. So she offers “12 Ways to Get Your Prospects to Call You Back.”
You can find the post here. Or, below are a few highlights from Francis's article.
* The fine line between persistence and stalking.
The trick is to call consistently If you leave a message, tell the customer precisely when you will call them back – and stick to it. I usually say something like: “If I don’t hear from you by March 15th, I’ll call you back on the 16th.” I get return calls more often, because my prospects know that I will be calling them if they don’t get in touch with me.
Some of my best customers today are those who I was initially the most patient with, and to whom I made multiple calls over a period of weeks, or even months.
* Let them off the hook.
In a voice or email, it’s a great idea to tell a prospect that’s its OK for them to say no. Say something like: “If you’ve chosen to go with a different product, that’s okay. Just let me know so I don’t become a follow-up pest.”
* Put them on auto-drip.
If you’ve tried everything you can think of and still can’t seem to get through, put the prospect on auto-drip. Send them something interesting and of value every month or quarter. This will help keep you top of mind for when the time is right for them to make a decision.
* Create a deadline.
After every conversation, gain agreement from the prospect as to next steps. When the time for the follow-up call comes around and the prospect doesn’t show up, you can leave a message like: “I’m calling because the last time we spoke, we agreed to chat today about….” Reminding them of your agreement will help move them to call you back.
* Call early or late in the day.
Call either early in the morning (say around 7:30 a.m.) or late in the day (after 5). The decision makers are often alone in the office, and therefore more likely to pick up calls themselves.
Seven more great ideas at http://www.engageselling.com/article_230506/index.htm.