Why Don't People Follow Up in Sales? And How You Can Break the Cycle - Dawn Stebbing - Relationship Based Selling
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Why Don’t People Follow Up in Sales? And How You Can Break the Cycle

We’ve all been there. You’ve had a great initial conversation with a potential client, and everything seemed promising, but then… nothing. The follow-up just doesn’t happen. It’s like that amazing opportunity fell into a black hole. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

Let’s dive into why people often don’t follow up in sales and, more importantly, how you can break this frustrating cycle.

The Fear Factor

One of the biggest reasons people don’t follow up is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of being annoying, fear of hearing “no.” But here’s the thing: if you don’t follow up, you’re guaranteeing a “no.” Think of it this way—following up isn’t pestering; it’s providing value. You’re reminding your potential client of the solution you offer to their problem.

Fear of a Yes

Believe it or not, the fear of a “yes” can also paralyze us. Why? Because a “yes” means responsibility, delivering on promises, and stepping up to the plate. It can feel daunting, especially if you’re unsure about handling the increased workload or living up to client expectations. But remember, a “yes” is an opportunity for growth. It’s your chance to shine, to show your expertise, and to build your business. Embrace it with confidence.

Lack of Organization

Sometimes, we just forget. Amidst the chaos of running a business, follow-ups can slip through the cracks. The solution? Get organized. Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, set reminders, and create a follow-up schedule. Tools like HubSpot, Trello, or even a simple Google Calendar can be lifesavers.

Assuming They’ll Get Back to You

Another common trap is assuming that a potential client will get back to you if they are interested. But life gets busy, and priorities shift. A polite and timely follow-up can bump you back up to the top of their mind.

Not Knowing What to Say

Have you ever felt like you’re bothering someone because you’re unsure what to say in your follow-up? You’re not alone. Here’s a tip: follow up with purpose. Share a relevant article, a case study, or some new insight related to your previous conversation. This approach adds value and shows that you’re thinking about their needs.

Overcomplicating the Follow-Up

Sometimes, we overthink the follow-up, trying to craft the perfect message. Keep it simple. A short, friendly email or a quick phone call can be incredibly effective. Remember, you’re building a relationship, not writing a novel.

How to Break the Cycle

  1. Set a Follow-Up Schedule: Decide on a regular follow-up cadence. For example, follow up within 24 hours after the first meeting, then again in a week, and so on. Stick to it.
  2. Use Technology to Your Advantage: CRMs are great, but even simple tools like email templates can streamline the process. Create a few go-to templates for different stages of your follow-up process.
  3. Add Value in Every Interaction: Each follow-up should offer something useful. Whether it’s new information, an invitation to a webinar, or just a friendly check-in, make sure it’s worth their time. For instance, if you discussed specific challenges during your initial meeting, send a follow-up with tips or resources addressing those issues. You could share a relevant article, a white paper, or even a success story from a client who faced similar challenges.
  4. Be Persistent, Not Pushy. There’s a fine line between persistence and pushiness. Follow up regularly, but always give your potential client space to respond.
  5. Track Your Follow-Ups: Keep a record of all your follow-ups. This way, you can see what works and refine your approach over time.

The Payoff

Following up isn’t just a necessary evil—it’s a powerful tool to build trust, show your dedication, and ultimately close more sales. It’s an opportunity to stand out from the competition and demonstrate your commitment to solving your client’s problems.

Remember, every “no” brings you closer to a “yes.” So, take a deep breath, get organized, and start following up. Your future self (and your sales numbers) will thank you.

For a more in-depth exploration of how to transform your sales follow-up strategy and achieve remarkable success, don’t hesitate to reach out. Let’s chat at dawn@dawnstebbing.com.

Dawn Stebbing
Dawn Stebbing
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