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Setting Follow-up Sales Calls

Setting Follow-up Sales Calls

When a Prospect Says, “We’ll get back to you.”

“Assuming a sales rep did everything upfront correctly on a sales call, how would you handle a prospect that says: “we’ll get back to you” when trying to schedule a follow-up call?”

When a prospect says, “We’ll get back to you,” after you try and schedule a follow-up at the end of a sales call, 99.9% of the time, “everything upfront” was not done correctly.

If you are at the end of your sales call and the prospect is not moving forward, and you ask to set up the next call, and they say, “we’ll get back to you.” something is off, and you missed a sales step or two.

So let’s take a look at the SalesBuzz qualifying process to see if, indeed, the sales rep did everything correctly.

Setting Follow-up Sales Calls

1) Problem Recognition:

Did the prospect agree there is a problem that needs to be solved?

If the prospect does not recognize and agree that a problem exists, they will not want to schedule a follow-up call.

Asking probing questions regarding pain points is not the same as having a prospect agree that those pain points or hot buttons must be solved.

Asking a question of “How are you currently handling ________?” is not the same as getting agreement from the prospect that they would be willing to entertain, let alone purchase a newer solution.

You have to know what questions to ask, when, and how to ask them, listen and identify actual pain points and hot buttons, and get a commitment from the prospect they want it solved before moving on in the sales process. A simple rule to follow is:

“No problem = no presentation.”

There’s no point in offering a solution for a problem that does not exist or to a prospect unwilling to admit a problem exists.

2) You Pitched the Wrong Person:

If you asked, “are you the person in charge of making decisions on XYZ?” and the prospect said “yes,” and that is all the qualifying questions you asked regarding their decision-making authority, you very likely are speaking with someone that does not have the final decision.

3) Time-Frame:

I rarely encounter a salesperson that asks me the “time-frame” question, which is odd because it’s sales 101 to ask it. There are soo many benefits to asking the “time-frame” question, but you have to utilize it in the right spot on the sales call timeline.

If you think about this logically, you can not ask a time-frame question to a prospect that has not agreed to a problem. And you can not ask it of someone that is not the actual decision-maker or part of the decision-making team.

Therefore, following the process protects you from wasting your time with prospects that will not buy or do not have the authority to buy.

On the flip side, when you ask problem recognition questions and get “green-light” answers, and then move on and qualify the prospect’s decision-making role and get more “green-light” answers, asking “time-frame” questions makes a whole lot more sense.

The process I’m outlining here is a safety net and keeps you from wasting time with unqualified prospects. It also increases your close rate. You’ll spend less time presenting to non-qualified prospects, which means the presentations you give will be to prospects with a problem who can make the decision and know their time frame for accurate forecasting.

Another benefit of the time-frame question is when a prospect gives you an answer to the time-frame question, such as “this week,” “next week,” or “in the next 30-days.” you will have a response handy in case you do get the “We’ll get back to you.” statement.

“Mr. Prospect, I know you mentioned you’d like to have a solution in place to help your team solve (PAIN POINT / HOT BUTTON) within the next 30-days. Was there anything I said that has you concerned about our solution to help you accomplish those goals?”

Alternatively, if they are unwilling to set the next appointment, you could also respond with:

Mr. Prospect – (pause) Is this your polite way to say we’re not a good fit?

That statement alone will open the prospect up and share a little more about their state of mind and where you and your sales opportunity stand.

If the sales rep did everything upfront correctly and still received the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” response, he/she is now in a much better position to offer a rebuttal to their objection of not setting the follow-up call.

Several other steps in the sales process should be covered to minimize hearing the “we’ll get back to you” response. But these are the main steps in the sales process that get skipped.

4) Lack of Trust

You could do everything correctly on the sales call related to asking the right questions at the right time and for the right reasons, but if your “tone” or sincerity to truly help is lacking, this would be a reason why your prospect responded the way they did.

It’s imperative to have your sales manager spot-record your calls and review them with you.

What you say and how you say it makes the difference between connection and failure with the prospect.

5) They Mean What They Say

Every once in a while, a prospect will respond this way and will get back to you. However, it is so rare that if you, as a sales rep, try and set the follow-up calls and hear your prospects say, “we’ll get back to you” more than once a year, I would look to improve the other factors we discussed.

– Michael Pedone