Closing the sale? I know what you are thinking. Ah, Steve, your book is called “How To Double Your Business Without Making A Sale.”
You are exactly correct. Please bare with me and I’ll circle back to that.
The Most Important Part of Closing the Sale is Following Up, Effectively!
Here’s what I mean
This is SO important and, yet, most do not do so. Here is the winning follow up process, but first a short story.
Mr. P., is from New Jersey and in the steel business. He and his wife have a home in, Punta Gorda Isles, Fl.
I had painted their exterior the first year I moved to Florida.
While we were painting the exterior, he wanted a price for their interior, but decide to hold off. So, I asked if I could follow up and they said sure.
I followed up the following week, and he was still not ready.
I followed up again a few weeks later: and again, not ready. I continued to follow up avery 3 to 6 months, each time asking permission if I could follow up again in a few months, and he would warmly receive my call and just let me know he still wasn’t ready.
One day he said, “No, we are still not ready for the interior. Mrs. P. has her heart on new cabinets right now so the interior will continue to wait, but you know what, Steve, I’m ready for a color change on my exterior.
Can you write it up and email it over to me so we can get the exterior on your schedule again?”
Here’s the kicker, that was SIX YEARS later!
Somebody once asked Harvey McKay how long they should keep following up. He replied, “Until one of you two die.”
I agree, but I advise that you simply ask permission if it’s ok for you to follow up and they almost always warmly receive your follow up call and it makes the sales process pleasant for everybody.
4 Step Process for Effective Follow Up:
Step 1. When leaving the estimate, if you don’t close it on the spot, ask them if it’s ok if you call them in a few days just to follow up. They will almost always say yes.
Step 2. Get a hand written note card in the mail to them the same day of the estimate so that is arrives the following days mail.
It’s optimal your note card should have your logo and picture on it, but don’t let that hang you up from sending even a blank card as anything you send will be heads and shoulders above what the other company are sending, which is nothing.
Write your note in blue ink as authorities and studies show it is the most attractive color. Your note is simple and does not ask for the sale (they know you really want the job already, don’t insult them by asking here). “Mr. & Mrs. Jones, thank you very much for having me out to your home to provide you with our proposal.
It was a pleasure to meet the two of you. Warmest regards, Steve :)” Then, include something personal.
Did you connect on your love for a certain football team? Include that! Write, “Go, Packers!” Did you pet their dog, Scruffy? Write, “Say hello to Scruffy for me!” You get the idea.
Step 3. 3 days later or when you promised, follow up with a phone call. IMPORTANT: Ask them if you caught them at a good time – this is a lost art of telephone conversation and will set you miles apart from others.
Then, just listen and they will most likely go into where they are at with the process. If not, ask them if they have made a decision and if you may have the job.
If they have not made a decision, then ask if it is ok for you follow up with them next week. Key is to ask for their permission for you to follow up. As long as you ask, then they will warmly receive your follow up calls.
Step 4. Rinse, and repeat until the job is awarded.
To help you to track your conversations and set reminders, you should use PipelineDeals for a CRM. It simple and powerful all in one. I’ll do a deeper dive into Pipeline Deals in another article.
Sales techniques are not really necessary if you have made the shift.
The shift from traditional marketing to relationship marketing and which is the essence of my book, How To Double Your Business Without Making A Sale.
If you’re still struggling, schedule a commentary strategy call with me here.