Follow Up is Free and Profitable

It’s a recession. We’re cutting our advertising budget even though we know we shouldn’t. We’re racking our brains to see what else we can do to drive sales without spending too much. Well here’s a free sales and advertising tip. Follow up!

The National Sales Executive Association conducted a survey on how many sales you can get depending on how many times you contact your prospects. These statistics emphasize how important it is to follow up with sales persistence.

• 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
• 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
• 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
• Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts

But,

• 2% of sales are made on the first contact
• 3% of sales are made on the second contact
• 5% of sales are made on the third contact
• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
• 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

These statistics astound me and I spend a lot of calls and emails following up.  I confess that sometimes even I fail to follow up more than three times. So why do we not follow up enough?

• Too busy, didn’t get to call
• The person’s name did not make it to a “touch today” list
• The time allocated to make follow up calls got allocated elsewhere
• Don’t have a single “touch today” list, it’s in several places
• Don’t have a series of things to propose that seems appropriate
• Don’t know what to say, when you’re just “checking back”
• No follow up samples appropriate to this situation
• Want to build the relationship, but not sure how
• Haven’t tracked how many times already called, it’s too soon
• Haven’t set a follow up action, don’t know what to propose next

Your own personal list of follow up failure is probably some of these and more. With 90% of the sales made after the third contact, it’s clear that this is the result of a relationship being built. Relationships take time and repeated contacts.

But consider this. Calling is free! You already have a phone, a long distance plan, and extra cell phone minutes. So there is nothing else to pay. Email is free since you already have an email mechanism. A card is less than a dollar even with today’s postage. For a great set of follow up samples and follow up letters see: Free Sales Follow Up Letters.  So this kind of prospecting and following up is a real low-cost sales idea. That’s a great plus in this economy.

Persistence will make the difference in sales. Follow up calls are necessary and effective. If you’ve been at it more than a couple of years, you’d agree that it takes pigheaded discipline and determination to grow a business. This is a sentiment attributed to Chet Holmes, author of “The Ultimate Sales Machine” and perhaps anyone else committed to success.

So, I challenge you to make a list of people you haven’t followed up with and make some calls. Call me and tell me how it’s going. I’d love comments on more follow up samples from your experience.

Now stop reading about follow up samples and start doing! Let’s create your personal profit strategies for growing profit. Call small business profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at merralee@captureprofits.com.

“Seek new clients, seize better income, capture more profit”

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2009 at 3:07 pm and is filed under Increase Sales. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Follow Up is Free and Profitable”

  1. 7 Ways to Follow Up Persistence Without Being a Pest - Capture Business Profits Says:

    [...] fourth contact, so don’t be part of the 73% that stop after two contacts. See my other blog Follow up is Free and Profitable on that [...]

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