- Only 2% of sales are made after the first contact.
- 44% of sales people give up after the first “no.”
The truth is that most sales take at least 5 calls to complete. This is, obviously, not true of all contacts. You can’t just wait out four “no”s and be sure of a yes at the fifth try. But, with persistence and patience, you can slowly connect with a customer over the course of five calls or meetings and work towards a yes.
There is no magic formula. Each customer will have their own buttons that will draw them in or put them off. But, approaching your customers following this basic guide will definitely help you land those sales you originally thought were a no.
Call 1 – Making ContactIdeally, your contact will have shown interest through your website or by phoning you first. Making this first call is all about letting the customer know who you are and what you provide. Ask them if they are interested in more information and for the best times in which you can contact them in the future.
You should make sure to ask if they would like to be put on your mailing list, if they are not already. Interest at this point is a good sign of a potential sale in the future. Make sure you keep them updated with newsletters and offers.
Call 2 – Fact FindingUse the second interaction to focus on enquiring about the customer’s current arrangements regarding the products or services you can provide. This can be done through a follow up call or by sending them a survey by email or post. Find out how the customer feels about their current suppliers, what they feel is lacking from their service or, if they do not use the services or products that you provide, whether they are likely to need them in the future.
Call 3 – Strengthen the ConnectionThe third “call” should further your relationship with the customer. Discussing their objections and listening to their needs can help you show how your product could provide a perfect solution.
Above all, remember that this is a conversation. Give the customer time to speak and be clear and understanding in your responses. This is really about proving the customer service rather than guaranteeing the sale so make sure you aren’t giving them reason to say no for good.
Call 4 – Test the WaterThis should follow up on the previous call and should be looking to address and overcome any problems raised. Highlight specific products and deals relevant to their needs and suggest they take a closer look on the website or at an event if relevant.
You can also use this call to sweeten the deal a little. If you can offer samples or a trial period, then do so. Don’t be disappointed if this is turned down. Simply leave the offer open so they can take it up if they change their mind in the future.
Call 5 – A Successful CloseIf the customer has remained interested over these calls then you can look to close a sale. Find out if their situation has changed or if they are looking to take up one of your offers and help them through their options if they are still unsure. Keep the conversation open and don’t be too aggressive with responses or feedback.
When you are certain they are invested in making a purchase, then make the process as simple as possible. Be flexible around their needs and remember that it never hurts to give a little something extra to secure future business.
With gentle persistence and a flexible approach, you will find a lot more customers changing their mind after a few calls. The important thing to remember is that you cannot force someone to change their mind. You just have to make sure that you prove that your company is worth changing minds for.