Congratulations! You’ve presented your product or service, negotiated an agreement that’s a win-win for both parties and closed the sale. Now remember that following up is a key function of selling, not to be ignored.
The thrill of the sale is hard to beat when you run your own business – whatever its size or focus. I remember very well the day the first person told me that they’d employ my services. Thankfully, they’re still doing so. I’ve even got a copy in my office of the first cheque (remember them?) I ever received from a client.
But it’s important not to lose track of the next bit of business you need to win, rather than focusing solely on the job at hand (or, worse, reminiscing about past glories). One key element in achieving this is to ensure you’re following up on projects or deliveries completed.
Following up builds relationships with enterprises or individuals who may hire your service or purchase your product again in the future. It also encourages them to tell others about you and that’s got to be good, right?
Referrals – you can’t beat them.
Small Business Trends states that, according to Harvard Business Review, the biggest complaint that customers have when dealing with any business is poor follow-up.
When it comes to problems encountered by customers, 56% complain that they need to re-explain their issue when calling back, because the provider didn’t follow up. 62% report having to repeatedly contact the company to get their issues resolved, again because the provider didn’t revert. As a result, 65% are likely to speak poorly about the company and 48% of customers go on to tell 10 or more people about their bad experience.
Incorporate Following Up into your Systems
But, of course, that’s all about the scenario when something goes wrong.
Hopefully not much goes wrong for you, so why then would you still need to follow up? Because selling should not be about “them and us” or “buying and selling”. No, you’re building a relationship. You’re building trust.
Drop your client an email or, better still, pick up the phone, or even better again, go meet up with them. Following up with your customers shows them that :
- you’re interested
- you’re confident in your product / service
- you want their feedback on customer experience
Following up is a key function of selling because, through demonstrating your interest in and commitment to the client, you are, in fact, generating goodwill and new orders. You’re also learning though listening, discovering market trends and, hopefully, spotting new opportunities.
And, if you’re really good, you might get a coveted testimonial.
Updated Sept 2021