Your Prospect Forgets About You The Moment They Hang Up

by Paul Castain on January 2, 2013

So there you are, with phone in hand, calling potential customers.

The theme from Indiana Jones starts playing as you dodge assistants, voice mails, Caller ID, people hanging up on you, people telling you “not interested” without ever hearing what you do and then . . .

You actually get through to someone!

They listen to what you have to say and you actually have a dialogue. Things are looking good, there’s some degree of interest but for whatever reason, you still don’t get the appointment.

Bummer. Right?

And now the really lousy part . . .

They’ve probably forgotten about you within seconds of that call!

Just think about all the things that are going on in their world.

They are dealing with internal and or external customers.

Lots and lots of work!

How many more calls and voicemails will they deal with that day alone?

FastCompany Magazine says they will be exposed to over 3,000 advertising messages each day.

If they are to be considered an average user of email, they will send and receive over 100 emails each day. That’s at least 100 opportunities to forget about you. No?

They will be interrupted an average of 7 times each hour according to Wendy Cole from Time Magazine.

And since a report by the BBC states that the average attention span is 9 seconds;

They’ve probably forgotten about you . . . mighty quick.

What’s an aspiring sales rock star to do?

How will you stay in touch and hopefully . . . Top Of Mind?

Here are a few ideas. The first two are in order the rest can be done at any time.

First . . . Say thank you! Seriously, send them a card (not an email)

Do that one step alone . . . and you immediately stand out.

Nobody ever thanks someone who doesn’t buy from them and that’s why you need to do it!

Note: Was an assistant helpful or instrumental in any way with regard to you getting a chance to speak with a potential customer? Might want to thank them too! Do that, and you might just ascend to Multi Platinum Rock Star Status and, as a bonus, have someone eager to help you in the future.

Next . . . Send a Recap of the discussion.

A recap has deadly powers that the average sales person never realizes.

A recap isn’t just something you send because of protocol . . . you send it because when crafted properly they help your prospect, get back to the state they were in when you asked them the awesome questions you hopefully asked.

I would send the recap after the thank you and time it so both are received about 48 – 72 hours later.

Now this is the part where the average sales rep really screws up, because the only thing they will do (out of mucho options) is make a note to call back in their CRM and then call to “Check in”

Way to sound like everyone else dude!

I mean, definitely schedule a call back but what will you do in the interim?

How about an invitation to connect on a social network?

How about mailing them something or even Fedexing or delivering something?

Is there a resource you could send them?

Do you have anything in your arsenal that educates people on how to buy your product or service? No? Well why the heck not? Here’s a sample of something I send out to potential coaching clients.

How about a funny greeting card?

How about a “blank card”?

How about a greeting card sent on non religious holidays (Its not too late for a Happy New Year card)

How about sending out a “Weekender” like Lisa Bickford from Highlight Printing does?

How about an invite to a networking event?

Why not invest in a webinar hosting service and offer free webinars to potential clients. (Note: You all should know how I feel about this one by now. If you’re going to offer free stuff to prospects . . . give your best free stuff to clients)

Why not set up a sales listening station to keep track of your contact? You might just come across something that would make for a compelling reason to call them back NOW!

How about creative things?

Here’s the long and the short of it gang . . .

They’re gonna forget about us the moment they hang up!

How cool would it be if we anticipated that and were fully prepared with a killer “Stay In Touch” campaign?

Oh, and I do believe its . . .

Your turn . . .

How do you stay in touch with potential customers? What’s worked for you or (if I got your wheels turning with this post) What are you going to do going forward to stay on their radar screen?

We have two webinars/courses launching this month!

On January 10th, we have Playbook For A Successful Year. Details here.

On January 30th, Castain’s Sales School launches. Details here.

Both of these happen right on your computer screen and will be recorded . . . Just in case you can’t make it when we broadcast!

Will I “see” you there?

  • http://twitter.com/Robyn_WINH Robyn Davis

    Great post, Paul,

    It’s the same for my clients (trade show exhibitors), but I’d rephrase to tell them “your prospect forgets about you the moment they step out of your trade show booth” – follow up is key to clarify your offerings (make sure what they do remember is accurate), stand out from the competition (who is not likely to be putting forth a personalized and timely follow up effort), and ensure that you haven’t given your potential business away (if you don’t follow up, your prospect will encounter someone else with similar offerings eventually and that’s who will scoop in to take your sales)…

    Thanks for explaining this in plain English. Hopefully sales professionals (and their prospects) from all industries will benefit from your post.

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    Well stated Robyn!

    Can you shoot me a quick email at paul@yoursalesplaybook.com. I have something that might interest you.
    Meanwhile . . . Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  • Paul Edwards

    So, how do we get busy, veteran sales people with declining sales numbers to re-engage using these ideas?

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