How to Do A Lousy Job at Business Networking Follow-up

Neither the salesperson or the prospect wants to be inundated with follow-up that doesn’t serve to advance any decision or relationship. More of a spiel, more talk about “me, me, me”, less and less additional value will assure you not to get any response. If you can think of a time that you were at either a networking event or making a stop at a local automobile dealer, here’s how you know lousy follow-up goes:

1 – The spieler. After a first meeting a salesperson immediately emails you with a cursory first line, “It was great to meet you at the Chamber event tonight. Let me tell you I am so excited about this new product release I just heard about…” and on with the spiel. Where’s that delete key?
2- Just get the sale. On the morning after your visit to the auto dealer, you get a voice mail to your cell phone, “Marty, I just wanted to remind you that it’s going to be about 4 more weeks before we get any new inventory in and that Beemer you were test driving is still here. Call me and we’ll get the paper work going.” What? Where is the interest in Marty as a person? Marty could have visited the typical used-car lot for the push treatment.
3- Too late. One person you met while at a networking event was actually a prospect – a client or a referral partner prospect. You talked at length, each of you expressed interest in talking further, you offered to telephone the next day to set a meeting up. That day is now a week later and you decide, “Oh well, too late, I’ll just move on.” End of the beginning.
4- Didn’t expect you. Have you ever had friends or family just stop in to visit you at your home? When you follow-up with a person who you didn’t ask for permission to do so it’s almost the same kind of situation. Avoid it.
5- I did make one call. If your main or only intention is to get the sale, then one call with do it. That’s right: it will slow your progress down. Sometimes buyers today need up to 21 calls to make a decision. Decide if you want to push or pull your prospect along.

Follow-up is critical to gaining 80% more sales than what you could leave behind. Doing a lousy job with it, well, you might be able to say, “Yes; I follow-up” and feel good about it. But the 80% more sales won’t be seen any time soon.

What frustrates or disgusts you that salespeople do in follow-up? Can you comment below?

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