We write a lot about pre-call planning here on the Sales Leader Blog. The reasons are many, but mostly because there’s immediate payoff. Put simply, if you prepare for a sales call, you increase your chance of success. There’s an equally important component to successful planning as it relates to sales. That’s the post-call planning. Before you end a meeting (or a phone call), it’s important to identify a definitive next step. How brutal is the sense that…”The meeting went so well! But, I don’t know what to do next.”? Preventing that sinking feeling is as simple as planning your next step while you’re in this one.
- “Do you mind if we go ahead and schedule a time for me to follow up?”
- “If I don’t hear from you by next week, may I follow-up?”
That sounds fairly straightforward, Doesn’t it? But you would be surprised by the number of very talented salespeople who sometimes forget to take this extra step. However, high-performing salespeople always leave with a definitive next step. It’s crucial for time management, too. You’re a lot more likely to follow-up on something that’s scheduled than something that’s not. To increase your chance of winning a sale, design a definitive plan.
People are always more likely to follow a definitive plan than one that’s nebulous.
This goes a little deeper than simply asking, “May I follow-up with you?” Compare these two follow-up statements:
- “Will it be okay if I call back on Tuesday at 3:00? Or, is there a better time?” versus
- “May I just check back in a couple of weeks?”
Which is more likely to wind up on your prospect’s calendar? Which are you more likely to do? The answer is clear. Always shoot for a definitive next step. It’s part of post-call planning. Of course, there’s a lot that can happen between today and next Tuesday at 3:00, and that’s the art to selling.