Over the years, I have written several articles suggesting follow up systems to use with buyers after a presentation. Follow up is probably the most important step is when selling to retailers.
Here are the best tips from my article:
Listed are some good rules of thumb for following up with customer communications of any kind (I have a detailed section on this very issue in my e-book, The Complete Guide to Selling to Gift Shops):
- Return phone calls the day received, or no later than the next morning. Acknowledge the request or concern with an immediate callback even if the solution is not immediately available. …
- Answer emails daily, and within 24 hours of receiving them….
- Process and ship orders within 7 working days, two days is better.
- Mail out information requests the next day (or the next day you are in your office) …
- After mailing information requests, follow up ASAP… a couple days after you think they got the packet, or no later than the Monday following….
- Remember, the longer it takes you to respond to a customer – for any reason – the less important they feel.
Mckenna Hallett recently posted an article, Are You Following Up?, where she shared her perspective on following up.
Here are the points she made that I found interesting is …..
Why we don’t follow up
- We don’t want to seem pushy
- We don’t want to look like we are “needy” or need a sale
- We don’t want to “bother” them: “If they want my “stuff” they will buy it when they are ready.”
- We don’t have the right tools to easily and seamlessly take the money
- There’s always tomorrow.
- We are just too busy for crying out loud!
Oh, I am sure you can add to this list! I know at least a dozen more reasons/excuses that I use. But here’s the deal: if you have put time, energy, and marketing strategies in place to get people to do business with you, you owe it to them to ask for the sale at some point.
… You need to make sure you are “calling them to take action” in consistent and repetitive marketing efforts.
Hopefully, you are not using any of these excuses, but instead and ‘calling your buyers (or customers) to take action’ — which often times is just asking for the sale.
If you struggle with this part of the process, trying asking questions such as these to close your sale:
- “Do you want that jam in huckleberry or blueberry?”
- “Do you want the full earring collection or would you rather purchase the three piece gift sets?”
- “Do you want to have this shipped next month before your event, or can I drop it off today?”
- “Would you like to take advantage of the special we are running this month on ABC or XYZ product packages?”
Ask open-ended questions to help them make the commitment, then FOLLOW UP with action on your end to complete the sale.
NOTE: More Follow Up Tips