No matter how persuasive, compelling or brilliant you may be, it's difficult to build a relationship with a prospect if you can't get them to call you back.
Most sales people use boring, outdated voice and email methods, which leave them sounding just like every other sales person in the world. If you want to get more return calls from your clients, then you have to do something different from everyone else out there - you have to stand out, be likeable, and actively deserve a return call.
Here are 4 of the best ideas we've found to help you stand up, stand out and make your clients want to return your calls:
1. The fine line between persistence and stalking.
I rarely ever give up. That being said, I don't call my prospects twice a day, either.
The trick is to call consistently, and if you leave a message, tell the customer precisely when you will call them back - and then stick to it. I usually say something like:
Dialogue: "If I don't hear from you by March 15th, I'll call you back on the 16th."
I get return calls more often, because my prospects know that I will be calling them if they don't get in touch with me.
Most experts agree that it takes at least 4 attempts to reach your prospect. Realistically, I find that number can be closer to 8. But some of my best customers today are those who I was initially the most patient with, and to whom I made multiple calls over a period of weeks, or even months.
2. Create a deadline.
After every conversation, you should gain agreement from the prospect as to next steps, and the date they will be accomplished. That way, when the time for the follow-up call comes around and the prospect doesn't show up, you can leave a message like:
Dialogue: "I'm calling because the last time we spoke, we agreed to chat today about…."
Reminding them of your agreement will help move them to call you back. If they don't return your call in a couple of days, keep calling, and gently remind them of your mutual agreement.
3. Prepare for the "Final Approach."
Whether in voice or email, when you're ready to permanently write an uncommunicative prospect off, let the customer know that this will be the final attempt you'll be making to reach them. Try something like:
Dialogue: "I notice that it's been X weeks since we last spoke, and I'm assuming that's because you are no longer interested in our product. That's OK, I understand that we are not a fit for everyone. The last thing I want is to become a follow-up pest! If you're still interested, you can reach me at 111-1111. If I don't hear from you, then I'll assume that you are moving ahead in a different direction, and I won't call again to interrupt. I wish you all the best on your project, and thank you for considering us."
4. Have some fun - and take a risk!
Engage customer Greg Higgins uses this approach with great results:
Dialogue: "Hi Bob, this is Greg from ABC Corporation. I'm beginning to feel that we have a love-hate relationship with your answering machine - I love to leave messages, you hate to return them. Maybe we can talk soon. Thanks."
Yes, it's sassy. But Greg reports that 99% of the time he uses this, he gets a call back. And of course, he only uses this approach on the most desperate cases.
Here's your challenge: try something new this week! After all, what you've been doing so far hasn't been working, so what have you got to lose - especially with those prospects who've been silent for a while anyway?