Follow Up or Fail

The National Sales Executive Association, and association of professional salespeople came up with some very revealing statistics, this is the data they came up with:

1st contact – 2% of sales
2nd contact – 3%
3rd contact – 5%
4th contact – 10%
5th-12th contact – 80%

Let’s be honest here. The reason why you are in MLM, network marketing, affiliate marketing, or promoting by any other method you use to get a product out into the marketplace to earn a living, you want to make sales. With the advent of the great “attraction marketing” and “magnetic sponsoring” techniques talked about so much in online business circles today, the end result everyone in any of these businesses is seeking is a sale. There, I said that four-letter word!

So it would logically follow on from that plain truth that you must learn to become a good salesperson. It comes very easily to some people and it is so darned hard for others, it can even be very difficult on the internet too, where there is no personal contact with a prospective buyer.

If you ever get a chance to watch or listen to a very successful salesperson, grab that opportunity. If you are in the MLM business and can find out who the top salespeople are in your organization, try to follow them and see their methods.

Many top salesmen regularly publish books and have courses that you can buy to emulate their success. You must learn everything you possibly can about your product and the best ways to sell it to be successful.

Competition for customers is fierce in these days of the internet and 97% of network marketers fall by the wayside after only a few months. This is usually for three main reasons: wrong choice of product, not enough work put into the business or and/or not knowing how to sell effectively.

Read magazines, buy books and get video courses, and there are plenty of blogs and online forums you can join to learn more. There’s a lot of psychology involved with being a successful salesperson, from how to communicate properly with prospect customers to the wording of emails and sales literature. It is something you need to know to become a successful sales/businessperson.

So 80% of all sales are made from the 5th through the 12th contact. This really is an eye-opener. If you have not been bothering about following up on prospects after, say, the third or fourth contact, oh dear, how wrong you have been. Most people give up after a couple of initial tries! But armed with this knowledge and being aware that you will be more likely to make a sale on the 10th contact, it will urge you to be more persistent and the thought that “oh this call is a waste of time” goes straight out the window!

One result of this is that you are repeating your brand and putting it in front of that prospect over and over again until he recognizes you and it. Both stay in his mind and you and your product are eternally linked together. It’s just like merchandising. Big companies pay for premium advertising; they have their products placed in the most visible parts of a supermarket, they make sure you see their name everywhere, so you have to go around with that mindset too. Large companies spend millions of dollars a year to keep you aware of their products – and obviously it works because they are still around today.

But you don’t have that kind of budget, so you have to start out small. Every email you send out, every letter, every business card – everything – should set out to get your name and the name of your company into the mind of your prospect.

You also have to learn the different between persistence and being a pest! When you call a prospect the third time and he says he still isn’t ready to make a decision, just ask him when it would be convenient for you to call back. Then you can start your fourth telephone conversation thus: “Hi Mr. Prospect this is Fred from the Bedrock Company, you asked me to call you back this week about…”  Chances are he’s forgotten, but he certainly won’t admit it.

Don’t call every day; leave a few days between calls as you do not want to sound desperate! If your calls are always intercepted by a secretary, get to know her! You are more likely to get connected to Mr. Prospect if you are nice to her. Be friendly and chatty if you can and make a joke occasionally, then you can ask her when he will be able to take your call. If you can get an insight into Mr. Prospect’s likes and habits, that may also help.  If he likes to play golf you could send him something he can use, and if you like playing golf too, there’s a definite opportunity.

If Mr. Prospect doesn’t have any of your sales literature, ask the secretary for the right address to send it, and establish a relationship with her, to get to him.

Keep an online diary or a pocket diary – whatever you are comfortable with, but keep in constant contact. The statistics above prove it works.

If you are someone who takes it personally when you don’t get a sale after the second or third attempt, then I am sorry, you are not a salesperson. Being told “we are not ready yet to make a decision” is just part of the game; especially when big budget purchases of capital equipment are involved.

That scenario is for offline sales, but the same principle should also be applied to online marketing too.

Offer your prospect useful information on a consistent basis; brand absolutely everything you send out to him and with your face on it if necessary so he doesn’t forget who you are.  Use an autoresponder system to send out regular information about your product, special offers and monthly newsletters, but only if they are appropriate for his business.

I am pretty certain the statistics above apply to offline sales, I cannot imagine they hold true for online marketing – statistics gathering in the online world of marketing are probably vastly different.

Emails are after all, so much less personal – although you can endeavor to make them personal, again branding yourself in the process. The object of sending out regular emails is to eventually – sooner rather than later you hope – make a sale.

There are many online sales courses available that will show you how to sell effectively.  The problem is choosing one! Expert salespeople selling their own how-to-sell products is a scary thought, they are all going to tell you their product is the best. So do some long hard research first. Join a few forums and ask questions.

Many of these network marketing “gurus” have not been around long, some of them have never even owned a website that they have made money from (apart from the ones selling their own products) so be very, very careful. All a lot of these newcomers do is purchase a bunch of older courses and spiffy them up and then invest a lot of time and money into promotion. The courses themselves offer nothing new.

You need to learn how to sell to make sales and that’s the simple truth of it. If you think “sale” is a four letter word and it makes you squeamish, or you are not good at communicating, or you simply do not like people, then look for something else to do instead. You will never make it.

If however you want to give marketing of any description a go, online or off, learn from the greats like Zig Ziglar and Tom Hopkins. They certainly didn’t get to where they are today staring down a telephone and psyching themselves up before the tenth phone call.

It is also a good idea to learn about attraction marketing too. Attraction marketing and magnetic sponsoring use the same principles. There are many products on the market that will help you with this concept, but again, be careful when you buy online.

Once you have learned the basic techniques of effective selling, by adding an insight into attraction marketing you will have everything you need to become a success. A course on attraction marketing will give you insight into how to treat your customer, how to sell but how not to appear to selling at the same time. It’s clever and subtle but it works!

You will also learn about all the powerful ways of using social media to promote your products, and then, armed with your sharp and newly found sales skills you will be well on your way to becoming a success in any marketing scenario.

Technology can do a heck of a lot of the grunt work for you these days but only if used correctly. Part of successfully using technology to help you in your business is by imparting your personality into everything you do.

People know about autoresponder and bulk email and all the technology involved with the internet these days, so you have to make your prospective customer feel special, and once you have warmed them up, pressed all their hot buttons, answered their questions and provided all the answers they need to make a decision then you can make that, er, SALE!


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3 Responses to Follow Up or Fail

  1. Otoabasi Umonting says:

    Hello Gabriele,

    thanks for sharing this post. Yes, we all have to know the importance of follow up in our business. Communication in vital in the life a network marketer. If one can’t communicate effectively, then he/she’s in a bad place. Well done.

  2. Kathleen Cooley says:

    Hi Gabriele
    I always find your blog articles to be so informative!
    Everything you said here is right on the mark. Especially true about being careful with the “experts” so many people find that it is easy to make themselves “look” like a pro when the reality is that they may have never even made a sale!

    Great Post!
    Kathleen Cooley recently posted…Lesson Learned- Overlooking The Tried &amp TrueMy Profile

  3. Kevin Lindgren says:

    What a wonderful article!

    Thanks for the tips and techniques that you have shared.

    Keep up the great posts, can’t wait for the next one!
    Kevin Lindgren recently posted…Do Splash Pages WorkMy Profile

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