Article written by Graham Fitzpatrick, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

In sales, marketing, and advertising, we love a good statistic.  But here are a few stats from IRC Sales Solutions that I do not like the looks of. Did you know that only 2% of sales made by fully trained sales professionals are made on the first contact? This is compared to 80% of sales made after being followed up at least 5 to 12 times. So why do 44% of sales people give up after 1 attempt? In fact, only 8% follow up more than 5 times. Even if you are not a sales professional this could be affecting the sales success of your business.

There is an art to the follow up which is easier than you might think. It is what I like to call “Framing the follow up”. This involves stating clearly when, how and why you will be following things up. It is establishing what the next step is and helps with building a relationship with the prospect or potential new customer. Framing the follow up sets up an acceptable expectation of what happens next.

So here is how you do it.

Sum up the discussion and agree to the next step along with when the prospect will get back to you with an answer.

Clearly communicate that if you do not hear back from them by the agreed day and time that you will get in touch with them on a set day and time.

Then finish it by welcoming them to call you in the meantime if they have any questions.

If you need to continue to follow them up and to avoid sounding desperate, you could try sending them updates on new products or services. Send testimonials or case studies to help them make the decision process easier or send a special offer to them to help get the sale over the line. This should be done every 3 to 4 days depending on the response.

By adding value, keeping in touch and by being consistent in a controlled way and framing the follow up, you are getting closer and closer to the sale.