Are You Missing This Part of the Sales Process?
“Not following up with your prospects is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain.” - Michelle More
A few months ago I went to a business event run by someone I really admire in the industry.
It was here in New York City and the ticket price was relatively inexpensive.
I knew this woman’s work and that it would be a worthwhile event. I also believe in continuing to invest in my personal and business growth. I regularly invest large amounts back into myself and business. So getting a ticket was completely aligned with my values, wants, and within my budget. I didn’t really have any buying objections.
This is important to know because here’s how purchasing my ticket went down:
You’d think given this backstory, when the event was announced with a limited number of seats, that I pounced on it, bought my ticket, and was done with it. Right?
Except, that’s not at all what happened.
Here’s what really happened: The event was announced. I took a look and wasn’t sure I was free on the dates, bookmarked the email, and forgot about it.
Then, I got promotional emails for the event and said to myself, “Kim, don’t forget to grab a ticket before they sell out.” But business and life took over my brain, and I didn’t get to it.
A few weeks later, I got pummeled with more sales emails, but it was during a busy time in my business, so they all went unopened and unread. Still no ticket purchased.
A month went by and there was a free webinar to promote the event that I didn’t attend, followed by a series of even more sales emails that included a bonus. I kinda, sorta caught it, but I started to wonder if I really wanted to go to an event solo and didn’t pull the trigger.
Finally, I got a follow-up sales email letting me know the deadline to buy tickets was coming up. Did I want in?
I managed to hit the buy button, grab my credit card, and make the effort needed to fill in all of the fields and purchase my ticket.
ALL of that had to happen for me to take action and buy something I already knew I wanted, could afford, and saw value in from someone I know, like, and trust.
This journey to buying a relatively inexpensive item is important to see because it took a massive amount of followups and exposure to the offer, something I already wanted, for me to mobilize and buy.
Imagine what would need to happen for me to buy an item I wasn’t sure I wanted, with an investment point outside my reach, from someone I didn’t really know, like, and trust. As business owners, this is the place we all need to begin to imagine more.
There are a lot of factors at play in this story, but the important piece of the sales process to notice here are the number of followups it took to take me from interested to buying.
I’d bet over the months this event was being promoted that I received at least twenty various forms of a follow-up or ‘touch points’ mentioning the offer. That means it took 20 follow-ups for me to buy something I had very few objections or questions about.
Take a look at your own buying behaviors. For as many things that you’ve purchased impulsively or based on a gut decision, I’d wager a bet that there are equally as many things you’ve had to take your time, think about, and constantly get reminders before you felt ready to buy.
And, yet, when the tables are turned and we’re in the role or seller instead of buyer, most of us make an offer once or twice and then take the lack of response as a sign of rejection. We aren’t willing to give our people the very same thing we need when we’re in their shoes to make a confident buying decision.
This is something I’m always reminding my clients: there is so much power in the follow-up.
The sales process doesn’t start and end with the offer we make. The majority of sales are made in the follow-up. Given that most of us aren’t following up enough, that also means most sales are lost in the lack of follow-up.
Here’s what happens, we get into a story about follow-ups being annoying, salesy, pushy, gross, or too much. These stories are all mindset and most of the time have more to do with us, our fears, and beliefs than they do with the actual situation we’re making stories up about.
I’ll flip those stories on their head a bit, and say, it’s your job as a business owner to make offers and continue to follow up. Your JOB.
And it’s actually pretty annoying as a buyer, if you want to buy something, to realize you missed out on the deadline to get what you wanted because you weren’t sent a reminder email. It’s equally frustrating to have to sift through a week’s worth of emails to find that one email with that random offer you think you might want to buy.
I’m going to share a few stats with you because sometimes numbers help us see our mindset stories in a different light. These stats come from a talk Marcus Murphy gave at the Digital Marketing Conference earlier this year (not the event I’m talking about above!).
Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, 10% on the fourth contact, and 80% of sales come between the 5th and 12th contact.
80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact, and yet, I’d guess most people are stopping on the second or third if they’re even making it that far. Murphy backed this guess up and shared that 48% of people never follow up and 25% of people make one follow-up and stop.
The good news? This means there’s lots of room for those of us who are willing to get uncomfortable and keep showing up and following up.
Want to make more money doing what you love? Double down on those follow-ups and find new and interesting ways to connect with your people and put your offer in front of them. If you need an extra mindset shift, look at it as being a good friend and building relationships.
Wishing you your version of success,
P.S. Want to learn how else you can make connections that turn into sales? Join me for a free 3-day training, Connections to Clients! Click here to learn more and grab your free seat.