How to Make the Best Follow-Up Sales Call in 2019
Written by Meg Prater / Hubspot
If you're in sales, you've likely seen the 2011 "Lead Response Management Study." It analyzed three year's worth of data,100,000 call attempts, six companies, and 15,000 leads and synthesized findings to bring salespeople scientific answers to age-old questions like "What are the best days to call my prospects?" and "What time should I contact my leads?"
This kind of research is invaluable to reps. It helps them plan their weeks, maximize the impact of each call they make, and become more efficient, successful salespeople.
Best Times to Make Sales Calls
These days, many reps are more comfortable sending an automated email than picking up the phone. But, before moving forward, it's worth identifying whether the phone is even the best way to follow up with leads today.
That answer is "Yes." A recent study by sales pro Marc Wayshak shows the phone is still the best tool in selling, with 41.2% of respondents naming their phone as their most effective sales tool.
Every time you reach out to a customer to ask for time, you are making a couple of decisions. The first decision you are making is around the medium you choose. If you are asking for a meeting, there are different choices available to you, and a greater or lesser likelihood of achieving the outcome you want, in this case, a meeting.
If you choose email as the medium, you are choosing a medium that isn’t particularly good for acquiring meetings. Email is something that is easy to ignore, and because you aren’t present, there is no way for you to resolve your dream client’s concerns about giving you their time. Sometimes they politely reject your request, and other times (maybe most of the time), they just delete the email and move on with their work.
The phone still reigns supreme as the best medium, not least of all because almost anyone you would want to reach is never more than 36 inches away from their phone (it turns out that any distance further than 36 inches away causes headaches, sweating, difficulty in breathing, and in some cases, violent convulsions). A phone call allows for conversation, a synchronous communication and not asynchronous, like email, where there is a long pause between exchanges. If your prospective client has concerns, you are there to address them, massively increasing your odds of securing a meeting, if you’ve got the chops.
The second decision is what you are offering of value in trade for your dream client’s time. If you want greater success, you have trade something where your dream client benefits even if they never buy from you. The Trading Value rule is critical (read more here in The Lost Art of Closing). If your client doesn’t recognize the value in meeting with you, you make it easy for them to reject your request and do something else with their time.
If you can trade insights, ideas, new thinking, or interesting experiences from which they can benefit, there is value outside of deciding to buy from you. When you pitch the great privilege of listening to you talk about you, your company, your locations, and your solutions, you repel people from you like a skunk at the garden party.
If you want to make prospecting easier, get better at it.