followupYou met your prospect and he says “we are not ready yet, call me next month”; how do you respond?

  1. Say ok and leave.
  2. Simply nod your head and repeat, ok I will call you next month.

You are right in both contexts.  But my 1st Question to you is what will change in next one month that he will purchase from you?   What will compel him not to repeat the same story again? Or what reason will compel him to listen to you other than the reason that he has given you a commitment to call back next month?

2nd Question to you is how well do you know your prospect? Do you know his purchasing process? Who will make the purchasing decision? Who else is involved in the purchasing decision?  Do they have a planned budget and if not how would they handle the budget?

Rewind back to prospect response “We are not ready yet, call back next month”. 

–        Now is the time to clarify what will change next month.

–        Now is the time to get to know your prospect better and more.

–        Now is the time to fill out the gaps in your prospect profile document.

And when you have answers to the above questions, turn back and populate information in your CRM which will alert you for your follow up call.

Now what do you do during the interim period?  1st step is strengthening your relationship with your prospect.  Connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on twitter.  Go and like his Facebook page.  Visit his company website.  Go like and comment on their blog.  Invite him to seminars and events relevant to his business.  The objective is to create in VALUE in your relationship.

2nd step is begin sharing industry reports and articles relevant to your prospects business and it’s in our DNA, when you help or appreciate others, they will reciprocate your gesture.

Now when it’s time to call back;  avoid  cliché statements “Just calling to follow up”  “since you said next month , calling back to find”  “Wanted to find if you have made up your mind or I guess everything would be in order to move forward”  … STOP STOP STOP  and think over your follow up call.  Add VALUE in every follow up call as follows

Find a compelling reason such as (Being from information technology business) one of the compelling reasons could be

  1. Prospects Hardware is running out of warranty – inform him
  2. Systems is running out of maintenance contract – caution him
  3. New regulation has been announced and system need upgrade to accommodate the change ( such as Basel in banking; upcoming VAT provisioning coming up in Dubai; C2k back a decade ago) – bring it to his attention.
  4. New product announcements – Inform
  5. Price drop – Disclose
  6. Special offer – Announce
  7. New better system – Advise

And when you find a compelling reason include that in your follow up call and your delivery could be as follows

  1. After our last month discussions; we have announced new hardware that will reduce your downtime……
  2. I discussed the subject with our technical advisor and he suggested two options and I believe it will eliminate your slow backup problem.  I would like to demonstrate…..
  3. Our R&D department has announced new faster processor and wanted to share ……

Your every follow up call should be a VALUE statement because prospect is always willing to invest time where they find value.