The Dos and Don'ts of Follow-Up Sales Calls
Five seconds is all it takes for a prospect to make up their mind during a follow-up sales call. And, according to research in Meg Prater’s HubSpot article, you may not be filling those seconds with what it takes to land a sales meeting.
The first sentence you speak has the power to determine your success. Do not let that first sentence be, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” Prater says that question lowers the chance of scheduling a sales meeting by 40%. Instead, you should ask the prospect how they’re doing. “How have you been?” makes your call 6.6 times more likely to land a meeting and “How are you?” increases likelihood 3.4 times. “The reason I’m calling is…” is also an excellent starter, increasing the chances of success by 2.1 times.
You’ve probably heard that most successful sales are achieved through conversations, not monologues. While this is true during a sales meeting, follow-up sales calls only allow you a small window to get prospects to agree to a meeting with you. Therefore, your job during follow-up calls is to educate your prospect, and that requires you to do most of the talking. Prater writes that successful sales calls are 54% comprised of the salesperson talking. Those who let their prospects do most of the talking during follow-up calls are less likely to schedule a sales meeting.
Use inclusive language during your follow-up call. If you replace the word “I” with “we,” you’ll be increasing your chance of successfully landing a meeting by 35%. Also, don’t rush the call. Short and sweet is what you should aim for, but make sure your prospect gets all the information they need. On average, successful follow-up sales calls last 5:50 minutes, says Prater.
Now that you know how to format your call, you’ll need to know when the best time to call is. According to SalesFuel’s Selling to SMBs Study, prospects are most open to receiving sales calls on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.