The Dos and Don'ts of Follow-​Up Sales Calls

BY Rachel Cagle
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Five seconds is all it takes for a prospective customer to make up their mind during your follow-​up sales calls. And, according to research in Meg Prater’s HubSpot article, you may not be filling those precious few seconds with what it takes to land a sales meeting.

How to Make Proper Follow-​Up Sales Calls


The first sentence you speak during follow-​up sales calls has the power to determine whether or not you will be successful. Do not let that first sentence during the call be, “Did I catch you at a bad time?” Prater says that this question lowers the chance of scheduling a sales meeting by 40%. Why is that? Because the question gives prospective questions an automatic out. Even if they're not busy, they will probably tell you that they are just to get out of talking with you. Then they may even give you a time to call back that they know they will avoid and you will never hear from them again.


So, instead, you should begin follow-​up sales calls by asking the prospective customer how they are doing. Asking, “How have you been?” makes your sales call 6.6 times more likely to land a meeting. And “How are you?” increases the likelihood of scheduling a sales meeting 3.4 times. “The reason I’m calling …” is also an excellent sales conversation starter. This opener increases the chances of your sales success by 2.1 times.


You have probably heard that most successful sales are achieved through conversations with the prospect, instead of 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. Your prospect does not know you and will not be as keen on participating in a conversation with you if they do not know who you are, what you want, and what you can offer them.


Therefore, your job during follow-​up sales calls is to educate your prospective customer. And education requires you to do most of the talking during that initial follow-​up in sales. Prater writes that successful sales calls are 54% comprised of the sales rep doing the talking. Sales reps who let their prospective customers do most of the talking during follow-​up sales calls are less likely to schedule a sales meeting.

Additionally, you should use inclusive language during your follow-​up sales calls. If you replace the word “I” with “we,” you will be increasing your chance of successfully landing a sales meeting with the prospect by 35%. Also, do not rush 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 in sales means 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.