In my mastermind group that we created almost 8 years ago, I’m known as the one who likes sales. I’m happy with that: after all, it is what I do all day! I help people learn the importance of following up in sales. I love teaching the follow up skill to others.
That means that when it comes to sales, many of the others in our group like to talk to me about any sales related topic. I was having a conversation about the importance of pursuing leads and sales with one of the other members in our mastermind group, and she told me that she was intimidated by the follow up process.
She said, “Michelle, I’m afraid that they will tell me NO.”
Does that sound familiar?
Every entrepreneur knows that a NO is coming, and that we will probably hear NO every single day as we are growing our businesses or even during our follow up time.
But here’s the reality of our 24/7 sales job that we signed up for: if you follow up and ask your prospects for the business, you have a 50/50 chance of hearing YES!
If you don’t follow up, then the truth is that you have a 100% chance of the answer being NO.
Lindsay Cook, a guest on the Success Unfiltered Podcast, created an app to help busy people make time for fitness. When looking for talent and fitness coaches to have workouts on her app, she heard NO a lot. When she was willing to be endlessly persistent, however, she was able to find the right people who would start the snowball of the YES’s that she wanted! It was Lindsay, hearing that a NO just meant “Not right now” & to continue to follow up. Which all of her YES’s came from top fitness coaches around the world!
NO Can Lead to a New Vision
Lindsay was ready to grow in her career. She was working at a company, and felt like it was time for her to move up.
When she went to her boss, and asked for a promotion, she was told to “wait her turn.”
Disappointed, Lindsay began to think about her future, and what she really wanted. It was time to find a new job.
That led her to join a small startup: Fitbit.
Suddenly, she was surrounded by opportunity. Everyday, she had to make decisions that directly impacted the Company, and gave her the chance to learn and grow professionally.
Through her time at Fitbit, Lindsay gained confidence, and eventually knew that it was time to go out on her own and start her own business.
Creating an Irresistible Product
Lindsay loved to exercise and workout, but when she had two children, she quickly realized that she would not have time to go to the gym.
She also realized that she was not the only one with this problem: all around her were busy women and men who were, like her, not able to make it to the gym.
When thinking through the solution, that’s when she got the idea for the FitOn App. What if short workouts that could be completed anywhere were available anytime?
Finding talent proved to be difficult. Many of the fitness coaches that she approached were building their own brand, and were not ready to join in on a different platform.
Lindsay found the importance of follow up in sales to be the key to find the best talent needed to launch her app.
Every NO that she heard helped shape the strategy and the execution of the app. Even through the pain and frustration of hearing those NO’s was difficult.
The Importance of Follow Up in Sales
Lindsay says that you have to be “endlessly persistent” when it comes to follow up, and I agree!
She has a few tips and tricks to share with you about how you can follow up.
Keep a Spreadsheet
It’s simple, but effective: make a spreadsheet to track all of the sales and leads you are pursuing!
Keep a list of all the people you have been in contact and are waiting for an answer from. In one column, put their name. The next column should have your last date of contact. Then, make sure that you have a column with the status and notes!
When you follow up, you have all the information that you need handy. If they say YES when you follow up, highlight their row green! It’s fun to watch the colors change as you continue to follow up.
Get Creative in Your Contact
You can be creative in how you contact people.
Sometimes, it can be hard. If you don’t hear back from someone, you may have to find another way to get in touch with them.
Lindsay has a great trick: if you don’t know someone’s email that you’re trying to reach, just go to their website domain and try their first name @ website domain .com – that often works! There is also a few apps online that will help you locate peoples email addresses such as Rocket Reach.
The best part is that it connects you with the owner: and often, the decision maker.
Don’t Give Up
Rejection can be hard, but take those NO’s and learn from them! Lindsay heard a NO from a potential fitness coach she wanted to feature on the FitOn App, and he said NO.
The same day, she had to go meet with other potential fitness coaches for the app. That meant that she had to keep going, even though she had literally just been told a huge NO that was bothersome to her! Make sure to remember to detach yourself from that rejections so you can have clear space and energy to move forward.
This also helps, like Lindsay did when she asked for a promotion, to look at a NO as a way of redirecting you to the best possible place for you. It can help lead you to new opportunities, new growth, and allow you to learn new things you didn’t know about your process! How can you see the positive outcome from every NO you hear?
The key to sales success if following up, and making your client list, investor fundraising, or in Lindasay’s case, her fitness coach database grow. If you don’t follow up, you’re the one who is essentially saying NO 100% of the time! Remember, when you follow up, it’s a 50/50 chance you might hear a YES, but when you don’t follow up, and never establish contact again, then it’s 100% a NO! ALL OF THE TIME!
What are some of your favorite little-known tips and tricks for follow up? Tell us more about how you follow up with leads and clients in the comments!