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CHAPTER SIX Being Professionally Persistent 5 Tips for Keeping In Touch.

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1 CHAPTER SIX Being Professionally Persistent 5 Tips for Keeping In Touch

2 The sales presentation went great, you think…so now what? As with a first date, heres where the hard work of relationship building kicks in. Once in a while, the sales call will result in an immediate or very short-term opportunity, perhaps to deliver a proposal. Thats terrific, but its much more common that you will need to reach out to that prospect again before they will invite you to bid on an upcoming project. In fact, the average sales cycle in business has increased 22% in the past five years, due to the greater number of decision makers that are now involved in the process, according to SiriusDecisions. But how do you follow-up without feeling like a pest? Here are six tips for being professionally persistent: First things first. Immediately after the call, send a thank you email and fulfill any promises you committed to during the call. What is immediate? Within 24 hours – not much later. Any longer and the prospect may feel as if they werent very important. And even if you didnt promise a specific follow-up, send the prospect something – a white paper, case study, an article, the sales presentation modified to focus on the relevant parts – or even just a mutual friends contact info to reinforce the sales call and get your contact information in their files. 1.

3 Deliver value. During that sales call, make notes about the prospect, their company, industry and competition. Write down their challenges, the types of research they do, and anything else that might let you help them in the future. So when you do re-contact them, you can deliver information that is relevant to them. Maybe you read an article about their industry – send the link. Perhaps you learned about a relevant new technique for data analysis – send them an email. As long as you are being helpful and the information is relevant, you wont be perceived as a pest. 2. Timing is everything. In the Crux/Bridgemark research study, respondents on the client side were asked how market research companies should stay in touch. Without fail, email is preferred over telephone calls, and the timing suggested is about once per quarter. 3. Lead nurturing automation. Sending your companys newsletters, blogs, LinkedIn updates, informational articles, etc. – anything to stay relevant and top-of- mind – is critical to sales success. But doing this individually to a large volume of contacts is time consuming. Lead nurturing automation can provide a more efficient, consistent and measurable approach to this task. 4.

4 The Personal Touch. Whenever possible, learn more about your prospect as an individual. What are their career aspirations? Do they have any hobbies or interests? Are they traveling anywhere? Any time you can step outside the purely business mentality without compromising your professionalism, you can build on your relationship. Especially if you use lead nurturing automation, balancing automated contact with the personal touch can maintain the optimal balance of high touch and low cost. 5. 79% of marketing leads never turn into sales due to lack of follow-up/nurturing. When you think about all of the resources you put into your sales effort to get to this point, that much waste is certainly not something that research firms of any size can afford. So its critical that firms learn to excel at follow-up if they want to generate more sales. Youre so close…dont quit yet!


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