New Business Next Steps

A sales guy from a well known payroll services company has been calling me on and off for months, trying to get me interested in their service, even though we’re very satisfied with our current provider. I’ve been successfully ‘missing’ his calls when I’ve been in the office, so he’s been leaving me voicemails. Three weeks ago I mistakenly answered and he got the live person he’s been hoping for.

Once on the call, he did a good job of asking open-ended questions to engage me. If I have time, I actually enjoy listening to the types of questions sales people ask, while evaluating how successfully they guide me through their sales process.

In this particular case I didn’t, so I cut the conversation short. However, I threw him a bone and offered to speak with him the following week. I waited to see if he would offer a specific date or time for our next call, but he didn’t. This was a big error on his part (to read more about the importance of doing so, you might like this post).

Amazingly, I haven’t heard from him since.

I suspect that he committed an incredibly common mistake, one made by every salesperson: he forgot to enter the call into his CRM system and schedule his next call. The thing is, it’s very easy to forget! You get off a call, good or bad, you get distracted by an incoming call or you start checking your emails, and you don’t make the notes and set up the reminder that you know you should.

Here’s the four-step plan to never forget to call when promised:

  1. When you’re on the phone with your prospect or client, always specify a date and time for your next call.
  2. Immediately after you hang up the phone, enter your call notes and set up your next call in your CRM system.
  3. Don’t check your email until you’ve done so.
  4. If someone calls you before you’ve entered your information, either ask them to wait a moment while you do so, or come up with a hand-written system that allows you to jot down notes very quickly. By all means, enter all notes and next steps before you leave for the day. If you wait to do so until tomorrow, you’ll forget important information.

It takes rigid discipline to do this everyday.However, if you do so, you’ll find that:

  • The quality of information you have at your finger tips will improve;
  • You’ll impress your prospects with your professionalism (and your memory); and,
  • You’ll develop a reputation for always doing what you promise to do.

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