The founder of a business will almost certainly need to spend some time “selling”, but often this same founder has no experience in, nor taste for, sales. Enthusiasm about the new business carries these people through contacting and presenting to people they hope will buy their new products or invest in their businesses…and then they wait for the phone call that doesn’t come.
It’s human nature, I think. They don’t want to place that follow-up call for fear of hearing “No”! Is not hearing back from the prospect another form of “No”? Not really. Many times the prospect is just busy with other things. Not everyone is going to say “Yes”, but everyone who doesn’t call back isn’t necessarily rejecting what you offer.
Robert Middleton wrote a good post, Crossing the Grand Canyon, on his site for independent professionals. He offers some excellent perspective on making those follow-up calls:
1. If you don’t call it won’t happen. Period.
2. Remember, the purpose of the follow up call is not to sell them your services but to continue a conversation.
3. If you make a follow up call, bad things won’t happen.
4. If they don’t return your phone call, it doesn’t mean they are not interested.
5. You can leave messages, but never leave the ball in their court.
6. When you finally reach them, be prepared.
7. You know a follow-up call is going well if your prospect is doing most of the talking.
His #1 is the overarching rule. What have you got to lose if you call? What have you got to lose if you don’t? Think about it, and then pick up the phone.