Every salesperson knows that a great sales meeting is only the first step in the process. Nurturing prospects after a meeting that went well is one of the essential closing sale techniques, and there are some very specific and effective strategies that should be used during this process. The following are four tried-and-true sales techniques that are sure to increase your sales effectiveness and close rate.
Write a great follow-up email
Follow-up emails are one of the most common (and proven) strategies used to increase sales. They provide you with a platform to frame the meeting and remind the potential customer about everything that was discussed. Reinforce the unique value or benefits that were appreciated. Restate proof that was offered to counter areas of misinformation. Confirm next steps and ask for further input and feedback. Unlike an in-person meeting, a follow-up email can be referenced at any time and keeps your name and company in the mind of the potential customer. It can also be forwarded to other decision makers or influencers and you are assured of accurate representation. See "How to Write a Great Follow-Up Email in 4 Easy Steps" for more information.
Connect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world's premier professional social network. Connecting on LinkedIn allows you to stay within the professional sphere of your potential customer. More importantly, it gives the customer the opportunity to look into who you and your company truly are. LinkedIn can provide a potential customer with a wealth of information about your resume, history, and mutual contacts (which can be used as a reference without you ever needing to suggest it).
Nurture with relevant content
During the meeting, you should have learned a great deal about your potential customer. What their interests are, what their business concerns are, and how your product relates to the success of their business. For aspiring salespeople who strive to increase sales, one of the most common refrains is finding ways to relate to leads or new customers. Develop engagement tools that that entice involvement while providing insight and value. (An example is The Customer Value Scorecard which helps sales people determine their prospects’ pain points and needs.) Sending your potential customer information they will find relevant on a timely basis (without being too frequent or aggressive) will keep you in a positive light in their mind. This is particularly useful when you provide them with information that indirectly supports the purchase of your product without generating any sense of a "hard sell".
Create engagement opportunities
While it is absolutely imperative that you stay in contact with your potential customers, the key is to provide them with something of value every and every time. Simply calling them to ask if they are ready to buy will only irritate them and possibly even shut down the chances they will ultimately buy from you. Instead, create opportunities for engagement with the potential customer in a way they can appreciate.
For example, you can call or email them with a comparative survey, in which you ask them their opinion on a variety of products, services or industry-relevant news and information. People tend to like giving their opinions, and you can use this information to better tailor a product offering and/or sales pitch down the road.
Another option is to provide a free analysis, or "consultation". This is a situation where you use your industry expertise to help advise them on a specific element of their business that they might not necessarily be an expert in. If you are able to advise them toward a product offering that you don't necessarily sell but is in fact the best choice, chances are they will remember and deeply appreciate your expertise and buy from you (or refer business to you) in the future.
Remember, the great meeting is only the first step. In order to succeed, you must follow through.