Wanda Allen is an international speaker, coach, and author. She is also an expert in helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and sales professionals increase pipelines, improve sales performance and strengthen relationships by developing strong follow-up skills.
In a recent podcast episode, we discussed how our mindset impacts lead generation and follow-up, the role that perseverance plays in the process, and why the second best answer you can get is a “no.” It was incredibly inspiring for people to build their pipelines and create a follow-up strategy.
We are very good at the front end, networking, and getting business cards. The problem is we need to be better on the back end, which is following up. Many of us plant seeds that die because they were never cared for. According to Wanda, only 2% of sales are made on the first contact, meaning we have to follow up 98% of the time.
Below are the reasons many designers don’t follow up with their pipeline.
They Don’t Have the Right Mindset & Have a Fear of Following Up
Fear of Being Uncomfortable – Being comfortable with the uncomfortable is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger and more developed it gets. You will also get thicker skin along the way.
Fear of Not Knowing What to Say – The art of communication is getting lost because electronic tools have become the primary means of communication. You have time to think of a response before typing, but it’s important always to have the skill of talking on the phone.
Fear of Being Too Pushy – People are busy, and you are probably not the only contractor they are communicating with. You can’t let your prospect forget who you are because you don’t want to be pushy.
Fear of Looking Too Desperate – It takes about five touches before someone decides to buy. Plan your follow-up method and make sure you reach out to your pipeline at least five times.
Fear of Rejection – No is just a part of the sales process. We can think the pain is in the “no,” but it’s in the ignore. Being ignored keeps you idled. The second best answer you can get is always “no.”
They Haven’t Been Taught to Follow Up
80% of sales are made between the fifth and 12th contact. However, 90% of designers quit after two points of contact because they are unwilling or unable – meaning they have a poor mindset or system. Systems work as guard rails, providing direction and keeping you from getting emotional. Wanda stresses developing a schedule for following up so that you are contacting people in your pipeline every working day.
If you want to learn more about follow-up strategies, visit www.designbizsurvivalguide.com/podcast/dbs124