How to win the sale on the follow-up

By Todd Liles How to win the sale on the follow-up
How to win the sale on the follow-up

You have clients that will absolutely not buy from you on the first visit. In a world that demands a “one stop close” this can create a lot of stress for you and your client.  That stress is unnecessary, and unproductive.  In this post you are going to learn exactly how you can win the sale on the follow-up.

First, I need to tell you about Bob Connelly.  Bob works at Abacus Plumbing, Electrical and Cooling, and he has been a friend of mine for several years.  Bob did a little over $600,000 back in 2013. (He does far more than that now.)  In 2013, I asked Bob to speak at one of our training sessions.  He spoke about many things related to sales and service.  But this is what he said that got everyone’s attention:

“I make about 30% of my sales on the follow-up.  (He looks at his cell phone to check his numbers.)  Let’s see, I have closed $213,000 of my $600,000 last year on the follow-up.”

A room filled with Plumbers, HVAC Techs, and Electricians all wanted to know: 

“How do you do it!?”

The next hour was one of those magical moments.  It was one of those rare times when a group of people with similar problems get answers from a guy that does it everyday.

If you have always wondered “How do I win on the follow-up sales call?”, then read on!

Don’t fool yourself

Be warned that learning how to do the follow-up sales call is no reason to fool yourself.  Many HVAC Techs and Plumbers will convince themselves that they never have to close on the same day.  They fool themselves into thinking, “This client likes me.  I can get this on the follow-up call.”  That thought process will lead you down a road of poor sales.

Yes, you can win on the follow-up sales call.  Bob clearly is winning on the follow-up sales call.  But you must adopt the mentality of wisdom, not foolishness.

The wise know their clients

A wise HVAC Tech will get to know his clients.  He will study them, and know in advance what their buying habits are.  A wise plumber knows the following about his clients and their buying habits:

The Fast Buyers – are most often the driver or the influencer personality types. 

The driver and the influencer buy for different reasons, but they buy fast.  The driver buys to boost his control and power.  The influencer buys to boost his ego and prestige.  There are very few fast buyers that want to waste time.  If you aren’t selling them on the same day, then you are missing their key motivators.

The Slow Buyers – are most often the stable or the compliant personality types. 

They buy for different reasons, but they buy slow.  The stable buys to please others and to serve and protect. The compliant buys to solve a logistical problem and to gain precision.  There are very few slow buyers that want you to rush through the call.  The compliant needs to process the information, and the stable needs to process their feelings.

RELATED – DISCover Personality Test

A wise technician understands these things about his client.

So, he knows how to deliver his presentation to suit their needs.

Discover why the client needs more time

If your client does not feel comfortable buying today, then you need to discover why.  You need to do this in such a way that you discover 3 things:

#1 – Is the client comfortable with you? 

If she is uncomfortable, then leaving the home to give her more time will do nothing.  She will simply go looking for someone she is comfortable with.  That is why I started this article off with “don’t fool yourself, and get to know your client.”

#2 – Have you addressed all of her concerns? 

This is not about comfort.  This is about discovering if she agrees with your findings and recommendations.

#3 – Is there anyone else (like her husband) that she needs to consult with? 

Perhaps it isn’t a person, but information she needs to consult.  This is critical. To explain this, I will use myself and my wife as examples.

I tend to buy slow.  I buy slow because I like to do the research on my purchases.  I want to know the details.  I want to know the little things that make a big difference.

My wife buys slow.  She buys slow because she fears making a bad decision. (She claims it is because I buy slow because I am a tight wod and don’t like to spend money…not that I worry about making the wrong decision.  Just FYI.”)  I do love that about her!

I 100% assure you of the following:

My wife will NEVER buy a large replacement item on the first visit IF I am not there.

I will never buy a large replacement item on the first visit IF I don’t have all the details and understand those details the same day.

When you know this about your client, then you can create an appropriate follow-up for success.

RELATED – How to win the “I need to talk to my spouse” sales objection

Calendar your follow-up appointment

Once you know why your client needs more time, you should be able to schedule a follow-up visit on a calendar.  By the way, this is a PASS/FAIL test.  If the client doesn’t happily get his calendar out, then you know there is a bigger issue at hand.  You still have an objection that is rooted in trust and value.

Here are 3 keys to putting your follow-up appointment onto the calendar:

  1. Place your appointment in your smartphones calendar.  Have your client do the same.
  2. Assure that the client will have what he/she needs for the next appointment.  In other words; her husband will be there.  Or, the information will be reviewed.
  3. Set the appointment with the office while you are in front of the client.

Review your value and commitment to service

This should be done before you leave, and when you return for you follow-up visit.

Some time has most likely passed since you last saw your client.  Chances are good that some of your value has worn off.  It is always wise to review your value points.  Do a “mini” presentation for your clients to get them back up to speed.

Go for the sale

Yes, some clients will need more than 1 follow-up, but I don’t recommend that you do too many of those.  You can find yourself becoming a professional visitor.

Go for the sale!  You have earned the right to ask for the business with a “focused determination.”

Also, use some of the tools of psychology at your disposal.  Incorporate the classic “Effeciency Bonus” incentive for doing business with you today.

RELATED – The PRESS PLAY Training Series for Techs and Sales

The follow-up can be a huge source of income for you, just make sure you are using these tips to assure success.

Question:  What’s is your best tip for the winning on the follow-up sales call?  Please share your answer on  and .

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