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The Power of Following Up

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You can get many of the things you want in life simply by following up.

Follow up with that prospect that hasn’t returned your call. Follow up with your customer to let them know your men are on the jobsite. Follow up to ensure the concrete is on the way. Follow up with your employee/coworker on the task they are working on. Follow up to make sure your field guys are cleaning up the jobsites when they leave.

Follow up. Be persistent. Try again and again

 

Sales is one of the areas we see a terrible lack of follow up. Studies show that 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact. Yet, 48% of salespeople never follow up with the prospect even once after the initial contact.

Thought leader Tony Robbins says it took 16 contacts in 2016 before someone would take notice of you. This has quadrupled from just four contacts ten years ago. With so many things clamoring for our attention, follow up is more important than ever.

Most people won’t follow up when they don’t get a response from someone they’ve contacted. They assume there isn’t any interest by that person and they move on.

However, that may not be the real reason the person didn’t respond. They may not be ready to buy what you offer. They may want to see what their options are, or get another price. Or, they aren’t quite ready to solve their problem.

It’s important to stay in touch with them, though. Many decisions are made when the person can’t procrastinate on their problem any longer. Continue to follow up so that you are there when they are ready to buy.

Oftentimes, they want what you have, they are just so darn busy that they don’t have time to contact you. We have all been in this position. We’ve made up our minds, we just haven’t had a chance to work on the issue. Help that person by continually checking in with them. Make it easy for them to work with you.

The more times a salesperson follows up with someone, their chances of getting a response increase exponentially. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to be persistent and continue to move the conversation forward. Instead of chasing more leads, a salesperson should focus on following up more consistently and for a longer period of time with their current leads. The fortune is in the follow up.

When contractors follow up with their customers, they set themselves apart from all of the contractors out there that don’t follow up. This can mean contacting your customer regarding your schedule, checking to see if they received your invoice, asking about the progress of a project they mentioned earlier, or thanking them for referring your company to someone else.

This type of communication goes a long way in building a long-term relationship with your customer. They become loyal to you, and will refer others to your company.

Following up sometimes means reminding others what you want or expect from them. For example, jobsite cleanliness is important at our company. When we pick up all of the trash on our jobsites, our foundations look complete and professional. A clean jobsite doesn’t improve the structural integrity of our foundations, but it sure makes them look nicer.

This helps our clients because their jobsites look more attractive to their potential buyers. And, we save them money because they don’t have a bunch of trash and lumber that has to be placed in a dumpster.

In order to have clean jobsites, we need to constantly communicate this to our field crews. They have to hear it from us several times to understand why it’s important to us. Then, we have to follow up on our expectations with site visits to ensure they are leaving the jobsites clean.

One of President Ronald Reagan’s mantras was, “Trust, but verify.” The “verify” part he was referring to was the follow up. You have to do the same with your people.

Here are my three rules that will help you with your follow up:

  1. Follow up in a structured way. Set up a schedule or a simple contact sheet that reminds you when you need to follow up next.
  2. Follow up for a longer period of time. The longer your follow up process is, the greater chance you have of getting what you want.\
  3. Follow up by multiple means. The more methods of communication you can use to follow up, the better chance you have of communicating in the way that best suits them. Here are four of the best ways to contact someone:
    • Phone call
    • Email
    • Personal visit
    • Mail

Here’s the bottom line. Most people don’t follow up. You can get many of the things you want simply by following up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Doug Herbert is President of Herbert Construction Co., one of the largest residential concrete contractors in the southeast. Doug is a regular presenter for the CFA and World of Concrete. He is the Founder of ProfitableContractor.com where he shows concrete contractors how to reduce their costs and increase their profits with effective sales and marketing systems. Reach Doug at Doug@ProfitableContractor.com.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us