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Failing to follow up - stop wasting business opportunities

Does the following sound familiar to you?

“I met this great person at an event last night, we got on really well, and they are about to instruct an advisor to do what we do, but the opportunity just didn’t come up to ask the question”.

What a wasted opportunity

What a shame, and what a waste. To go to all the effort of attending an event, to take time out of your life to meet potential prospective clients and business partners, and then do nothing about a real opportunity when it presents itself. You might as well have stayed at home.

This sort of thing is so disappointing to hear. I truly dislike wasted opportunity, and especially when it can be so easily avoided.

The truth is that most of us like to be seen as professional at all times, we fear the chance that someone we have met would consider us to be pushy, pestering or too salesy. You don’t want to be seen as unprofessional in any way.

The reason people fail to follow up

This is the No.1 reason people fail to follow up, they just don’t know how to ask in a way that feels comfortable, so they don’t ask at all.

And, this isn’t a problem that only effects the less experienced amongst us -

I had a Partner at a recent training course I was running tell me that they would be uncomfortable telephoning a prospective client they had met recently to ask for a meeting, even after they had organised to do so.

Following up is all about timing

Next time you are chatting with someone, and you hear that all important potential opportunity, take a deep breath and follow my tried and tested, foolproof method for asking for a follow up.

  • Remember you are not there to sell your firm – you are there to sell you
  • This is only the platform for creating opportunity for business tomorrow, not today
  • Ask for their business card
  • Soften your voice, and ask if they would mind you calling in a week or so to organise a time to meet and discuss a few ideas.
  • Watch their reaction
  • If its positive – make an ‘appointment’ to call (AND DO IT!)
  • If its less than positive – back off, say that you hope they don’t mind you asking and leave yourself the chance for business in the future.

Next time you are faced with an opportunity, use it, don’t waste it.

With just a little help an guidance even the most reluctant salesperson can become an overnight success.

Contact me

For more on developing yourself, your staff and improving the profitability of your business, please do get in touch. You can email me at james@jamesnathan.com, use the contact page on my website www.jamesnathan.com or call me on 07736 831151. Follow me on Twitter at @jamesnathanxp, connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Facebook.

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Tags: business, customer, development, management, personal, recruitment, relationship, training

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