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Jennifer  Livingston

Jennifer Livingston Consultant

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How to Follow Up a Sale Without Being Overbearing

Everyone has had personal experience being turned-away from a sale because of an overbearing employee. Whether dining out for dinner or shopping at the grocery store, there are always some members of the staff that try too hard to make a sale. Instead of being inviting and open, these sales people come off as aggressive and desperate. As these situations illustrate, there is a fine line between following up on a sale and being annoying. Finding this balance is an important aspect of closing sales, because a majority of clients will need that extra nudge. Here are a few ways to follow up a sale without being overbearing.

1. Change your perspective.

When attempting to make a sale, it can be easy to see two separate team. The competition exists between you and the potential customer. You're trying to get them to buy, and they're trying to resist the offer. While this is a natural way to feel about such a situation, there are better perspectives to take. Instead of seeing a customer as an enemy, see them as a strategic partner. In reality, both of you want to obtain the same goal. The customer wants to see their business succeed, and you want to provide the service or product to help realize that goal. This perspective can help ease the tensions felt during the sales process.

2. Kill the customer with kindness.

This is a strategy that works against any force working in the opposite direction of your goals. Getting upset and frustrated will only make the sales advances more aggressive. No customer wants to do business with someone who is agitated and desperate for a sale. Not only is this attitude annoying, but it also doesn't reflect well on future business. Being nice is a great way to follow up with a potential customer without seeming aggressive or overbearing. A simple message or phone call asking about their business or personal life will accomplish a few things. First and foremost, the customer will be reminded of the deal or offer. Secondly, the potential client will let their guard down a bit when confronted with such kindness.

3. Be persistent.

Following up with a potential customer in a nice way can even come across as annoying or overbearing. Reaching out after an offer requires tactfulness and care. Most professionals recommend waiting around a week before even contacting a client. A week offers enough time for the client to consider the offer while still ensuring that the deal remains alive. E-mail is a great way to follow up without seeming too aggressive. This allows the client to take time to read the message, consider their answer and then respond. A phone call can seem too forward. In the email, it is important to start with a warm introduction. Starting off too cold can turn away prospective clients. It is also recommendable to keep the letter short as the client is surely busy with other projects.

4. Don't be afraid to stand out.

Many people are afraid to stick their neck out when following up with clients. They conflate standing out with being too aggressive or annoying. While these two characteristics can exist together, they don't have to. There are creative ways to stand out without coming across as overbearing. Connecting with the potential client on a personal level is a great way to achieve this goal. At the end or beginning of every correspondence, find a way to connect with your client. This connection could be related to food, a similar hobby, a discussion about the best gap year programs and anything else under the sun. As long as the client can relate, this strategy can help make you stand out.

After making a sales pitch or offer, it is important to follow up with potential customers. Finding the right balance between aggression and silence can be difficult. These four tips can help you follow up after a sale without being overbearing.


John Goll

I love this post and agree with it in general.

I'd add; Above all, be sincere in helping the customer.

If you fake it, the prospect will pick up on it quickly and trust levels fall while guards go up making the sales process much more difficult.

People buy from people not companies, even if I love the brand a bad sales person will make me walk away and go elsewhere.

Derrick Woolfson

The one thing I would add is asking yourself why the sale did not go through. We know that customers do not often go to more than one or so dealers before making a purchase. That said, if they have not purchased from you they have likely either already purchased another vehicle and/or are not in the market. One of the things we do when following-up is asking "what can I do to earn your business, as we have discussed, it's not the price, it's not color, it's not the trim, and you like the car" at that point, you have to figure out the objection. 

Mark Rask

standing out is a big one

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