This was a question a delegate asked me last week. I thought about that interesting question and answered truthfully “Yes occasionally but only for a few moments” I explained about business rejection.
If you are directly or indirectly involved in business development it is generally accepted the biggest barrier to being enthusiast about it is the fear of rejection. We don’t like hearing no which means we often don’t follow up opportunities as much as or persistently as we should.
If you have spotted a potential opportunity you may have been brave enough to ask if you may contact them a few days later to follow up. I believe however most don’t even get to that question.
But when the day comes for that call some or all of the following voices appear in our heads
· I don’t want to seem too pushy.
· They won’t remember me.
· I feel like a salesman.
· If they want our services, they’ll call us.
· I’m not sure how they’re going to react.
· I’m not really certain that I’m going to get anything out of it.
· I’m not sure what to say.
· I’m anxious about gatekeepers.
If you believe you add value to your clients’ problem ( and that is all you get paid for) through your expertise you are following up to HELP NOT SELL.
Don’t take the ‘no’ personally; they are not rejecting you only the offer of your help. It’s business, they will only buy when they are ready, willing and able.
If you don’t follow up you’ll never know what might have happened and it could be worse than that. If they did want to do business, you have lost their trust, damaged your own and probably, more importantly, your set’s reputation.
The big issue in our business is not following up, we’re brilliant at that! It’s getting people to say either yes or no. In my view, no is the second best answer to yes; you know where you stand and you simply get on with the next part of your work.
Pest -v- Persistent
So, how do you ensure you aren’t the pest but always follow up in a professional manner.
Simple 2 guidelines:
1. Always ask permission to follow up. If they show interest or even say ‘not at the moment’ say “Do you mind if I call you next week/ next month/ after the holiday/ in the autumn to explore ideas/ meet/ talk it through further or whatever it is you think will be mutually beneficial.
2. If you feel there is no enthusiasm for doing business offer the escape. “If you’d rather I didn’t follow up again do tell me and I won’t bother you further”
So, when it’s a no or silence I just look for my next opportunity TO HELP
Blog by Will…