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Contact from Qualification to Close

Mike Gulitz
Oct 10, 2010

I bet you wouldn't believe that 80% of the sales made in today's pipeline occur not after the first contact is made, and not after the second or third either. Eighty percent of sales in the modern pipeline occur after the FIFTH attempt to contact the potential buyer. And did you know that most sales professionals give up after three attempts? I have examined commitment objectives-how to use them to break the down the sales cycle into specific, obtainable goals. Now, I'm all about the actions taken between each commitment objective. What can you do to ensure maximum potential? Let's use a simple set of commitment objectives such as: 1. Qualification 2. Presentation  3. Proposal  4. Close 5. Drip Marketing  Strictly speaking, it is unlikely that you will advance from qualification to close on the first pitch, especially with products & services that require a significant investment. Ultimately, the top producers in any field focus their energy on strengthening relationships. Get to know the batter before you throw the ball, establish value and guide the prospect through each commitment objective. Take your time and avoid shortcuts that could compromise the integrity of the relationship. Each one of these commitment objectives may require a separate discussion, meeting time & place. Be patient! Remember that 80% of sales! You're busy, and keeping momentum in your favor is a high priority. With help from my Customer Relationship Management software, I use the following combination of three forms of communication that have proven to give me optimum results in keeping communication flowing towards the close: • E-mail • Hand written note/card • Phone call Now you may thinking, that's too obvious. I agree, but why do 80% of the sales professionals fail to do it? Let's take a workflow example and add our contact points to demonstrate what the new process looks like: 1. Qualification • An e-mail thanking them for first meeting, restating the value proposition and confirming demo • A handwritten note/card thanking them for their time • A phone call confirming next appointment, 24 hours in advance • A follow-up e-mail confirmation of their next appointment, 24 hours in advance 2. Presentation • An e-mail thanking them for second meeting, restating hot buttons from demo, confirming that a proposal is on its way • A 2nd e-mail with proposal • A phone call confirming receipt of proposal & to set time to review • A follow-up e-mail to confirm proposal • A phone call to confirm their next appointment, 24 hours in advance 3. Proposal • An e-mail thanking them for second meeting, restating hot buttons from demo, confirming that a proposal is on its way • A 2nd Email with proposal • A phone call confirming receipt of proposal & to set time to review • An e-mail to confirm proposal • A phone call to confirm their next appointment, 24 hours in advance 5. Close • An e-mail from sales associate regarding coaching experience • A phone call to review and make decision • Decision • Send welcome e-mail • Send thank you for your business card and gift, only if appropriate for your industry • A phone call thanking them again and reinforcing their decision making points      1. This one phone call will separate you from 95% of your colleagues and competitors      2. Don’t forget to ask for referrals 6. Drip marketing • Email 1-2 per month 1. Give value   2. Educate & inform 3. Ask for feedback • Handwritten note/card once per quarter (birthday, seasons greeting, client business anniversary.) 1. Make the note all about the client 2. Do not solicit 3. Send thank you cards every time you receive a referral • KIT (keep -in-touch) phone calls 2-3 per year 1. Give value 2. Cross-sell other products and services 3. Ask for referrals (it doesn't count if you don't get a name, number and permission.) Still simple? Yes. And most importantly, this process be taught to and executed by team members. Better yet, can the process be automated? Absolutely. One test of a great contact management system, or CRM, is whether it has the flexibility and scalability to grow WITH you.   Mike Gulitz Founder & CEO of MPC Mortgage Planner CRM    
Published
Oct 10, 2010