Sales, Selling — Follow-up?

Ask a sales person –

“When is the best time to follow-up with XYZ customer?”

“When is the best time to follow-up on a recent quote?

“When is the best time to follow-up on “Blah, Blah, Blah?”

All too often we hear, It’s too early, or I am not sure now is the right time, or I don’t want to bug the Buyer/Customer/Etc.

Have you ever taken the time to think about “Follow-Up” in selling?

Some sales people follow-up too often and disturb/disrupt the potential customer.  It is estimated that you need 7 contacts with potential clients/customers before a transaction happens.

I am self-taught in selling and when I found a really good system I latched on to it.  I have been using the Sandler Selling system for over fifteen years. (I would be happy to provide my contacts to anyone interested.)

A great technique that I learned and use is the Sandler Technique of using an Up-Front Contract with potential customers.

Simply ask the prospect/Client for the next time contact would be appropriate.  Set an exact date and time if possible or get at least a time frame for contact — Then do what was agreed upon!

Too many times I have had sales people working for me or trying to sell to me;  Stop — after the very first call.

Never get caught in this trap —  It’s too soon to call — Now it’s too late the order was let to someone else.

Have you ever completely Hacked off your customers and didn’t even know it.

What is one of the worst things you can do to a customer — Cause opportunity for an RMA – Returned Material Authorization — something is wrong and the customer is not happy!

An RMA is the Black Mark of Black Marks.

I started my career of customer service in the world of RMA and Warranty.

It is quite possibly the worst and most frustrating thing you can do to a customer.

  1. The product was bought to use not send back.
  2. On-time, instant gratification, great product —Gone!
  3. There is a tremendous need for a system, procedures, and people to handle the returns.  (I wrote complete procedures with cost to handle.)
  4. Both Sides are MAD – Customer returning product and the supplier trying to handle the non-routine work.

From experience of owning my own company, I have witnessed the process of people in the organization knowingly shipping product, “under my watch”, that was bad, to make the numbers.  When I discovered this several people were immediately removed from my organization. 


As I stopped and reflected on what happened, I decided I was probably part or all of the cause.  I summoned all managers and as a group we decided this needed correction.  Most likely another moment of getting the Lean Journey started and not really being aware of it.

The underlying cause was bad operating systems.  We did not have good repeatable processes to ship flawless material.  So began the journey.

We did get better and improved.  That year we began a real “Lean Journey”.  I was amazed at the rate we lowered RMA’s at our company!

Think about the impact of RMA’s on your business. 

Have a great year!

Great vacation complete, really good 4th of July! Do you have a sales tracking system?

What's your number?  If you don't have a sales cookbook how do you measure your daily progress toward your goals?

I have used a cookbook for many, many years.  I first started in direct business to business selling in the early 1980's.  I was confounded by the lack of information available on selling that would ensure follow through and success.

I learned early on that not tracking daily behavior was going to lead to not having daily direction and not really knowing what to do next.  I set up a hand written notebook system of all potential and actual customers.  I tracked who I called daily and set up a follow-up date depending on the wishes of the customer.  Some people wanted weekly contact, some wanted monthly and some wanted longer periods.  There were even some who were not interested nor in need of my products — They told me to never contact them again.

For my career and the careers of sales people who have worked with and for me I developed a daily behavior system and a simple point system for tracking success. 

I allow all sales people to modify the system for their own sales style.  However, many good sales people have adopted my system and figured out exactly how to do daily behaviors and make exactly the income they desire.  

The system for selling aerospace products usually with order size of $1,000 – $75,000 consisted of seeing face-to-face (Belly selling) 200 prospects per year.  Making 2,400 meaningful telephone contacts and making 1,200 other contacts – Email, Txt, Fax, Brochure, Etc..  If Sales people did these behaviors daily and accumulated 6,000 points per year they were virtually assured of selling $3,000,000 worth of product for the company and ensuring an exact income base + Commission.

Of course this is overly simplified but, the sales people wanting to earn more could calculate their points needed per day, per month and ensure a better income for the year.  

What's your number?


Make year 2019 your best year yet!

Easy or Difficult?

Have you ever thought about how easy or difficult it is to do business with your company?

I look at other businesses and items of interest, especially on the internet. Many times I turn away and do not get any information about the company or its products. If before I see the product or service I have to give my contact information or worse, a credit card to see something free — I leave!

Having said that — I started looking at doing business with my company. Is it easy or difficult? My conclusion was that it was difficult. We didn't really make things easy.

So now I am on a quest of making this business easy to get information and do business with us. Not an easy quick task. However, I am continually reviewing our practices and asking — “What makes doing business with us easier?”

Is it easy or difficult to do business with your company? Good luck — !

I am going to make doing business with us easier.

Make 2019 your best year yet!

Do you the persistence and determination to be in sales?

I found the following writeup from a speech made by Calvin Coolidge our 30th President of the United States. Take time and think about this as applied to sales:

PERSISTENCE, DETERMINATION: KEY TO SUCCESS. “Nothing in the world, can take the place of PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION: Talent will not; nothing is more common, than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; un rewarded genius is almost a proverb.

“Nothing in the world, can take the place of PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION:

Talent will not; nothing is more common, than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not; un rewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION alone, are almost omnipotent. Now I'm not saying you should not get an education, but you can have an education, and be weak inside, and never experience the opportunity that education could have provided for you, because you just didn't have the persistence and determination to make it happen.”

—–Attributed to Calvin Coolidge 30th President of the USA.

Want help in sales? Let's talk!

Make 2020 and 2021 your best years yet!

Business with the government?

Does your company do business with the government?  I did with my last company and have just started with my current company.  There is a very large “RIVER” of bids coming out daily.  Once you figure out what you can sell to the government learn the process and get going.

Many people talk with me about how hard or how easy it is to begin selling to the government.  I have helped several companies get started.  The process is not complicated.  However, it does take consistent effort, daily oversight and certainly work.

If interested — Contact me, let’s talk.

Make 2019 your best year yet!

4 Characteristics of Sales Reps who meet and exceed their goals:

  1. They set activity-based goals –

Setting results-based goals can be dangerous.  You can’t directly control the outcome of your work.  If you want 6 face-to-face meetings per week you may not make it.  People may be out of office or too busy and you miss your goal.  Instead, look at your historical data and decide how many calls you need make to book 6 meetings.  If it usually takes 35 emails and 20 telephone calls to make 6 appointments try increasing or doubling that.  Keep doing activities that work.

  • They share their goals with others –

Reps who make their goals, share their goals.  By telling and sharing with others there is an accountability factor created.  Your peers will know what your plans are and will be curious if you pulled through.  Also, writing goals and posting them for yourself and others to see helps drive vision and completion.

  • They choose small, specific, short term goals –

The larger the goal, which may seem insurmountable, the more likely reps will fall off and not achieve.  Pick goals that are small, specific and short term.  You feel energized as you meet and complete goals.  Then start setting harder ones.

  • They walk away from dead deals early –

Walking away from dead deals early is hard and requires discipline.  I have found that few reps have the strength to do it.  However, by walking away you have more time and a better chance of working on deals more likely to close.  Many times we make an emotional connection with a deal and that can become dangerous, and not allow the rep to walk away.  The longer a bad deal is worked, the harder it is to walk away.

Good selling!

Make 2019 your best year yet!

Good Selling / Bad Selling?

Great Books, Goal Setting, Continuous Learning, Public Speaking

Some years ago, I had possibly the best Receptionist/Gatekeeper in business, she understood and could stop none essential sales people from getting through.  One day our Receptionist/Gatekeeper brought me a package.  It had been hand delivered.

In the package was a T Shirt from my alma mater — Indiana Institute of Technology, and a note from the salesman requesting an appointment, and comment that he hoped I appreciated his effort to get my school T shirt.  He said he would call in a few days.

I graduated from IIT in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, the idea that this salesman had gone to the trouble to get me the shirt was unique and I liked his style. 

At that time I instructed our receptionist/gatekeeper that I was impressed by this salesperson and that when he calls I will take the call.  After a little research on his company, I was pretty sure I would not need his services.  However, I would listen to him and then if possible direct him to a referral.

He never called!

How many times have you had seemingly good salespeople just not follow through?

Good selling or bad selling?

Make 2019 your best year yet!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Happy and Safe Holidays!

Get ready to make 2019 your best year yet!

Many of us are off for the Holidays. Make the most of Family, Friends and Self.

Don’t forget to make time to look back at 2018 and decide what 2019 will look like. 

Consider some of the time off as — a Christmas present to self!

Merry Christmas!

Want a good book to read for the Holidays? How about a classic: “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill – Great Classic Book