There’s an art to the sales follow-up. You want to show persistence without being pushy, and you need to demonstrate confidence even though you may worry about getting ignored or dismissed. And there’s the question of timing: When is too soon to follow up, and when have you missed your chance? It can feel like navigating a maze at times.

That’s why sales expert Marc Wayshak says it’s so important to have the right approach. When you master the art of following up well, it can make the difference between getting no appointments after 200 calls to getting multiple meetings.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share Wayshak’s guidance on how to make sales follow-up calls that get appointments. Read on to learn how to follow up with finesse.

  1. Nail the first 17 seconds. Wayshak recommends thinking of it like a first date. Those initial moments can make or break the relationship. If you stumble though those initial seconds, he says it becomes exceptionally more challenging to regain control of the conversation. Make sure you plan what you’ll say in those first several seconds.
  2. Your tone sets the tone. Think about how you chat with friends and family. Now think about how you talk to prospects or clients. If you’re like many salespeople, your tone sounds different. It may change in volume or intensity, or you may be overly excited. Prospects pick up on that, Wayshak says, and it can deter them. Speak naturally as if you’re talking to someone you know well.
  3. Remember this isn’t a life-or-death situation. Many salespeople put unnecessary pressure on themselves when following up. They may fear rejection or don’t want to get their feelings hurt. Instead of fearing the discussion, Wayshak says to remember that you have a genuine opportunity to profit from the conversation. There’s nothing truly scary about it.
  4. Lead with your best value. According to Wayshak, many sales professionals save their best information for later in the conversation. Instead, he recommends putting the most valuable information at the beginning, when the prospect is still deciding whether to continue listening.
  5. Encourage the prospect to talk. Make sure you’re not the only one speaking. The more a prospect talks on a sales call, the higher the chances of securing an appointment and closing the sale. Wayshak recommends letting them speak without interrupting and asking smart follow-up questions.
  6. Make the discussion appealing. Many people don’t necessarily enjoy meeting with salespeople. Instead of saying something like, “I’d love to learn about what you’re doing and show you our products,” package it as a way for the prospect to learn some valuable insights.
  7. Be calm but assertive. Being too aggressive can overwhelm prospects, but you should be assertive enough to guide them to the next step. Wayshak says achieving this balance is essential for success in follow-up calls.

Following up in sales can be challenging, but it’s an important step in building interactions that can lead to closed deals. Remember to start and end strongly and strike the right tone throughout to improve your follow-up approach.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Marc Wayshak is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership. He’s also a contributor to Inc., HubSpot, Fast Company and Entrepreneur Magazine, and hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy.