Like in the video shared above, perseverance, endurance and determination are probably some of the most effective and important attributes for winning a sale. To draw a parallel to digital marketing strategy or sales automation, it would be equivalent to defining a multi-layer communication campaign aimed at achieving predefined goals.
Perseverance, for a commercial team, is synonymous with survival. Statistics show that, on average, less than 10% of sales processes reach maturity. Selling, especially for SaaS businesses, is a number game, hence requires a well-populated and qualified pipeline funnel where relevant opportunities are constantly pushed forward.
In our digital tsunami age, achieving the attention of prospects requires even more follow-up and insistence than ever before. If you think that by sending an email or a message via social networks your work has ended, you are wrong! If you think automation is sufficient under the assumption of “let the machine do the magic” you are also wrong! In around 60% of cases, you will not receive a response. As an example from the email marketing world, according to Mailchimp, the average email open rate for all industries analyzed is 21.33%.
Persistence is therefore needed for a personalized follow-up. Looking at email marketing statistics, when personalization is added, there’s an important improvement:
From experience, I consider that personal touch in sales has a greater impact and probability of response. I recommend giving importance to each word, personalizing your message, choosing a relevant and contextual subject line and adapting the text as much as possible to the recipient who will most probably know whether your communication is massive or “just for me”, which on its own may motivate a response.
Should you send a reminder? Definitely! From my experience, reminders sent from a personal mailbox increase the probability of receiving a response by 50% to 70%. Reminder time intervals must also be adapted to the recipient’s culture (fast/slow-paced). Reminders work best typically after 48hrs to 72hrs works, sometime 7 to 10 days later also, depending on the importance of the content. If you do not fear reactions, sometimes unpleasant, to continue insisting politely in the vast majority of cases is convenient yet I recommend to limit to up to 3 times.
If you sell B2C products or services online, automated and transactional emails will do some of the work. For higher ticket sales and for the B2B/B2G segment, the human factor along with a personalized approach to sales remains highly important.
Prepare yourself for sometimes positive reactions, at other times very aggressive ones and, in most cases, for an endless silence. Until that silence is broken with a "yes" or a "no" your mission isn’t over. Some real life examples of feedback I received to continuous follow-ups:
- "Hi Roni, thanks for sending me this reminder, I couldn't find your email, let’s schedule a call..." [at 2nd reminder]
- “So sorry, I forgot to answer. I really find your offering interesting, many thanks for coming back to me” [at first reminder].
- "I don't know you, I'm not interested, please remove me from the list." [It was a 1-on-1 email sent from my personal mailbox. Despite the tone, you may be surprised to know that communication and sales process with this prospect moved on]
- “Hello Roni, I’m really busy with other matters. It isn’t something we are looking for at the moment. We are very happy with our current service. Thank you very much, have a good weekend ” [at 3rd reminder].
- "I apologize for the delay, your mail got lost." [After sending two reminders]
Despite having received some negative responses, insisting isn’t always interpreted by the other party as an annoyance. Follow-up is an art in itself, it requires using the right tone, the correct timing, a perfect interval between communications and a wealth of creativity as well as humor for finding the right and acceptable excuses :)
Some final tips:
- Be prepared for rejection, do not fear it, rather embrace it as part of your modus-operandi.
- Stay positive even in the face of a negative.
- Commercial activity is not black or white, in many cases gray prevails; Get used to "swimming" in uncertainty.
- Take the time to personalize your communications, you will discover it delights the receiver.
Perseverance, follow-up, endurance and persistence will transmit to your prospect your winner spirit, your determination and will eventually build trust on the road to a successful scale-up of your business.
Roni Grosfeld | Founder & CEO | inlat.global