Sales teams consistently share with us that one of their main challenges is following up with their prospects, and when we examined what was causing this problem in the sales process; we found the area of opportunity was closing on-site at the time of the visit.
As you study the efficiency of your follow up efforts, one of the best places to begin is by looking at how you are closing to Agreed Upon Next Steps at the time of the visit. Here are some simple things you can practice at the time of the visit, and it will increase your follow up success!
- Know your options: Remember, closing is just a natural step in the process based upon what you know about your client. So before you go into the visit experience, think about what you want to happen next. Is it a deposit? Picking out an apartment? Coming back for a lunch or special event?
- Recap, State Next Steps, Option of Two: What does your on-site close sound like? Are you recapping the VALUE of WHY they shared this is so important to do now? Are you stating next steps and offering two different options with confidence? It should sound like this:
“Based upon everything that you just shared with me this afternoon, it sounds like the most important part of the decision making process for you is being able to get to know some of your future neighbors a little bit better. The next step that I recommend would be for you to come in this weekend and join some of our resident ambassadors for lunch. Would Saturday or Sunday be better for you?”
- Prepare for Objections: What happens if your prospect says “no” to your planned next step? Are you prepared to ask them an open-ended question that will refocus them on the value of WHY they chose to begin their search in the first place? It should sound like this:
“I can completely understand you aren’t ready to move for another year, Dottie. Do you mind, may I just ask you one more quick question before you go? (Give them time to say YES) I know you shared there is no way you could move before the holidays – I’m curious, what made you want to stop by today and learn more about our community now?”
- Agree to next steps BEFORE they leave! One of the most common challenges is that a prospect will object to next steps, and the standard response is to say, “Well, I will give you a call in a week or so to see if you have any questions”. Rather than allowing even more time to pass (during which your prospect will definitely “cool off”), simply set the specific day and time of when you are going to follow up with them – within 24 to 48 hours – and tell them WHY!
“Dottie, I’d like to give you a call after you have the chance to talk with your brother tomorrow morning…Would you prefer I call you right before lunch or during your break?”
When you practice these steps, your prospects will understand and know why you are following up with them. Why is this important? They will see the value in moving to the next step with you! Start practicing your strong closing on-site, and you will begin to see increased follow up success!
Written by Jenny Dixon, RVP of Sales at Bild & Company.