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The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales:

19. Not Following Up With Customers

By Steven J. Schmidt (3/6/09)

Why salesmen do not follow up with customers whom they have sold will be something that I can never EVER comprehend. Anyone reading this is in sales, or is trying to get tips on how to better themselves in sales, right? Well, you should know, that when you treat your existing clients with respect, they will give you respect in return because they'll see that you are making the effort to keep them happy.

And trust me, the effort that you are making to check to see if they are happy with the service or product that you sold them is as easy as reading the words that I am writing. In fact, it's easier! It will probably take you longer to read what I am writing than it will to pick the phone up and say, "Mr. Taylor, this is Jack Bauer with The Best Alarm System Ever Company. I wanted to say thank you for your business and to see if you are happy with the alarm system that we installed for a few weeks ago."

Do you have any idea how easy that is to do? I do not mean to be so sarcastic explaining this particular "Worst Thing To Do," but so many sales reps don't do this. They are good sales reps who get tons of sales, but do not take more advantage of checking up on their customers to see if the service was good in the first place. If you get negative feedback, you can ask, "Do you have a recommendation so that we can improve our service, or is there anything that I can do to make you happier?" That shows that you care, and they will always want to stick with a person who will be looking out for their best interest.

In addition to checking up with the customer, GO GET MORE SALES! That was my loud voice, by the way. How do you get more sales from an existing customer? Simply ask for it. I have talked about this in the sales blog, Getting Sales Rapidly Through Referrals.

Once the customer knows that you care, they will be loyal to you and give you more business. After checking up with them, you can ask, "Since you are happy with the service, can you give me a family, friend or relative's number to call that might be interested in meeting with me so I can explain the alarm system we installed for you?" What is the worst response you could get? "Mr. Bauer, how about if I give my friend your number, so that they can call you?" Well, OK, you can live with that, and just move on to other existing customers.

But chances are, if you provided them with a good service or product, they will be more than happy to give you more business from their friends and family. All you have to do is just ask. So, please, read this article over and over. I have gotten hundreds of e-mails that all sounded like, "Steven, how can I gain more sales with this economy, or just in general for my department?" I am talking some huge head honchos too. I have told them you must tell your sales reps to stay on top of their existing clients, and pump them for sales because THEY WILL BE HAPPY TO GIVE YOU SALES FOR THE WAY YOU TREATED THEM! Sorry, loud voice again.

I am not saying to ditch cold calling or anything because that is how you build up your client base. However, following up with customers will increase your profits, sales, revenue, etc, dramatically. Trust me on this. If you do not believe me, try it out. I have built businesses on this technique, and I know many business owners who have done the same.

Think about companies that provide services, such as auto body shops, painting companies, roofing companies, etc. That is all referral-based with a small amount of advertising. You must start by cold calling to get the sales in the first place and continue doing so, but amid all this, you can gain even more sales by following up with happy clients. You have nothing to lose.

More from The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales

  1. Walking Away - 2/16/09
  2. Not Looking Customers in the Eye - 2/16/09
  3. Talking Too Much - 2/16/09
  4. Not Listening to Customers - 2/16/09
  5. Not Knowing Your Product - 2/16/09
  6. Not Being Organized - 2/16/09
  7. Getting Distracted - 2/16/09
  8. Selling Price Alone - 2/16/09
  9. Not Getting Proper Rest - 2/17/09
  10. Getting Flustered (Lack of Production) - 2/19/09
  11. Leaving Territory Too Quickly - 2/20/09
  12. Being Rude to Customers - 2/23/09
  13. Being Too Content - 2/24/09
  14. Maintaining Poor Hygiene - 2/26/09
  15. Pressuring Customers - 2/28/09
  16. Not Having Fun - 3/2/09
  17. Not Closing - 3/3/09
  18. Lacking a Powerful Introduction - 3/4/09
  19. Not Following Up With Customers - 3/6/09
  20. Not Having a Strong Mentality - 3/8/09
  21. Lacking Discipline - 3/10/09
  22. Not Handling Objections - 3/12/09
  23. Sounding Desperate - 3/14/09
  24. Having Poor Customer Service - 3/17/09
  25. Not Taking a Vacation - 3/21/09
  26. Misreading Customers - 3/27/09
  27. Lacking a Unique Sales Identity - 3/31/09
  28. Not Letting Yourself Be Known - 4/6/09
  29. Not Having Patience - 4/9/09
  30. Not Holding Yourself Accountable - 4/11/09
  31. Hitting on a Customer's Wife - 4/13/09
  32. Acting Like a Salesperson - 4/23/09
  33. Overview - 5/23/09

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