February 9th, 2012
I donâ€™t think I am going out on a limb when I say, â€œThe Number One Reason for lost sales is a failure to follow throughâ€.
Do YOU follow through when you say you will do something? Iâ€™ll bet 90% of the people reading this will have to say, â€œnoâ€ or at least â€œnot alwaysâ€. This is a serious problem. It goes far deeper than just losing a sale, although this is our main focus here.
Failure to follow through speaks volumes to a customer about your honesty, trustworthiness and your concern for them as a client. Many purchasing agents I have known through the years actually use this ploy to discern who they want to do business with and who they donâ€™t. Think about it: Purchasing Agents from medium to large companies can buy from whomever they want. They arenâ€™t spending their money and so long as they obtain a usable produce and stay within their budget, theyâ€™re good. This may be a far cry from the Soccer Mom who has to dicker and beg to get what she wants and is willing to put up with unprofessional behavior to get it.
Someone who follows through and calls that Purchasing Agent back with the information he or she asked for has demonstrated they can be depended upon to do what they promise â€“ they take giving their word seriously.
I wonder how many jobs and how many dollars have been lost because someone on the team just failed to follow through.
Now, Iâ€™m not the best at it, I admit. I have one customer right now I need to get back to â€“ one of my best customers, and I donâ€™t have an answer for him that he can use. Still, I need to get back to him and tell him I â€œjust donâ€™t knowâ€. Man, I hate that.
None the less, here is how I do it: When a customer (or anyone) asks for something that requires my following up, I place a Post-It note on a section of my desk I reserve for things like: â€œThings that will explode if I donâ€™t attend to them todayâ€. These notes are in front of me at all times and they cannot be removed until they are dealt with appropriately.
However you do, learn to follow through. How would you feel if you asked your Conde rep to check on something for you and they never called you back? Wouldnâ€™t it make you want to find another distributor? Darn right it would and for good cause. There is no excuseâ€¦. See, what I mean? Your customers donâ€™t feel any different than you do. Learn to Follow Through!