Sales in SME: This is how you tackle your clients

2 minutes of reading

Sales in SME: This is how you tackle your clients

Making phone calls and continuously keeping track of potential customers is day-to-day business for sales agents - even though it is not very popular.

The first talk or meeting with your customer went good and you made a specific offer. Or your counterpart couldn't give you a definite answer and had to settle a few things within the company first. In both cases it is crucial to start your follow up by calling the potential client, so you don't loose the connection.

If your customer does not get back to you after you made your offer this does not automatically mean he is not interested. Everyone who has seen times of heavy workload in an buzzing enterprise knows that things get shifted, delayed or other stuff suddenly becomes more important. A friendly call and a quick follow up helps you to plan, gives your client a little reminder and even more important, it shows you did not forget him and are still interested.

When is the right time for a follow up call?

The question "when" cannot be answered in general, but in case I'd recommend better to early than too late. When your lead says he might need a week to decide further steps and he doesn't get back to you, call him after 10 days. If you promised to get in touch with him you do that of course on the exact day you said you would. If you didn't fix any response date and you speculate when would be the right time for making the call, keep the following in mind:

  • Your contact - how busy is he, is he the decision maker and can decide alone?
  • Circumstances - is the decision urgent or do other actions depend on it?
  • External factors - do you have any certain reasons why this is the perfect moment to call (special discounts, limited time).

Should I call or meet in person?

I prefer meeting people face to face instead of digital communications. If I need to send a document or only a quick info, I would do it via e-mail, but if the topic includes something that could mean three or four e-mails back and forth, I would go for the phone. Not just because it is faster and makes it possible to answer upcoming questions right away, but also because it strengthens my relationship to the customer.

At best you have something new for the client, when you call. A new information or idea is always a more creative hook than only asking for a decision.

After the phone call make sure to leave a short note to yourself and your colleagues in your CRM software, as well as a reminder when to call next time. This way you know also 6 month later what you agreed on and you don't lose clients in the "digital nirvana". As you may be learnt in the article "hot or cold sales" it is far more effective to call previous clients again instead of always trying to acquire new ones. And sales folks who are up to date and reliable are always one step ahead.

by Sven Sester about sales, sme, and acquisition
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