Follow up, Sales, Joe Girard, Selling Tips

Let’s cut to the chase – we are the worst predictors of our own future behaviours.

  • “Of course I’ll be there!” 
  • “You can count on me.”
  • “I will 100% do that.”
  • “I will call you on Monday to dicuss that.”


Sound familiar? Well it happens all the time.  And this is not just in regards to sales, but to everyday life.  How reliable and consistent are you in what you say you are going to do?  In today’s world, we have unlimited ways to communicate, manage our time, and organize our thoughts – but people seem more disorganized and unreliable as ever!  It is time to simplify.

Pick up the phone.  Yes, that phone that seems at some times to weigh 300 pounds and is filled with rejection on the other end.  No one is calling you back?  No one wants what you have to offer?  Have you exhausted every relationship?  Well that’s too bad, but here is something you need to know:

If you say people are not interested, maybe YOU are not interesting.


Repeat that phrase until it sets in.  It is not to be mean, harsh, or defeating.  It is a wake up call to the way you may be doing business.  Would you want to talk to yourself on the other end of the phone?  Be the person you would enjoy speaking with!  Think about what you say and how you say it.  Are you even the slightest bit interesting in your message?  Also, is it all about you when calling someone else?

I recently bought a new car from Ricardo at Galaxy Motors and the main reason I did was his follow up with me.  He called and reminded me, he set the tone of the conversation, and he did what he said he was going to do.  He also did so with excitement and with genuine interest in my needs as a customer.  Nice work Ricardo!

Following up is the most vital skill in business and also in relationships.  When you do what you say you are going to do, you earn trust and respect.  So how do you set the stage for effective follow up?  Have you practiced effective communication?

1. Get in the right mindset.

When new sales reps first start, they have what is called the “rookie magic.”  It is really simple – they are excited and that is exactly why it seems so natural.  Always find a way to be excited.  Be happy and excited about what you are telling peple and it wont matter the specific words you use.  So stop trying to craft the perfect message and have some fun!  Call people up and tell them, “I am so excited to talk with you today because I just found out that  ____ and that I can help you with ____!!”  Also, read my post “You Want to Succeed in Sales?  Give a Shit” about having the right mindset.

2. Have a purpose

Don’t call people just to check in on them, you are wasting everyone’s time.  News flash – you are not the top on people’s priority list, so they don’t want to talk with you unless you have something for them.  And the more you call them with nothing to talk about, the less likely they will ever buy from you.  So before you call them, think of something of value for them.  They don’t care about your purpose, they care about their own.   WHY are you calling them?  Invite them to something new.  You have more information that will help them with their questions.  There is a next step for them to do…

3. Understand the customer cycle.

It doesn’t matter where you work, or what products/services you sell.  Every customer will go through a psychological process during their buying process.  It is your job to help them get to each stage.  Too many times, we rush through multiple steps at once, which confuses and disorients our customers.  Done properly, they will want to advance to each successive stage.  Here are four basic stages:

  1. Piquing their interest
  2. Inviting to a meeting
  3. Demonstrating value
  4. Confirming next steps

So sell each stage and help the customer go through the CORRECT process.  And use persuasive language – with urgency.   And respect their time and communication style.  Try combining your voicemails with emails to increase your conversion rates.  Leave a message explaining that you will send an email with more information, then send an email with more information, indicating that you had left a voicemail.  This combo works wonders!

4. Keep it simple

Stop over planning, and making massive lists.  Pick up the phone.

5. Just get it done

Clear your mind of everything else, and go for it.  Don’t think they may or may not, “Well this person kinda…” Why are you judging? If they have not given a definite NO, then call them. Assume they are still interested.  To make twenty calls in a day at three minutes each, is an hour.  Go make twenty new excited calls today with a purpose.  Stay an hour late if you have to.  See what happens.  If you need some motivation, read my last post on taking control of your life.

6. Don’t stop

The only way to TRULY fail is to give up.  Get ahold of EVERYONE!

6.5 You and Because

Here is a holy grail of psychology when it comes to getting people to be more receptive to your message.  Are you ready?  What is everyone’s favorite word to hear?  The answer is “YOU.”  So if you want to get people excited, say it.  Try phrases like:

  • “I am really excited to see YOU!”
  • “It was really great talking to YOU the other day.”
  • “YOU look great!”
  • “I was thinking about YOU today.”

Pretty straightforward stuff there, but the trick is to combine it with the word “BECA– USE.”  With sincerity.  By adding the word “because” to the word you, it increases cooperation dramatically. Try these phrases:

  • “I am really excited to see YOU BECA– USE you always make me smile!”
  • “It was great talking to YOU the other day BECA– USE you are so knowledgable about the subject.”
  • “YOU look great BECA– USE that new outfit shows off all the hard work YOU have been putting into the gym!”
  • “I was thinking about YOU today BECA– USE I have an idea you may be interested in, BECA– USE YOU are someone whose opinion I truly value.”

The last one may be a bit much, but “You and Because” is one of my all time favorite pieces of advice that I give to everyone.  I mentioned it way back in my post “The Secret of Getting in The Door” which covered effective job search techniques. I was really excited to share it with all of YOU today BECA– USE I hope it will help with YOUR business.

So, Take these 6.5 steps and re-apply them to your business.  TODAY.  Don’t think, just do.  Pick up the phone and start calling people you have not spoken with in some time and see what happens!  And when you have some success with this, please post a comment about it!

Joe Girard
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