It sounds a bit harsh, ‘Buy or Die’. But it is a phrase I came across in a sales blog a year ago or so and it’s stuck with me. It doesn’t mean literally die, of course, and it’s not a threat that if you don’t sign on the dotted line we will send the knights in wielding axes. This isn’t Game of Thrones, it’s about your sales process.

I always recommend to our No Fluff teams that they never leave an entry on their CRM without the next step planned in. It’s vital to set up a good sales process so that you aren’t leaving any prospect to drop away.

When you’re following up after an appointment, usually via email, do you systematically diary the next step? Do you tell them the next step? Or do you simply send the information they needed and then wait for them to reply? If the latter, I’d say you will have lost control of the sales process, and most likely the deal.

Email is a noisy place, plus you’re the one selling, it’s up to you to make it easy for them to buy. They’re not sitting in their office, waiting for your proposal to land in their in-box (if only!).

Sales processes are hugely important, not only to maintain the sales funnel and prevent peaks and troughs in your sales cycle - you need a steady flow of cool, warm and hot leads. But also think of it from the client side. If you leave it at just one follow up email, how important is their business to you? If you’re simply sending information to them about your offer, how are you finding out about their business and what they need, how are you establishing that vital rapport? If you don’t leave the door open for the next communication this will both leave you dependant on them having the time and inclination to reply, and make it awkward for you to then follow up (if indeed you do follow up again). Keep control, lead the way.

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