If you’re a company operating in the manufacturing or engineering sector, especially if you’re selling large and expensive pieces of plant and equipment, you’re probably all too familiar with the concept of the long sales cycle.
Companies with long sales cycles usually have a very high priced product or service and their clients can sometimes take months or years to find funding or free up finances from their spending budget in order to buy.
But a lot can change during such a long waiting time, and very often, the same client, having forgotten your name may turn to a competitor when they are finally ready to buy.
How can one compete in such a volatile sales environment?
Sure, it may seem that the only answer is: keep in touch until the purchase is made. But how can you do that without having the client tire of you?
As I just mentioned, a long sales cycle presents a challenge of profitability, because it requires a lot of prospect interaction well before a purchase order is finalised. While building rapport and personal relationships is incredibly important, you have to admit that part of your time is (or should be) spent educating the prospect about features and benefits of your equipment, product or other services.
And that’s where the problem arises, because once you explain the features
and benefits a couple of times, it becomes somewhat awkward to keep coming back
and saying: “Dear prospect, let me take you through these once again in hope
that you will buy today”. And then again and again and again.
Here’s the real stats though:
60% of customers will say no four times before saying yes. And that’s bad news for your company, because on average 92% of salespeople give up after no sales on the 4th call.
Imagine that – 92% of times, the sale was just ONE follow up away – one call, one visit, one email – just one more push could have gained a sale.
So the question is: are you following up enough?
To answer this question, you need to ask yourself: do you give up on your prospects or is it the other way around? In other words, do you drop the ball and stop following up after a certain period of time? Or do you only stop once your prospect outright tells you to stop contacting them?
Most businesses across all industries, unfortunately, fit into the former category. Hearing a prospect say ‘no’ over and over again can become demotivating, that many prefer to simply quit and find new prospects, instead of persevering until they hear a ‘yes’.
Fortunately, in the 21st century there is a solution to keep you in the running, all the way until your prospect finally buys or genuinely tires of you enough to tell you about it.
Not only that, but you can fully automate it too. Imagine not having to spend time on your basic follow ups any more as your automated system does the work for you. How much would that be worth to you? How much time could it save you on a daily basis?
In fact, the answer is so obvious you’ll wonder why you didn’t come up with it earlier.
The solution to regular follow ups that will work for you is: an automated email sequence.
You simply write a sequence of emails for months, or even years in advance to be sent every certain amount of days.
An automated email sequence allows you to share information, features and benefits, case studies and more over a period of time. This gives your prospect the convenience to process information in smaller chunks and read when they need the information, which might be months or even years after you first spoke with them.
Pre-written, agreed and approved emails do the job of delivering accurate and engaging information without fail over a period of time. This is important because we all know sales professionals often run out of time to follow up, might be inconsistent and worst of all, tend to leave so your company just falls off the prospects’ radar all together.
Bottom line: without consistent follow up, sales are negatively affected. So be smart about your follow up, and use the technology available out there right now.
If you need a helping hand to guide you through the process, or better yet, set up the entire follow up sequence for you so you can finally free up your time from follow ups, check out our Set’n’Prosper service (and you can be up and running in a week!).
See what Evans Engineering has to say about Set’n’Prosper:“As a manufacturer and exporter of specialized recycling machinery realize the importance to stay in touch with existing clients and to reach out to new prospects.
With the assistance of E-Ideas Ltd, F V Evans Engineering were able to do just that by identifying a target audience for specific products and by implementing an effective marketing strategy.
We now have an email marketing system in place that works for us seamlessly, allowing our sales manager to spend more time in other areas of sales promotion and follow up.
We recommend E-ideas Ltd as a great
company to work with should you require to grow your business and need
assistance in marketing your company or product.”
-Neil Rees, Sales and