Follow Through

Golf ?

Have you noticed the swing of a very good golfer, like Tiger Woods for example or Greg Norman, (when he was at his best ) ? 

Isn't their follow through fabulous to watch ? 
That follow through is one of the reasons they can drive the ball so far.

I would like to suggest that, in sales, your follow through is just as important.

This fact was driven home to me 15 years ago.
Let me relate the story to you.

An Incident That Drove it Home to Me

I had just started with a new company. It was a startup company and we were very keen to get some business. I went out to see an old customer of mine. In my previous job I had built up the business with them from nothing to about $350,000 / year.

Although we had nothing specific to offer them I thought I'd go out and have a chat to see if any possibilities came up. The CEO was happy to see me.

After our business discussions ( which unfortunately did not reveal any possibilities for us ) I made a casual enquiry as I was about to leave.

I asked,
" How is my successor doing ? " (at my previous company)

I will never forget Ian's ( the CEO's ) response :

Ian said,
"He came out to see me about two months ago and we talked about X & Y products. I asked for some technical details on them. He said to me, "Leave it with me", and you know Greg that's exactly where it has stayed, with him."

My successor lost most of the business I had started with that customer. I can't say for certain that it was to do with his lack of follow-through but I'll bet it played a big part.

Be Reliable

Your customer is looking for a supplier they can rely on. Someone who will make sure there is stock there for them, alert them to upcoming supply issues and pull some extra strings in THEIR time of need.

How can they expect you to perform that task if you can't send them the literature they asked for or return their phone calls ? If you can't fulfil your promises with little tasks, under no pressure, how can they trust you with their livelihood?

I can hear some of you saying.
"But when I got back to the office there was no literature left". 
No excuse.

Solution #1: Make it a habit to only promise what you know you have.

Solution # 2 If you've already made the promise or the customers asks for some info and it's not at your office. Call the customer back IMMEDIATELY and let them know it may take a little longer to get what they requested and then get them whatever you can as quickly as you can.

It's all about building trust.

As Aristotle said,
"We are what we repeatedly do"
So, get into the habit of following through.

Follow through, or suffer the consequences.

Here's to YourSalesSuccess.