49. What percent of sales people follow up?

Every now and then you will hear a sales manager enthusiastically talk about a new sales person.

"If I had ten people like him out in the field we could double our business - in the first two weeks he brought in one of the largest orders we've ever had!"

Whenever I hear stories like this I wonder how successful they will be six months down the road. In today's business the most profitable sales person is the one who "wears well". The sales person who can call on prospects, close sales, make recalls, close more sales, and each year build a greater volume of business from each customer with a greater amount of confidence and respect from the customer.

There are many sales people who can be sent over a territory once, but not twice. They make a good first impression, a good presentation, close the first order, and then they are off for the next challenge. They don't like to go back to the same customer twice and are usually not welcome because of the lack of follow up.

The majority of sales people follow up to some degree, but only 10% fall into the category that do it like a true professional.

The satisfaction that comes from doing one thing absolutely right and putting the trade-mark of your character on it, far outweighs the value of a thousand half done jobs. As a professional sales person, your follow up and attention to detail is your trade-mark.

The quality that you put into your work effects everything else in your life. Your entire personality takes on the characteristics of the way you do things. The habit of following up and taking care of the details not only strengthens your selling ability, but improves your whole personality.

On the other hand, doing things in a careless manner also effect every other part of your life. Every half-done job that goes out of your hands leaves its trace behind. After slighting your work, after doing a poor job, you are not quite the same person you were before. You are not so likely to try and keep up the standard of your work.

The moral effect of carelessly doing things has the power to drag you down. You cannot respect yourself if you habitually leave dozens of things undone. When self-respect drops, confidence goes with it, and when confidence and self-respect have gone, excellence in your selling skills is impossible.

Your work habits need constant watching in order to keep up your standards. This is even more important for you, a sales person, because most of your time is spent working alone. Many sales people let their ideals drop when they are not under constant supervision and suffer because of it.

There is an old saying that sums up the importance of good follow up: "The secret of success is to do the common job uncommonly well."

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