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Chris LoCurto


August 17, 2011

How To Earn More Sales Without More Leads

August 17, 2011 | By | 17 Comments">17 Comments

I truly believe it doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world. Until you sell it, you don’t have a business. There is nothing more important for your company than sales, so ensuring your team has every tool available is an absolute must.

Begin by:

  1. Setting Team Goals for your sales force. Your team needs to operate as a group, striving for the same goal instead of individuals working by themselves.
  2. Ensuring they are actually following a sales process, like I wrote about in Four Must-Take Steps to a Sale!  If not, they are most likely  jumping the gun. If they are pushing, people will feel it and find the first opportunity to walk. If they actually get the sale, then I can almost guarantee the customer will have Buyer’s Remorse.

Out of the four steps, the one salespeople miss all of the time is follow-up. Many think, If I call them, they’ll get mad and I’ll lose the sale. They’re wrong. Trust me on this one. If they lose the sale because of a call, they didn’t have it in the first place. In fact, studies show most sales happen from follow-up anyway.

Marketing blogger Kelly Marsh recently cited a study from McGraw-Hill showing the statistics of sales from follow-up. It said:

  • 48% of salespeople never follow-up with a prospect.
  • 25% of salespeople make a second contact and stop.
  • 12% of salespeople only make three contacts and stop.
  • 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts.

When follow-up occurs:

  • 2% of sales are made on the second contact.
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact.
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact.
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to 12th contact.

If the majority of your team falls in the majority—no follow-up—you need to make some serious adjustments in the way they sell. You’re only getting about 2% of your potential sales. Basically, only the top 10% of salespeople are going the extra mile to close the deal. It sure makes sense why they are the sales leaders.

I know, you are very busy like me. Therefore, you pass up purchases all of the time. You simply don’t have time. I can’t tell you how many concerts that I really wanted to attend were missed because I completely forgot to buy the tickets. If someone called me about purchasing them, it would have been a different story.

Starting today, get your team on a process of following up. Make them understand that we live in a busy world. If they have correctly completed the sales process to this point, the prospect is almost expecting follow-up. Don’t let them get call reluctance and let the sale pass by!

Questions: Do you already do this? If so, how has it worked for you?

  • Kelly Marsh

    Thanks for citing my original post. Those sales statistics are great for any salesperson to take a look at on a daily basis.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Absolutely. They should be posted somewhere as a reminder. Thanks Kelly!!

  • epicenterlanguages

    I just discovered that I had ‘Favorited’ this post on Twitter, but never got to read it. Boy am I glad I did. I sure need to learn how to not be afraid to follow up. Those stats really helped!

    (And the spot in the Cordia Harrington interview where she describes her constant followup to become a supplier! Wow! Inspiring! Gave me a few ideas of – just how much do you want their attention? Brilliant!)

    I do business in Mexico City – we provide English language consulting services – and our sales cycle is S-L-O-W. It took me 1 year to get our first big corp client. Another whole year to land our second.

    Right now I’m courting a big bank client – it’s been about 4 years of following up, saying hi, checking in…. and still nothing but “thank you! We’re interested, but we need some time.” Weird. We started working with them for three months last year, but as they were a major sponsor of the PanAm games, they had to shut down classes. Now we’re working to get them back on board.

    My biggest fear continues to be ‘what if I’m bothering them?’ But those stats just rock! I think I’ll post them on my forehead.

    • Chris LoCurto

      Hahaha…that could totally help! :-) I would also do some assumptive closes. If you know that they are educated enough on your product, and you have built a great report, start closing them. It may work.

  • Jeff Smith

    Chris those follow up statistics are extremely eye opening. I have been searching for the original study so I can share it with my team but have only found mentions of it. Do you know where I can find it?

    • Chris LoCurto

      The way they wrote it, it’s from McGraw-Hill

  • Louise Thaxton

    Great information, Chris. It truly is amazing how sales professionals lose out on so much by not following up! Yes, we do have a system of followup – it is sort of like my walk with Christ – it is not perfect – but it is much better than when I started – and we work on it every day.

    Accountability is huge with our team – everyone has a role to play to hold others accountable on the follow-up process – and hey, it works.

    Thanks for the great blog –

  • Eric Speir

    Those were some good statistics. I recruit students for college and I often struggle with how much do I call the potential students because I don’t want to bother them but according to this I need to keep going until I receive a firm “No!”

    • Chris LoCurto

      If they are expecting you, then it’s not bugging.

  • Jana Botkin

    “Call reluctance” – oh yes, I am well acquainted with that feeling. I just KNOW I am bugging the customer, because the ball was left in his court, and I still haven’t heard back, so here I am yet again on the phone. Sigh. It helped to read that “if they lose the sale because of the call, they didn’t have the sale in the first place”. “They” is me, dang it.

    • Chris LoCurto

      It’s always best to end the call by setting up the time you will call them again. That way it’s expected.

      • Jana Botkin

        Thank you, Chris! I will try this out next time.

        • Chris LoCurto

          Thanks Jana!

  • Tom Brichacek (@tbric)

    Great post Chris. I landed our biggest contract ever about 4 years ago by following up until they were ready. I called or stopped in every 7-10 days, not to sell, but to learn about their business, offer advice on other projects they had going etc… After I had been there 15 times, they handed me a project worth 33% of our yearly sales. Talk about a great feeling!

    • Chris LoCurto

      DANG!!! Now that’s how you do it!!!