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Overcoming your fear of rejection and facing follow up

Maria Musgrove-Wethey from Get Savvy Academy discusses the importance of following up with a bride and how you can change your mindset to no longer fear this essential sales strategy.

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It doesn’t surprise me that so many of us are afraid to pick up the phone and follow-up with a bride, but here’s the thing – if you’re a true sales consultant you need to “Face the fear and do it anyway!”

We all know that even though a bride may be saying “Yes to the Dress” it doesn’t always mean it’s a “Yes today!”. Previously in this series I talked about closing the sale and why some of your fears might be making it hard to ask for the order. Those same fears may kick in when you hear the words “follow up”. So, it’s hardly surprising that we fail to follow up! Let’s be honest we fear a lot of things – we fear rejection, we fear messing it up, we fear bothering our bride, we fear sales, but all this fear is entirely in our head.

Why follow up?

Studies indicate that almost 80% of sales leads require at least 5 follow-ups after the initial sales meeting. But nearly 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow up, or forget to follow-up altogether.

Many of you are reluctant to get back to a bride four times because it seems pushy and desperate, with the view that if she wants the gown she’ll be back.

However, what if she likes your gown and a gown in another boutique and you don’t get back in touch but the other boutique does? Who is she likely to buy from, the consultant who took the time to contact her or the consultant who didn’t bother to pick up the phone to call, text or send a quick “how are you getting on in your search for the dress” message? Guess which gown is now the front runner.

Ways to follow up

None of us want to be that pesky salesperson who bombards their prospects with follow up emails and calls. Most of them never manage to seal the deal but manage to get a series of one-star reviews for being a hard sell.

You need to approach sales like real life relationships. How would it feel if you got a daily reminder text from your better half asking if you still valued this relationship or a “just checking” call every other day? Annoyed, of course.

You don’t want to be too pushy, especially in new relationships, and this is what you need to understand while following up with your sales prospects. You need to strike the right balance.


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The seven secrets to successful follow up

1. Ask the best way to follow up and when

  • If you can find a reason to get in touch the same day so much the better. You can e-mail the quote or just say “Great to meet you and I look forward to seeing you again”.

2. Agree the next action steps

  • Book a second appointment to see the dress when Mum is free for example.

3. Have a clear purpose

  • If you’re going to call or email there must be a reason. I always begin a call by telling my bride the reason for calling. It could be that I’m asking if she’s chosen her venue, needs more time, or has found a date when she can get everyone together. Be honest about your purpose and you’ll always have one. If you have a clear purpose going into a phone call you have no excuse to not make it.

4. Add value and build confidence

  • If you can find a reason to contact her about something that might not be directly associated with her dress but is part of her wedding plans, so much the better.

5. Use the “three times and you’re out” rule

  • Follow up at least three times before you give up. Allow a week or two in between your messages so that you don’t look like you’re harassing the person. Just like in baseball, three strikes and you’re out.

6. Stay patient

  • Your bride often won’t have the same sense of urgency as you have. Ask yourself how often you have found yourself meaning to book an appointment or order something and it’s been on your to-do list for weeks.

7. Make it routine

  • It should be part of your sales process to follow up. If you have a team, make it clear what you expect by way of follow up. Have a Monday morning meeting (even if it’s just with yourself if you work alone) to look at how many “hot” prospects you have and find reasons to contact them until they either buy or tell you that they’ve bought elsewhere.

If you’re about to give up on your bride, remember what Thomas Edison said after he failed 10,000 times before perfecting the electric light bulb: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

If you’ve found this article useful why not take a deeper dive into selling with Get Savvy’s online course? There you’ll find a 7 Step Sales Process with the key message that successful selling starts with you. Visit getsavvycoaching.com where you can find details of our membership group, courses and one to one coaching.

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