Making Follow-Up Calls Without Feeling Like an Intrusive Telemarketer

You know the importance of following up with prospects whom you have met at shows and events. You have sent them some information that addresses their interests in alpacas, along with a letter and your business card. The next step is to follow up with a phone call. So what exactly do you say in that call, so you position yourself as a knowledgeable resource helping your prospects make a good buying decision and not like the dreaded sales calls you receive from credit card companies? How can you do this in a way that does not feel pushy to you and intrusive to your prospects?

First, remember they came to your show or event with an interest to learn more. They need you in order to do that. They need your expertise, your attention, and your guidance. But they also want to be sure they are getting good information from someone they can trust. How you handle your follow up allows you to establish credibility and position yourself not just as an alpaca business with quality animals and the promise of good customer support, but as the knowledgeable, helpful breeder they can trust. Here are five keys to help you do just that.

You initiate the call

Include a note or letter with the materials you send and in the note, you indicate when you will be calling them to follow-up. Don’t ever expect them to call you back. For instance, your final paragraph might say, I will give you a call next Tuesday, to answer any questions you have and to offer my help as you decide about buying your next alpacas.

Call them on the day you said you would.

You would not believe how many people say they will call and never do. If you call when you said you would, you begin to establish credibility. When your prospects see you made that call as you indicated you would, they tend to really believe other things you tell them about your alpacas and your customer relationships. They begin to trust you.

Establish credibility early in the call.

On the follow-up call, say something like, I’m calling you as I said I would to answer your questions on the information I sent you last week following the (show name) where we talked about alpacas. What questions came up since then as you read that material? (Answer the questions). What other help can I give you at this stage of your search?

Ask open questions.

Do not say, Do you have any questions? This forces the prospect into a Yes or No response, and if they have any hesitance, they will probably say No. You will be more helpful to them if you use an open question, such as, What questions can I answer for you at this point in your search? This and the open question in the sample dialogue above yield a detailed response.

Ask prospects to visit – or revisit – your ranch.

Use your expertise to transition from answering prospect questions to recommending a farm visit. Then ASK your prospects to schedule one. Remember your ultimate goal is to convert the inquiry to a farm visit, then to a sale.

If you get voice mail when you make follow-up calls, use nearly the same dialogue, except state exact times when you are available for a call back. I often request that if people miss me when they call back, they leave times on my voice mail when it is best for me to return their call.

Follow-up calls to prospects are always welcome versus an intrusion when they are made in a timely manner, with information of value and an attitude of genuine helpfulness from you. So put on your headset and get busy!

Julie Wassom

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