Selling Skills

How to follow up lost sales

You worked hard to win the business but you didn’t. Now what?

I’m not saying that you dance in the streets. But..

Waaaaay too many professional and dedicated salespeople simply accept the turn down without bothering to learn from it. Not only is a rejection a way to learn how to improve, it’s also a possible way to drive more sales.

First, please know that I am not saying to push when the deal is done. When the deal is sealed with someone else however, here is how to follow up the lost sale:

1. If the prospect phones you to let you know that “they went in another direction”:
•Thank them for letting you know and
•Ask if you might follow-up in a few days to learn how you can do better in the future
•It’s usually best to not ask questions just as you hear the disappointing news; you’re likely to feel bit upset/frustrated/rejected and unlikely to hear what they say and they are likely to just want to make the rejection as painless and quick as possible.
•Don’t offer to lower your prices during this phone call! You’ll simply have to start lower next time and you’ve taught them that you aren’t trustworthy – you saved your best pricing for the last possible negotiation.

2. 1. If the prospect emails you to tell you that they selected your competitor:
1. Email back quickly.
2. Thank them and show respect for their decision.
3. Ask if you set up a call time to learn more about how you can serve them better next time.

Here is an example:

Dear Sophie,

Thank you for your follow-up! I understand and respect your decision.

May I phone you later this week to learn how I might better serve you in the future? Or, would you have a few minutes to email to help me do a better job for you? As you can imagine, I am eager to provide you with the best solutions and options to ensure ABC’s* success.

Thank you again for considering Happy Pets! When the time is right, you can feel confident your customers will be barking with joy!

*ABC is their company!

By helping the buyer feel comfortable with you (I understand and respect your decision), you make it easier for them to return to you next time. Also, by not giving up – (Thank you for your email. We look forward to working with you next time.) – and demonstrating a true desire to learn, you are likely to enable another conversation, or at least an email, from the lead. What a great way to keep the conversation going!

How do you follow-up lost sales leads?