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Solutions to save the sale
How many customers are actually ready to commit to a booking at their first contact? If we are honest, very few.
If they are early on in their buying cycle, they will want some time to research, browse and think about it some more. You shouldn’t feel disappointed, this is a completely normal process.
But this doesn’t mean you should be waiting around for them to get back in touch. If you feel the conversation has progressed enough that you feel comfortable to ask for their contact details, following up is a great way to keep the interaction with them going.
However, care should be taken. Do it wrongly and you could do more damage than good. Here are the 5 biggest follow-up mistakes you should avoid:
1. Not making contact when you say you will
When you offer to follow up, it’s a smart move to ask when and how is convenient for your customers. Doing it on their terms increases your chances of making it successful. A good time period between your first and second contact is around 2 days, it’s not too soon that they will feel rushed, but you will still be fresh on their mind.
However, if you set a time to follow up, it’s extremely important that you follow through on that promise. Failing to do so will come across as unorganized and unprofessional and will reduce your chances of a sale to nearly zero.
2. You don’t exceed expectations
Every time you have an interaction with a customer, there are 3 outcomes. You either exceed, meet or don’t meet their expectations.
Anytime you don’t meet expectations, they will be left disappointed and you are unlikely to hear from them again. If you meet their expectations, they are satisfied, but they do not feel any loyalty towards you. But if you manage to exceed their expectations, trust and respect increase!
When you do follow up, make sure you are ready for every outcome. Speak with authority and expertise. Do your homework beforehand, show you fully understand their needs and requirements by preparing some more custom options. Think of some ways you can go the extra mile.
3. Not listening
Due to your eagerness it’s easy when following up to fall into the trap of doing all the talking. However, you should be using this opportunity to get more insights in what they are looking for.
The likelihood is that if you haven’t already heard from them, that they are not ready to commit, something is holding them back. Ask the questions to understand why and then listen, you might be able to provide some solutions that turns that “maybe” into a “yes”.
4. Being too pushy
You should remember that your customers will need their space. You are most likely asking them to hand over a wad of cash for a holiday that they have spent all year saving up for. It’s natural that they will want to take the decision carefully.
In most cases giving them some space to think about it, rather than hounding them, can be far more effective. A barrage of calls and emails will only turn them off, and they will very rapidly lose their trust in you.
Plan your interactions wisely and add value in every step, make sure you have something new and relevant to them when you call.
5. Refusing to take “No” for an answer
Sometimes the stars just don’t align, and there are reasons beyond your control that mean however hard you try, you hit a dead end. Firstly, don’t take it personally.
If you have done everything correctly, regardless if they ended up booking or not, you will have the starting of a relationship built on trust and they will feel some loyalty towards you. At some stage, when the time is right, they will return.
Always keep the long game in mind, getting frustrated or annoyed that all your hard work has resulted in little or no reward will have only a negative outcome.