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Do you leave a message?

You have given a presentation. The prospect appeared genuinely intrested but for some reason has put off their purchase or would not commit to making a purchase for some reason.

You "follow-up" with them by phone to shake loose whatever it is that is keeping them from buying, but you get their voice mail.

Do you leave a message?...and if yes, what would be a good thing to say on? - by RainMaker
You have given a presentation. The prospect appeared genuinely intrested but for some reason has put off their purchase or would not commit to making a purchase for some reason.

You "follow-up" with them by phone to shake loose whatever it is that is keeping them from buying, but you get their voice mail.

Do you leave a message?...and if yes, what would be a good thing to say on?
If the prospect put off their purchase or would not commit did you ask why not? If not, why not?

The prospect's answer's would have given you their reasons so you wouldn't have to "shake loose" whatever it is keeping them from buying.

Whenever I call back there's an agreed upon reason why I'm calling back - in most cases. - by MitchM
If the prospect put off their purchase or would not commit did you ask why not? If not, why not?

The prospect's answer's would have given you their reasons so you wouldn't have to "shake loose" whatever it is keeping them from buying.

Whenever I call back there's an agreed upon reason why I'm calling back - in most cases.
In addition, we have an agreed upon time when I will call back. - by BossMan
In addition, we have an agreed upon time when I will call back.
With regard to both Mitch's and Bossman's posts, I coin the term promise-generated to describe a mutual agreement which sets the stage for a follow up. The easiest method is to make a promise about some specific further information that you will obtain and provide. Operative word: specific.

An agreed upon time, as BossMan suggests would probably be an enhancement. - by Gary Boye
With regard to both Mitch's and Bossman's posts, I coin the term promise-generated to describe a mutual agreement which sets the stage for a follow up. The easiest method is to make a promise about some specific further information that you will obtain and provide. Operative word: specific.

An agreed upon time, as BossMan suggests would probably be an enhancement.
I like that term and the fact that it's a response to bring something else to the table - it has the feeling of helpfulness and responsive.

Also, specific is very important - operative as Gary says. I had to learn this a few years ago as it wasn't something I'd been taught or knew of - but it completes a circle and concentric circles centered around something of value and mutual agreement is an immediate picture that comes to mind.

Layers of that creates something. - by MitchM
Yes, I agree with everything that has been said. Please note that no one has told me if they would leave a message on a follow up call which was my question.

...But since you asked questions, I'll throw this particular scenario out because I love your input.

I realize it is better to shake loose these objections during the presentation, but sometimes my "presesentations" are a little unconventional, not ideal, and I am really shooting from the hip. I am not selling to professionals that are sitting in offices scheduling meetings. My prospects are often unsophisticated, work crazy hours and they are not easily accessible. Their business is hectic and it is difficult to get their undivided attention.

This particular presentation was made "on the fly" by phone while the guy (an owner of a chain of pizza restaurants in Michigan) is on the road from one store to another. He asks me to time my call so he will be on the highway between stores.

Our conversation goes fairly well, all things considered. He tells me his time frame is by the "end of the year." He asks alot of questions and says he will probably have more questions, but can't really think of anything else at that moment. I agree to correspond with him by email. He states I should hear back from him by Wednesday. I send him a thank you email, summarizing our discussion and the price and terms of what we discussed. I invite him to fire away with additional questions.

I do not hear back by the specified day. I send him an email asking him if our program meets his objectives and again invite him to ask additional questions or to be forth coming with any concerns or reservations he might have and I will be happy to address them. I also tell him the benefit of utilizing our program during the holidays as opposed to waiting until the end of the year.

4 or 5 days pass. Next I call him. He asks me to call back after 3 (which is a very common response for restaurant owners.) At 3, I get his voice mail.

Now what? - by RainMaker
Yes, I agree with everything that has been said. Please note that no one has told me if they would leave a message on a follow up call which was my question.

...But since you asked questions, I'll throw this particular scenario out because I love your input.

I realize it is better to shake loose these objections during the presentation, but sometimes my "presesentations" are a little unconventional, not ideal, and I am really shooting from the hip. I am not selling to professionals that are sitting in offices scheduling meetings. My prospects are often unsophisticated, work crazy hours and they are not easily accessible. Their business is hectic and it is difficult to get their undivided attention.

This particular presentation was made "on the fly" by phone while the guy (an owner of a chain of pizza restaurants in Michigan) is on the road from one store to another. He asks me to time my call so he will be on the highway between stores.

Our conversation goes fairly well, all things considered. He tells me his time frame is by the "end of the year." He asks alot of questions and says he will probably have more questions, but can't really think of anything else at that moment. I agree to correspond with him by email. He states I should hear back from him by Wednesday. I send him a thank you email, summarizing our discussion and the price and terms of what we discussed. I invite him to fire away with additional questions.

I do not hear back by the specified day. I send him an email asking him if our program meets his objectives and again invite him to ask additional questions or to be forth coming with any concerns or reservations he might have and I will be happy to address them. I also tell him the benefit of utilizing our program during the holidays as opposed to waiting until the end of the year.

4 or 5 days pass. Next I call him. He asks me to call back after 3 (which is a very common response for restaurant owners.) At 3, I get his voice mail.

Now what?
I call back and leave this: "Alonzo, this is Mitch. Call me at _________"

If he doesn't call and I believe he's a prospect with some business probability I keep calling in the course of my working day until I get him. After one or two calls leaving the above message I keep calling but stop leaving messages.

One of our partners in business has kept a conversation going with a couple for a year - I met them last weekend and they are considering doing what we do.

Over the past year - the initial contact was their response to radio advertising we do - they were busy: moving, changing jobs, getting the kids off to camp, etc. so my partner Jerry would call and leave a message. Then he'd get them on the phone. They'd talk and at the end of every call Jerry would do what Gary coined - promise-generated- making an arrangement to return a call with more information.

Persistence pays.

rainmaker - on the fly and from the hip doesn't have to mean loss of control or unmanaged - just the opposite, those kinds of situations demand even more control and management/organization. - by MitchM

Persistence pays.

rainmaker - on the fly and from the hip doesn't have to mean loss of control or unmanaged - just the opposite, those kinds of situations demand even more control and management/organization.
Yes, I believe you are right. I don't have much experience with this type of sale. I am better at face to face.

Thank you. - by RainMaker
Yes, I believe you are right. I don't have much experience with this type of sale. I am better at face to face.

Thank you.
You are better or believe you are better face to face because face to face is where's you've worked mostly and you're comfortable managing those variables - it's somewhat reliable.

Step out of that definition and into the excitement of the unexpected and the creativity of the uncertain where you can use all the skills you already have learned in new contexts - that's where play begins. - by MitchM
You are better or believe you are better face to face because face to face is where's you've worked mostly and you're comfortable managing those variables - it's somewhat reliable.

Step out of that definition and into the excitement of the unexpected and the creativity of the uncertain where you can use all the skills you already have learned in new contexts - that's where play begins.
Yes this is all true. However practice makes perfect, and I have not had much opportunity for practice. I would like to make the best of what I've got now and learn by MAKING this sale instead of learn by LOSING this sale. (of course the good news is, either way I learn.) - by RainMaker
Yes this is all true. However practice makes perfect, and I have not had much opportunity for practice. I would like to make the best of what I've got now and learn by MAKING this sale instead of learn by LOSING this sale. (of course the good news is, either way I learn.)
You do win and lose sales and it's not necessarily a win-win situation unless you dice up the meanings some how to arrive at it or reconcile yourself to the greater good which is what you said - learning - which is one of the goals if you want to win losing.

Obviously they are not one in the same - but context is everything and discipline is the love of study or life - that's where victory lies.

I'm sure others here have perspectives on this that I'd like to read too. - by MitchM
Rainmaker,

I know the situation you are in - sometimes life isn't perfect.

I agree with the advice to leave a message just to call back. He knows you've both planned to talk again, so it shouldn't be a problem. And, I've used the trick of calling back during the day and not leaving a message. If I happen to reach the person after very recently leaving the voice mail, I just say - I had a few minutes and thought I'd try to catch you.

I've found missing each other doesn't always mean the prospect isn't interested. Sometimes they're just busy, and sometimes they'll even be grateful that you're persistent. This could be one of those competing A priorities, and the urgent has gotten in the way of the important.

If it goes on for a long time, and as you mentioned, there is a benefit to doing the promotion for the holiday, I'd also leave a message saying - Hi, this is Rainmaker, and I've missed you again! So, give me a call when you can. It would be great if we could touch base before next Thursday so you can take advantage of the holiday rush. After that, we're really cutting it too close to be sure that the promotion will get started in time.

Or, something like that. That additional time pressure may just shove the topic out of the important into the urgent category.

Go get 'em girl....

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Thank you Kathleen! - by RainMaker
Do you leave a message?...and if yes, what would be a good thing to say on?
Yes, I would leave a message initially stating the purpose of my call (giving a good reason to call me back) and a number where I can be reached directly.

If it got to the point (three or more messages) where I thought the person was avoiding my call I would express my concern and let the other party know that I will be stopping by on such and such a date. (Hardball) - by SalesGuy
Thanks, Sales Guy. Somehow I missed that one. It's helpful. - by RainMaker
Yes, I would leave a message initially stating the purpose of my call (giving a good reason to call me back) and a number where I can be reached directly.

If it got to the point (three or more messages) where I thought the person was avoiding my call I would express my concern and let the other party know that I will be stopping by on such and such a date. (Hardball)
...The stopping by part won't work for hard ball in this case (He's in MI. I'm in FL). Got any alternatives? - by RainMaker
I believe in the slow trickle sale! Sometimes it is better than asking a whole lot of questions as to why they don't want to purchase your product or service and what can you do to convince them otherwise. So, yes...I would leave a message, simply stating that I enjoyed our conversation and am simply following up with them to see if they have reached a decision or have any questions that you can answer for them.

Plant the seed and keep it growing. - by wlctrent
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