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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Be persistent without being a pest

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One of the issues many salespeople face today is actually trying to reconnect with prospects and clients. Decision makers are extremely busy so it is very difficult to connect with them even after an initial conversation or two.

Pre-arrange the follow-up

One powerful strategy is to pre-arrange the follow-up during every conversation.

During an initial call you need to establish a day and time for a subsequent conversation. You can do this by simply saying, “It seems like we need to talk again. Does next Tuesday morning at 9:15 work for you?” Pinpointing a specific day and time is critical but most salespeople say something like, “I’ll call you next Tuesday.”

This approach leaves the door open and forces the other person to actually look at their calendar and consider your request.

Once you nail down a day and time, tell them that you will send them an Outlook invite and then send it immediately after your call.

When you call at the determined time you may get their voice mail, so hang up and call back in two to three minutes. If you still get voice mail, leave a message, “Mr. Jones, Kelley Robertson calling as promised. I suspect you got called away so I’ll give you a shout at 11:45.” In many cases, the other person will either return your call shortly or they will be at their desk the second time you call.

Consider snail mail

Too many people rely solely on email or telephone to connect with people when they follow up. However, regular mail works very effectively. The key is to send them something that catches their attention. I have sent high-value prospects a book that is on their LinkedIn reading list or a magazine that relates to a personal interest.

For example, if a person’s profile shows that they enjoy scuba diving send them a diving magazine with a note that says, “I know you enjoy diving and thought you would enjoy this magazine.”

This approach takes time and effort so use it only with your high-value prospects.

Use multiple approaches

Most decision makers rely on text messages or will respond to messages from their LinkedIn account or Twitter more quickly than a standard email. This has proven to be an effective way to connect with busy decision makers.

These are just a couple of ways you can improve your follow-up and increase your sales. The key to reconnecting with prospects and customers is to be persistent without being a pest.

For more on selling, see:

6 signs you are a sales zombie

Seven more things salespeople should never stop doing

The great debate on… cold calling?

Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at


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