Forget Your ABC's (Always Be Closing) - It's About ABFU Now

 Always Be Closing - Glengarry Glenross

Ever since Glengarry Glen Ross coined a new meaning for your “ABC’s,” the phrase “Always be closing” has been a cornerstone for every salesperson. It’s basic, it’s catchy, and it makes sense. But pushing people down your pipeline in the name of closing? That’s probably not a good idea.


If you’re only worried about closing, you’ll find that your smallest problem is closing deals and your biggest problem is getting repeat business. And seeing as repeat customers spend an average of 33% more than new customers (source: crmtrends.com), I’d like to introduce a new acronym:

ABFU – Always be following up. 


But how many times is too many? What are the best tactics to use? What tools do we have at our disposal to get there? Every salesperson can attest to the importance of follow-up. Less can tell you just how important it is. Luckily, we can.

 

Fact - 78% of decision makers polled have taken an appointment or attended an event that came from an email or cold call. (source: DiscoverOrg)

Reaching out to someone who has never heard of you or your company and getting results is far from impossible. Interact on a smaller scale. Like their posts on LinkedIn, comment on blogs they’ve written, reach out to them intelligently. ABFU.

Tools you can use to do this:

  • Crystal - a tool that helps you look up the personality traits of your prospect and how to approach them.
  • Charlie - a tool that pulls data from all over the internet to help you find recent articles/events/tweets that your prospect has shown interest in.

 

Fact - 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. 80% of sales require five follow-ups (source: Scripted, The Marketing Donut). 

Don’t pitch your product or service the first time you reach out to someone. If you’ve never had a real conversation with your prospect, why should they respond to your emails or voicemails? They’re busy. They know you’re trying to sell them something. In all likelihood, they’re probably annoyed that you’re even contacting them. That’s why it’s important to learn about them and attempt to build a relationship. ABFU.

 

Fact - 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. If you follow up with a lead within 5 minutes, you’re 9x more likely to convert them. (source: insidesales.com)

It’s hard to contact the right person at the right time. It’s hard to stay top of mind with every single prospect. That’s true. But if you’ve been following up with personalized emails, you’ll at least be top of inbox. ABFU.

 

Fact - Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (source: DemandGen Report)

“Nurtured leads” is a marketing term that means following up with relevant information. So, in other words, follow up with value. ABFU.

 

Fact - 95% of buyers chose a solution provider that provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process. (source: DemandGen Report)

Follow ups should never fall into the “just checking in!” category. Get creative. Send them content or case studies. Reach out to your marketing team if you’re having trouble finding enough content – it’s their job to have it. Small interactions that provide value add up over time. ABFU.

 

In short, by following up:

  • You inadvertently work smarter, not harder
  • You get more deals
  • You get bigger deals
  • You get better relationships

 

 

Kate Jacoutot

Spire Workforce Solutions, 5575 Peachtree Dunwoody Road Northeast, Building C, Suite 240, Sandy Springs, GA, 30342, United States