The One Secret All Successful Sales Professionals Know

The sales profession has long been one of the most lucrative, rewarding landing spots for talented workers. A truly skilled salesperson can earn six figures with a company that provides the right commission structure.

But for every top salesperson in a company, there are at least a few members on the team who are struggling to make even the minimum in commissions each month. As you work to hone your pitch, it's important to realize that pitching is only part of the equation. In the days, weeks, and months following your interactions with leads, you have the biggest opportunity to turn a potential client into a loyal customer.

As top-performing closers will tell you, sales success is largely contingent on the sales rep's ability to follow up with the right touch.

Here are a few things you can do after the pitch to start closing deals like a pro.

Start During the Meeting

Always make sure to line up the next interaction so that both parties are invested in making progress together. Before you end your pitch presentation meeting with a prospect, firm up a date and time for follow-up.

If your lead mentions needing to discuss the matter with other team members, choose a date for a follow-up meeting where you can go over any concerns those team members might have.

If your meeting triggers concerns about budget, have a plan in place ahead of time to address those objections. Offer to work out a budget that will fit the client's financial goals and set up a meeting time to go over the new information.

Send Effective Follow-Up Emails

Research shows that
are closed during the first meeting, which means follow-up is key. While some sales professionals will pick up the phone for that follow-up, far more use email to nudge a lead into action.

However, there's an art to crafting a follow-up email, and mastering that art can mean the difference between success and failure. One of the best expert tips is to provide information of value to the prospect, ideally based on something discussed in your initial meeting. If potential clients mention something they're struggling with as their business grows, send over a link to a resource that could help.
You'll earn bonus points if that tip isn't related specifically to your business's offerings. Your lead will see the action as a sign that you're genuinely interested in helping them achieve maximum success - not just making money off of them. You'll also keep the line of communication open without directly pressuring to them close.

Be Patiently Persistent

Most deals require more than one follow-up, yet some professionals give up after sending only one or two emails.
continuing to follow up, even when your attempts at communication are met with radio silence.

If you feel as though you're being a pest, directly state that if your leads aren't interested, they can just let you know and you'll stop reaching out. This will save everyone time and energy. However, if that still doesn't get a response, make a point to continue to follow up every couple of weeks, using different language and trying different days of the week.

If you originally met in person or by phone, pick up the phone and call occasionally. Some professionals simply prefer voice-based communication over email. You can also try using other messaging channels, like Twitter or LinkedIn, to reach people who aren't replying to your emails.

Know When to Move On

Unfortunately, despite all your efforts, there will be some leads that will never close. That's just reality. Continuing to follow up after months or even years have passed will only hold you back, since you can put that time toward finding new prospects.

Make a rule for yourself that after a certain period of time with no response whatsoever, you'll cross that lead off your list and circle back in a year or more. In many instances, when you come back to that lead after some time has passed, you'll get better results. You may even find that your original contact at that location has moved on, meaning you can pitch the replacement person with better results.

Knowing when to move on from an unresponsive lead is the difficult part, since times can vary from one industry to another. However, learning to recognize the signs that your prospect will never buy from you can save you a great deal of resources and hassle.

Keep Them Warm

A sales career isn't without its challenges, but with the right approach, you can increase the number of deals you close. Knowing when to continue to follow up and what approach to take can go a long way toward converting a prospect to a long-term, loyal customer.