Most entrepreneurs, direct sales women who own and operate a business, or those specializing in sales have encountered the "chronic follow up sales call cancellation". Canceled sales calls can lead to distractions, discouragement, and even worse deter you from your goal, which is to increase your business revenue / home party sales.
Visualize this Networking Follow Up SceneWhile attending networking events, you are sales prospecting and building rapport. You are full of excitement about the people you meet and the opportunity to introduce them your business.
Using a direct sales lead's or sales prospect's business card--that you generated from a networking event--you follow up by calling them on the phone. You exchange pleasantries and have a hunch this person might need or want your products and / or services.
By passing the initial qualifying test, you determine that they are ready to move onto the next step. During the follow up sales call, you set an appointment and a day or so later you send them an email.
Everything is going well until you are ready to go to the appointment when you receive "the call". Client, "Hello, Sue. I have to cancel our appointment something's come up." Your sales prospect melts away to focus on something more pressing.
The situation repeats--once, twice or several times.
All of my direct sales and corporate sales training and experience in setting follow up appointments has led me to believe there are times when direct sales women and entrepreneurs are more invested in meeting with the prospect than the prospect is in meeting with us. The act of casually canceling is usually a good indicator that your interest in meeting this prospect exceeds their interest in meeting you.
The question I receive most often is: "When do you stop pursuing a prospect?" and "Why would this person(s) keep setting sales appointments, seem interested, and then cancel?" These are reasonable questions.
A characteristic of coaching direct sales and corporate companies for women is dealing with sales cancellations and the beleaguering practice of hanging onto leads that seem hopeful. I have experienced, and seen all too often, how both instances deter from the act of pursuing more productive sales opportunities.
For those of you who are asking the questions above, here's my answer:Do all that you can to protect yourself from discouragement by generating enough leads so that any one cancellation does not rob you of one of your most revenue-generating assets--your enthusiasm! My personal sales policy when doing direct sales or running a home-based business was that if someone canceled on me without a valid reason three times, I politely removed them from my list. Additionally, you can do this without burning bridges because we all know that people, situations and needs change.
This does not mean that you end communication with your sales prospecting lead. Instead, set up a Chronic Follow Up Sales Cancellation Strategy. Do not fret, I have put together a sales cancellation checklist for you to use.