Pestering in Selling

Pestering, Follow-up, and Follow Through in Selling        
In a recent sales conference, I was asked by a delegate what I meant by, “Follow-up is not enough; pestering is not allowed; follow-through is what matters.” Here’s a summary of my response.     
Imagine this: You meet a salesperson on Friday, and by Monday morning, they’ve sent you a text, called you multiple times, including calling you with different telephone numbers. It’s suffocating, right? Well, that’s what pestering looks like. Pestering occurs when a salesperson inundates a prospect with excessive and unwarranted communication, often crossing personal boundaries and disregarding professional etiquette. It creates discomfort and annoyance rather than fostering a productive business relationship. This approach reflects poorly on the salesperson’s professionalism and diminishes the likelihood of securing a deal.           
On the other hand, Follow-up is a subtle art. It’s about keeping in touch without being overbearing. Follow-up is about reminding the prospect of you, without necessarily reminding them of their promise to you. Follow-up involves maintaining communication with a prospect in a respectful and considerate manner. It demonstrates genuine interest in nurturing the relationship and addressing the prospect’s needs.           

An effective follow-up strategy is characterized by patience, tact, and strategic timing. Instead of pressuring the prospect, it aims to stay on their radar and provide valuable insights or updates that align with their interests. For example, sending a brief, personalized message expressing gratitude for the opportunity to connect and offering relevant resources or information demonstrates thoughtful follow-up.     
And finally, there’s Follow Through. This is where the magic happens. It’s about staying committed and persistent until you achieve your goal. Following through takes follow-up to the next level by persistently pursuing the prospect until the desired outcome is achieved. It requires unwavering commitment, resilience, and strategic adaptation to overcome obstacles and objections. Following through entails recognising and capitalising on opportunities to advance the sales process, even in the face of setbacks or delays.

Unlike pestering, which focuses solely on immediate results, following through prioritises building rapport, understanding the prospect’s needs, and providing value over time. This long-term approach is essential for cultivating trust and credibility, ultimately leading to successful outcomes in sales.    
So, the next time you’re selling, remember that pestering may push people away, follow-up keeps you on their radar, but it’s follow-through that seals the deal.

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