Selling: Are You Keen to Impress, or an Obnoxious Pest?

You might think that you're just following up -- but you could be turning your potential customers off.

15th December 2015Jonathan MillsJonathan Mills

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re following up with a potential customer, only to have them suddenly show you the door? It can seem so random — after all, you were only trying to be helpful, to show them that you’re committed to the sales relationship with them, right? Well, maybe from your perspective. But what seems like helpfulness to you might seem extremely irritating to your potential customers.


Take us for example.


Recently we were considering buying something from a particular company. The sales process started off pleasantly enough, and we were definitely interested. But we were also up to our ears on Sasudi launch work, so we needed some time to take care of some other things before we could circle back around to this negotiation.

The salesperson didn’t get that at all though. Even when we told them to leave it with us and we’d get back to them, they still kept selling to us, calling us, leaving us messages, and sending us emails, even after we clearly told them to leave us alone for a bit. It was clear that they thought we were going to be lost business if they didn’t keep on top of us all the time … which actually ended up driving us away!


So is following up with someone bad?


Don’t get me wrong, you definitely need to follow up with people. After all, studies on selling show it usually takes seven “touches” before a person is ready to buy from you. But you have to do it respectfully, or you won’t have enough business to keep doing it much longer!


So how do you know whether you’re being appropriately tenacious or being a total pain?


As with so many things in sales, the customers will let you know if you just ask them. You need to approach your potential customers with respect and think from their perspective so that you can maintain rapport.

One of the most helpful things you can do is to simply ask them what the best way is for you to follow up with them and of course, when you should follow up. Make sure you get this clear. Don’t just leave it at “soon”, because your definition of “soon” is almost certainly different from theirs! (More on this here.)

Remember, everybody’s got their own timetable — and your customers’ is what matters here! So don’t lose hope. It’s taken us two years to secure some deals, but the customers were incredibly appreciative of how we were patient enough to suit their schedule. That being said, if the deal does seem to drag on and on, there are things you can do … check out our posts on turning a no into a maybe into a yes and on getting leads to return your calls for more on this.


Until next time,


“I love my small business, just loathe the selling bit!” Is this you too? We’re here to help — get your FREE 5 Easy Ways to Love Selling Report here!

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