Customized Follow-ups Can Grow Your Sales

For the last two weeks, FEI sales leader Zoot has given young salesman Ganymede tips for “getting past the gatekeeper” when cold calling. This week, the sales guru focuses on creating customized post-sales-call communications. Remember, fire = print.

One pleasant Sunday afternoon, Zoot and Ganymede were golfing at Panayouda Pines, a renowned Olympian course. At the third tee, Zoot watched his protégé slice his ball into the woods.

“Know what your problem is?” Zoot asked. “You don’t follow through. That’s why you keep slicing your shots…and your sales activities fall victim to the same bad habits.”

The remark took Ganymede by surprise. “What do you mean?”

Zoot removed his best driver from his monogrammed, jewel-encrusted bag and took a few practice swings. “How do you usually follow up after a sales meeting?” he asked.

“Sometimes I send the prospect a standard FEI packet or letter,” Ganymede said. “Admittedly, other times I fail to follow up at all.”

Zoot shook his head. “Your customers receive a barrage of marketing messages every day. Do you really think generic follow-up materials will help you rise above the clutter?”

“When you put it that way…” Ganymede said sadly.

“Don’t despair,” Zoot continued. “Compelling personalization can help you stand out on this crowded playing field. Let me explain you how it works. What was your most recent sales call?”

“On Friday afternoon, I called on Hyperion from Hyperion Discount Togas,” Ganymede answered.

“And did you take notes during your meeting?” Zoot enquired.

“Of course.” Ganymede reached into his golf toga and pulled out a few scraps of paper. “Hyperion’s favorite sport is mermaid fishing, and he has a daughter named Aura. His number one buying objection is price—surprise, surprise. Right now, Pyro’s torches light his stores. Hyperion acknowledges Pyro’s quality isn’t the best, but he loves the low prices. He’d consider trying out another fire supplier, but they’d need to offer him a cost-sensitive option.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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