Common Mistakes When Following Up On Sales Leads

Times are changing in the rise of inbound marketing, which refers to marketing activities that bring in customers, rather than having to go out to get a prospects attention.  It used to be rare to get inbound leads, but that is quickly disappearing. Social media alone provides an abundance of information about prospects leading them to find you first. Even with all of the positivity inbound marketing and social media brings to your brand, sales representatives are still struggling when it comes to following up on a sales lead. With a new year beginning, do your best to avoid these 5 common mistakes when following up on a lead.

1. Following up too slowly

Research shows that sales representatives are 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if they call in the first 5 minutes versus calling 30 minutes later. For example, many sales teams are now using technology to grasp a better understanding of their buyers viewing their websites and emails. Today, there are resources out there that allow you to see when someone opened the email you sent them. For more information on how to use this, see www.hubspot.com/products/sales. 

For instance, you see that John Miller is viewing your products page on your website and researching one of your excavators. John has visited this particular excavator multiple times on your page. Should you call John right away once you see this? YES. If you don’t, you are missing this window of opportunity when it’s fresh in his mind.

Some dealers and/or sellers are reluctant to do this because they don’t want to seem as if they are invading an individual’s privacy.  If confronted by a potential customer about this, confess and tell them the reason behind tracking them and how it helps your business better understand the needs of your prospects and customers.

2. Adding no value

Be a consultant, not a seller! Buyers can easily go online, compare prices and take their business elsewhere in a fraction of a second. As a consultant, you want to provide value to your customer from the moment you start the conversation. They want you to show them how this piece of equipment will bring them solutions to the problems they’re facing with their business.

As Dale Carnegie stated, “People don’t want to be sold to, they want to feel as if they’re buying.” With that in mind, provide resources and guidance to your customer and always be helping.

3. Using scripts                                                                                                                          

Who can tell me the difference between a script and a template? A script is something you repeat to every prospect word for word. A template is a general way to framework a sale that you can personalize based on the individual. Which one do you think is more successful?

A buyer will quickly pick-up on your script and realize that you provide no value to them. Avoid using scripts and stick to templates. Not only do templates save you countless amounts of sales time but they allow you to vary your answers based upon what the buyer asks.

4. “Just checking in” sentence                                                                                                      

Did you know that 80% of sales require five or more follow up meetings/calls to make a close. So, not all hope is lost if you did not call within that five minute window we spoke about earlier.

Most sales people believe that “just checking in” is the right method, but it’s too generic.

Yes, you don’t know much about the potential buyer, but you can atleast do some research before you call. For example, visit their Facebook, Linkedin, Website and etc to learn more about your prospect. They will be far more interested if they saw that you took the time to get to know them and are not just out for a sale.

5. Not listening to which stage your prospects in                                                                      

The buyer’s journey has four stages: awareness, consideration, evaluation, and decision. Each one of these stages will require the sales individual to adapt to the way they go about selling. Awareness refers to the buyer realizing that there is a need that has to be filled. Consideration is when the buyer finds a product he/she likes that will resolve the need and is considering purchasing it. As the buyer moves onto the evaluation stage, they’re weighing all their options to make sure this is the right product, price and etc. After all of these steps are completed, the buyer will make their decision. Remember to always build your sales process around the customer. Ask yourself, what are their needs, wants and requirements for purchasing. For example, if your potential buyer comes into your shop knowing nothing about construction equipment then you will not start with the decision stage.

The five mistakes above should be taken seriously, but the good news is that they are easy to correct if you’re open to change. Most salespeople don’t have the time to change how they have been doing things for years, but if you don’t, customers will take their business elsewhere. For more sales tips or questions, email marketing@commercialwebservices.com.


Commercial Web Services
Rachel Bailey / February 11, 2016

Hey Jess 😀 This article was actually super interesting and helpful to me. I follow up on sales leads for our dealership, thanks for sharing your smartness I really enjoyed reading! 🙂 <3

Jessica Feldman / February 11, 2016

Hey Rachel,

I’m glad it was helpful!! This month I am doing a sales series. Thank you for letting me know you liked it!


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