Do You Know Why People Don’t Follow Up?

I thought about you this week because I know YOU are one of those people who are never satisfied. I had the experience of calling three companies about three different products. I found all three of companies through Internet search and after three days not one called me back.
I started looking into this problem and it is massive. Did you know 48% of all sales people never make even one follow up call and 65% of all businesses admit they don’t nurture leads?  Did you know that companies that do nurture sales leads with follow up have 47% higher profit margins than companies that do not.

Why do sales people and organizations fail to follow up?  Well it’s not what you think and the solution is simple.  My company took the time to survey over 800 sales people and 500 businesses that said, 1) they can’t get the customer back on the phone and 2) they have no organized process for follow up. With all the CRM’s, apps and software available today, you would think this is the last problem anyone would have.

But in reality, if a salesperson does not know what to say or how to get the prospect back on the phone, then how can you expect them to make a second call, much less the five to twelve calls necessary to close a deal?

I decided to tackle this problem. I went to work to create exact strategies for every possible follow up call. For the last 12 months, I’ve been researching this subject and beta testing strategies to help retailers with follow up. The information we discovered is amazing. For instance, it took eight follow up attempts to get the lead back on the phone. Also, when the lead was responded to with three text messages, the response rate jumped over 300%.

Additional facts about follow up include:

  1. Average response time for Internet lead is 44 hours.
  2. 65% of all companies don’t nurture the lead.
  3. Only 25% of all salespeople make two contacts.
  4. 80% of all transactions require 5 to 12 follow-ups.

Follow up is a massive problem across all retailers and an even bigger opportunity for those that commit to exploiting it.

Did you know that the first company to follow up the customer gets almost 50% of all the transactions? How would you like a solution to this where your people are shown exactly what to do with every possible call?  Lets face it, you only have a few things that separate you from others, and it’s not your product, pricing or advertising. The single thing that can set you apart is how well your people do following up your customers. Ignore the lead and it will cost you money.

If you want to see how your employees handle customers, send me an email at and we will evaluate you for free!

Be great, nothing else pays.

– GC

Showing 34 comments
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  • Andrea Kolop

    Great post! It is really surprising that 65% of all companies do not nurture leads. However, I understand that sales follow up process can be difficult to sales reps as there is not a magic cookbook that tells you what to do in different situations. It can also be hard to decide whether it is better to talk on the phone or send an email to your prospects. Sales follow up emails can be really important as emails provide a quick and easy way to nurture (it is more than staying in touch with) leads. If you are interested in a few tips on writing a kick-ass follow up email go to These tips can be useful as they are easy to use and applicable in most of the situations.

  • Emma Downey

    Thanks Marty, generally I don’t ask them that, but it’s polite so I will do that from now on. Good tip 🙂

  • Emma Downey

    Thank you Mike, that is a great help. I will definitely take a good look at my technique and put in some new policies. Thanks again

  • Mike

    Hi Emma, my name is Mike and I also work in Australia in an industry where prospects get three or more quotes. Regarding followup, I have found if the person is sold on my service, meaning: he’s still getting three quotes to compare but he is really clear about what I’m offering and how it meets his needs, he’s sold on me as a person and confident my company can deliver, then he doesn’t mind me following up. On the other hand, if my presentation doesn’t help him see I’m offering a suitable solution to his problem then he has no interest in hearing from me. So one thing I do is validate that I’m offering the kind of solution he’s happy with before even writing a proposal. Before writing a quote I like to know he’s “sold” on moving forward if the figures and terms are agreeable. So I make sure they are sold on everything except the price. If they are, I write a quote. If not, I find out what’s not right about my service and clarify or fix it if I can. Grant’s closes help with this. In some cases i give a quote on the spot and close the sale right there without the prospect getting other quotes. Other times he’ll receive my quote and call me to place an order. Other times I make a followup call, clarify a few things, explain why my quote is different to the others and close the sale where possible. Bottom line: only a small percentage won’t get back on the phone with me. To those who won’t get on the phone I do two things: 1. I send an email asking if my proposal met their needs or if I missed something. They usually respond to the email with: “haven’t made a decision yet, went with someone cheaper, not moving ahead at the moment, or we like your proposal, let’s roll”. 2. To those who want to go ahead I call and start the project. To those who went with someone cheaper I wish them the best. To those who haven’t made up their mind I send monthly emails until they call me or ask me to stop emailing. Point is, I’m in Australia and followup does work, at least in my experience. But everything before the followup needs to be right. If not, you’ll always be pushing up hill. I often get comments like: you’re not the cheapest but you seem more committed to our project or more excited to work with me or more knowledgable about the subject." Others like the professionalism of my quote and tell me it’s the easiest quote to understand. So I think a lot of good things need to happen before your followup efforts will be successful. Hope this helps.

  • Emma Downey

    I haven’t seen the program yet Steve but I have all of Grant’s books so will get reading. Thank you….. and please thank Grant, he inspires me to try harder and smarter!

  • Marty

    Emma have you tried telling people or asking if it’s OK if you follow up with them in a few days in case they have any questions. I think most people will say no problem when you talking to them and presenting your quote. It’s just being being honest about your process and you can say that you are available to them before and after they do business with you.

  • Steve Spray

    Emma- thanks for your comment. I’m one of the managers working with Grant and wanted to help you with this. I can totally understand Aussies do not like the hard sell. Most people don’t. Grant wouldn’t suggest to hard sell even though it may seem that way. Persistent follow up is key and important that you have a follow up system in place like what we have in Cardone University. Helping someone make the right decision in choosing you to do business with over anyone else is the right thing to do as long as you know you’re the best option for the client. It would be unethical for you to let them make the wrong mistake. The training we have in the University program will show you how to follow up, sell, negotiate and close in a professional manner that wouldn’t offend anyone but show your professionalism and dedicated service. You have to set yourself apart from anyone else out there. Have you seen the program yet?

  • Emma Downey

    I agree with Grant, following up is very important. However; I am from Australia and Aussies don’t like the hard sell at all! In fact, they see it as intrusion if, after receiving our quote, I then ring them to follow up.
    My husband and I run an outdoor carpentry business building decking, patios… that sort of thing. We spend time with a lead at their home and then provide a written quote along with references. 5 days to a week later, I call or email the customer to follow up and almost 100% of the time, people do not answer their phone, do not return our calls or ignore my emails. I’ve even had customers say to me ‘if you continue to contact me about this, I’ll tell everyone I can that your company harasses people’.
    My follow up is polite and professional. I consider we have put ‘free’ time into preparing our quotes for customers and frankly, I feel a little rejected and confused when people get angry when I follow up.
    It’s certainly a touchy subject. Australians like to make up their own minds and the follow up just doesn’t seen to be welcome, especially in our line of work when people obtain 3-5 quotes for a job.
    Grant, it would be great to get your advice on how to handle selling to the Aussie culture.

  • Hector

    There you go!

  • John Ong

    This is very true Grant. Having a system thats dynamic to a persons way of working will have a tremendous impact on the bottom line.

  • James

    Enjoying the topic. See this regularly in B2B, where all effort is to find prospect, and little funding and thus effort is focused on winning or followup after the initial contact.

  • Sean Gallagher

    Just started really putting this into action, where I now really make sure to follow up with people who call in. I was already doing a great job with people emailing in, just phone calls seemed to be an issue. And I found out it’s a pretty rampant problem in my industry – the follow up from phone calls. I’ve had clients tell me they called 5-10 other companies and not one, except me, called them back. And guess what?! I got the client!

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