The sales process
Sales follow-up and relationship building
Once the order has been signed, maintain your professional approach by:
- Confirming what has been agreed, including delivery dates and times as well as payment procedures, where appropriate. For more information, see late payment law.
- Writing down a schedule of the next steps.
- Confirming all the details, including full contact details in case of queries, in an email or letter.
- Making regular progress calls.
- Checking after delivery that they have received exactly what was agreed and on time. For more information, see manage your customer service.
You should regard getting an order as the beginning of a long-term, mutually beneficial business relationship.
Building relationships takes time and is based on trust and providing honest advice. For example, you might advise your client to buy a cheaper product if this will satisfy their requirements, instead of trying to push them to buy the most expensive version.
Another way of establishing a good working relationship is to request honest feedback. This will help you tailor your product or service to your client's needs and will show that you really care about their business.
Increase your knowledge of the market
You should build on the research you conducted before visiting the client, noting any changes in the market and offering to help your client exploit any opportunities.
Referrals and testimonials
Using referrals can reduce the amount of advertising and cold-calling you need to do.
You should ask for referrals when you:
- are sourcing leads
- conclude an unsuccessful sales meeting
- have just agreed a deal with a new client
- are at a networking event
- are contacting an existing client
Ask existing clients for a written testimonial to use in sales appointments. Testimonials should explain why they used your business, how it helped them, and the level of service they received.