What do you think of when someone says “sales techniques?” Perhaps something complex, sophisticated, or manipulative. Tim Wackel, a Dallas-based sales trainer, is thinking along simpler, but no less effective, lines.
In a two-minute video Mr. Wackel posted in 2017—now, alas, no longer available—he discussed two simple things one can do when a prospect say “yes” or “no.”
Send a handwritten thank-you note. Why?
Well, a quick note of thanks acknowledges the customer’s decision explicitly. And, Mr. Wackel adds, “You are affirming the relationship as you move forward, and you’re really making them feel good about this experience they’re about to participate in.” I add that a note that subtly addresses the smartness of their purchase decision may lessen any tendency toward buyer’s remorse.
Why would you want to send a note to someone who has said no? After all, haven’t you just retreated from the field to lick your wounds?
Mr. Wackel knows that most salespeople don’t do anything. But he wants “to encourage you to try something different. He notes that he’s received great feedback from sending a small gift box. His contains a Tim Wackel coffee mug and a Starbucks card. And, perhaps most important, a simple note. I include his note verbatim here:
It is often said that you should never forget a client. I prefer to do things so that clients don’t forget me. I appreciate the opportunity to compete for your business and will follow up again in 120 days to get an update on your progress. Wishing you nothing but the best.
This note keeps you on the customer’s radar and (my words) almost guarantees that they’ll think of you the next time they need what you’re offering. Particularly if the choice they made didn’t work out so well. As Mr. Wackel says, “Affirm that you had the opportunity to compete for their business and keep yourself in a great position for the next time because ladies and gentlemen, there’s always going to be a next time.”
I love these sales techniques. Yes, they’re techniques, yet IMHO, they don’t come across as sleazy or annoying. In a noisy and crowded world, we all need ways to make ourselves memorable, and I think hand-written notes do the trick quite nicely.