Is Your Follow-up Too Passive or Too Aggressive? As the sales manager asked this question to his team, he could feel the mood in the conference room shift. The typical sales meeting is where the group of sales professionals all climb into the small conference room, compare notes, discuss some of their sales strategies and leave about 90 minutes later…unchanged.

This meeting was different, as the sales manager started the meeting with this interesting question. After the question was presented to the team, the sales manager, with a smile, waited calmly for an answer to his question. The silence lasted for only about 15 seconds, but it felt like all day. Everyone sheepishly looked around the room, not knowing what to expect, as he broke the silence and asked the same question again.

“How do I answer this?” I thought to myself as I thought back to my most recent scheduled follow-up time. My mind wandered as I considered some of the sales statistics I recently learned:

  1. 48 percent of sales professionals never follow up with a prospect. I learned this the hard way over the years. Talk about too passive. It is amazing to think that almost half of the sales professionals out there today do not even follow up once.
  2. 80 percent of sales require five follow up calls after the meeting. 44 percent of the sales professionals give up after the first call. Again, too passive if you want the sale.

These facts made me ask a question to my sales manager: “Can you be too aggressive when following up with prospects?” The silence in the room was broke with my question that demanded an answer.

“Think of words that might come to mind when you think of someone that is too aggressive in their follow up process,” the sales manager asked me. Words came to my mind like, pushy, intimidating, high pressure, won’t take “no” for an answer…so I shared them with the group, much to the delight of my sales manager. The once tense room, was now relieved that the spotlight was off of them as a whole and on to me.

Then it hit me.

“I believe that it is best to be neither too passive, nor too aggressive, but rather in the middle…assertive,” I blurted out without much thought. The room seemed to appreciate the third alternative. “So what words come to your mind when you think of ‘assertive,’” the sales manager asked me, liking where this was heading.

“Great listening skills, calm, enthusiastic, positive, winning attitude, being equal to your prospect, understands that “Nos” are part of the business…” all came out of my mouth at a machine gun pace!

The room tended to agree as the sales manager gave me the nod of approval and went into his eight steps to proper follow up…

If you would like me to send you these eight steps, please email me at and ask for the 8 follow up steps and I will send them to you. Please remember, it is just as important to have a follow-up system as it is to have a sales system. Too many opportunities are lost at this step. I know that this can change your sales career if you build a rock-solid follow-up process. I would love to hear about your follow-up process!

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