Today, I want to talk with you about mastering the follow-up process with prospects…
Following-up with your prospects is vital if you want to make more sales and be successful in your business, regardless of your industry.
Following-up is an art-form. It’s something that must be learned, implemented, tweaked and refined.
The money really is in the follow up. Most people will need at least five to twenty follow-ups before they actually buy from you.
Write that down. It’s great advice.
To follow-up effectively, you need to develop and implement a follow-up process for your prospects.
What I want to do in this post is share a few tips from around the web about mastering the follow-up process with prospects. These are some quotes, tips and wisdom from other marketers and entrepreneurs that I believe will help you develop and master your own follow-up process. After each quote I will provide my own two cents. Enjoy.
FIND OUT THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT THEM
At the end of your first conversation with the prospect, ask them the best way to contact them for a follow-up. This is critical, because it lets the prospect know you’re going to be contacting them again, and it also allows you to get their preferred method of communication. ~ Mike Kamo, Stride App blog
My Take: Everyone prefers a different style of communication. Some people would rather connect by phone, others by social media, some by direct mail and some by email. Find out which method the other person prefers and use that method whenever possible.
USE MULTIPLE FOLLOW-UP METHODS
The best solution to getting in touch with your prospects, then, is to use phone and email as a complement to one another. ~ Niti Shah, Hubspot
My Take: Use a combination of methods to follow up with your prospects. Never rely on a single medium. The more methods you can combine the higher the likelihood you will be effective.
DON’T COME ACROSS AS DESPERATE
Don’t call or email every day. Once per week is enough (no more than twice if you just feel compelled). Develop a mindset that you have too many new prospects in line waiting to meet with you and too many existing clients. You really don’t have time to call more than once per week…maybe only once every other week. ~ Carlos Diggs
My Take: You want to have posture when you are following up with your prospects. If you are contacting them daily, you will come across as desperate. You don’t want to do that. You want to come across as busy. You don’t want your prospect to think you are desperate for their business.
Always call or email within 48 hours of meeting someone telling them it was nice to meet them, asking about their business and finding out how you can refer business to each other and help each other’s businesses grow. ~ Katrina Sawa via Evan Carmichael’s blog
My Take: When you first meet a new prospect, reach out to them immediately. Start working on the relationship. See what you can do help them. Offer value. Don’t do the hard sell. Show them that they are more than a number or sale. Find out what you can do to help them as well. This will really make you stand out in today’s marketplace.
SCHEDULE YOUR FOLLOW-UP CALLS WITH YOUR PROSPECT
Stop making follow-up calls and start making scheduled calls. A follow-up call has a general time-frame for when you’ll call the prospect, but it doesn’t ask the prospect to make any kind of commitment. Instead, schedule your next call with the prospect and make sure that both of you have it on your calendar. This requires some foresight, so you’ll need to think one or two steps ahead in the sales process. At the conclusion of every meeting think about what needs to happen next and then schedule this event with the prospect before you end the meeting. On a phone call, schedule the next call. If you make a prospecting call and the prospect asks you to send information and call back in a few days, ask him to schedule a time for both of you to talk. This isn’t a guarantee that he will always show up for your next scheduled call, but it’s certainly more effective than making an unexpected follow-up. ~ Buzz Builder Pro
My Take: Every time you talk with a prospect, or communicate with them in any way, you only have one goal: to set the next appointment (exposure). If you don’t set a time and date for your next follow-up, you will constantly be playing phone tag with each other. That’s the last thing you want to do.
TRACK EVERYTHING YOU DO
If you really want to understand the effectiveness of your sales process, you have to track everything — when follow-ups were attempted, when contacts were made, how the prospects responded, etc. Having this information in your database gives everyone in your company a big-picture view of the buyer’s journey as it relates to your process. Erin Myers, Outbound Engine
My Take: If you don’t/can’t track it you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t working. Have a simple spreadsheet you can update that keeps track of which step in the follow up process your prospect is in. This will save you a lot of time and money.
BE ACCOUNTABLE AND RELIABLE
Do what you said you were going to do. If you said that you’ll follow up with them at a specific time, be sure to follow through. People appreciate that. ~ John Melton
My Take: We live in a world where most people do not do what they said they will do. Be responsible and accountable. Be a person of integrity. That alone will please most of your prospects.
When clients send you e-mails and letters of praise, keep them on file, and better yet, ask for permission to use it in your marketing materials. When you run into a prospect with similar needs and interests, send them a targeted testimonial. Doyle Slayton, CPSA
My Take: Include testimonials in your follow-up process whenever possible. People will believe what a happy customer says at least 10 times more than what you tell them yourself.
THE PHONE IS YOUR FRIEND
Usually, the best follow-up tool is the phone. Personal visits may be intrusive, and if your contact is not available, you will have wasted precious time. E-mail and faxes are easy to ignore and may not even reach their intended target. Phone calls, however, are quick, convenient, and allow you to get instant feedback. Whether or not you reach your prospect, follow-up with an immediate e-mail indicating your purpose, and confirming any decisions you and your prospect may have made. ~ Christopher Bachler, Home Business Magazine
My Take: Don’t be scared to use the phone. It is your best friend. It does not weigh 300 pounds. In my opinion, the phone is the most effective follow-up tool that you have in your arsenal. Even though we live in a digital world, you can accomplish more in two minutes on the phone than you can in 10-20 emails.
I hope you found this information helpful. Mastering the follow-up process with prospects is very important if you want to build a profitable business of any kind.
The money really is in the follow-up. What you need to do is develop a simple process that works for you and your business and implement it.
Track what you do and constantly look for ways to tweak and improve your follow up process. Do that and you will be well on your way.
What are your thoughts? What is your favorite tip on this page and why? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.