How do you follow-up with your prospects?
Most sales people I know make one call back and then they are done. Maybe a try later in the year, but nothing of significance. People just miss the point that sales is all about timing. You have to be in front of someone when they are ready to buy and believe it or not, there is a good chance that the first time you meet someone, won’t be the day they are ready to buy.
Here’s what I suggest.
1. First time you meet someone, really talk to them about their needs. If your product or service is what they are looking for, put them in your sales funnel and begin regular follow-ups.
2. One of the first follow-ups that I like to send is a simple email with my contact info. Even if I give out my card to them, I want them to have an email in their inbox saying, “Hi, just thought I would send you my contact info. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.”
3. My next follow-up is often a combination of email and phone call. I want to get a phone meeting with them. Sometimes the best way to do this is to call, but often, its faster to just send a note. The reason for the email is that people asr shifting away from taking calls. They will return an email 80% of the time. The goal of this follow-up is to get that first call. I call it a discovery call. I just want to make sure we can help them and give them a ballpark on pricing. Depending on what I’m selling, another call comes after this one for more technical information or a deep dive approach into their specific business problem.
4. The deep dive call is usually next. There are often a few emails and calendar appointments to get this setup. But a deep dive call into their business challenge is a great place to built rapport with your prospect.
5. Once you have the deep dive done, it’s usually time for a quote. This is a simple step, but depending on your industry, it should be performed in different ways. If you are selling a consulting service, I prefer to do this in person and go for the close in that meeting. If you are looking at online services or something that requires multiple department approval, you are going to generate a paper quote. One of the things to really focus on in this phase is to give a brief description of your company, some powerful testimonials, and a clear concise quote that is easy to understand.
6. Once your client has a quote, you need to schedule a call that afternoon or the next day to walk through the quote with them. That way you are right back infront of them working with them.
7. If your client doesn’t close in step 6, you need to set another call to discuss what it will take to close.
8. This is the point where people typically fall off sharply. If your client doesn’t close, this is the point that can make or break you. I setup a reminder to touch base weekly for about a month. Just use your judgement at this point.
9. After a month of follow-up, I tend to move folks to a once a month follow-up. After that, I move them to quarterly, and then yearly follow-up. A lot of my customers come out of this. I’ve been in front of them for 6 months or year and now the time is right for them to buy.
10. I also do my best to make notes about my clients. The things they like, dislike, etc. If I see an article or news tidbit that would relate to them, I forward that to them in email with a simple note to say that this made me think of them. I also make note of where people are in the world. When hurricanes or other storms hit the area that I have a client in, I send them a note to see how they are. Is there anything I can do for them? Do they just need someone to talk to to cheer them up? These are the things that truly matter to clients and will make you stand out from anyone else selling what you sell.
One of the major points to keep in mind here is that this process is meant to be back to back and really fast. You want as much contact with your potential client as possible in those first few days and weeks. This will give you the best chance at closing.
In part 2 of this, I will go into how critical it is to follow-up after the sale.