What is following up?

When we think of following up with a prospect it’s typically after an initial contact, either by phone or digitally where they have shown an interest in your services and you have perhaps had a call or meeting.

You’ve done all the groundwork, the meeting went well and you presented a great pitch, in your head you believe you just need to wait for them to get back in touch and sign up and all the hard works done, but if they haven’t made the purchase after the pitch that’s when the hard work really begins…

Why is following up so important?

Following up can unlock the key to a stream of revenue you may be missing out on, it may be that the prospect didn’t buy because the time wasn’t right, other priorities arose, they didn’t have the finances or they didn’t need your service at the time you made the initial pitch.

There are any number of reasons that a prospect didn’t buy and that could have all changed now, but how will you ever know if you don’t follow up.

So many businesses have a list of prospects who have not yet made a purchase but who have never been followed up with, there are lots of business owners that just don’t have a sound follow up process and are missing out on much needed revenue.

 

So why don’t people follow up

It’s easy to see how following up can generate more income and develop a business further, but it’s understandable though that not everyone feels comfortable with contacting prospects who didn’t but the service, you worry that you will aggravate prospects, you don’t want to come across pushy and let’s face it there is also the worry of being rejected too.

It can also be difficult to know what to say on a follow up call too or what to write in a message or email.

But if it’s done in the right way at the right times having a follow up process can convert many more prospects into paying clients.

There are plenty of times prospects just need reminding of the service or product and if you want to see following up at its best you only have to search online for an item to buy, once you have done the search you begin to notice that the item will appear time after time in your news feed.

You also see that if you visited a website to buy a product and got to the checkout but didn’t complete the purchase you may get emails reminding you that the item is still in your basket etc.

These reminders are just another form of following up and they work too, many corporate companies spend multiple figures just on the follow up process alone to remind prospects that they didn’t make the purchase but the item or service is still available.

It works too, it reminds you that you were once looking to make a purchase of this item and gets you thinking about it again, there are many times that we hit the buy now button purely because we had a reminder so don’t be afraid to follow up.

Remember, if you don’t remind your prospect of your services, someone else will.

 

When you follow up you are not looking to sell, you are just checking in.

The follow up whether in a call or digitally doesn’t need to be a long process it’s just short and sweet to remind them that your services are still available.

But a follow up can also be so much more, it can be an opportunity to tell your prospect about something new you offer, it can be a chance to let them know there is a deadline looming and if you follow up with a call you can even find out more about your potential client that may help you promote your service to them better.

You have heard time and time again stories of people who followed up with their ideal client over and over until they finally won the contract and the client signed up.

It really is a thing, many prospects really do want the service you offer but life is so busy and gets in the way and unless they’re reminded it can be easy for them to forget and move on for a while.

I myself have won huge contracts that I have followed up with for a few years when most people would have given up and I do this by using soft contact, just getting in touch from time to time, here and there so that the minute the prospect needs the service you provide they think of you first.

When it comes to the service your potential client needs, if you are not the first person they think of anymore they will just find someone else so you need to be in touch with them from time to time.

 

Following up on the phone

Many people worry about what to say on a follow up call, they already presented their services and told the prospect everything they have to offer and don’t want to just call and repeat themselves again and again, this is understandable and doesn’t have to be this way, there are many ways to handle a follow up call.

You are not looking to pitch to the prospect every time you call,

Instead just let them know you are getting in touch about the service that you presented to them recently to see if they have any more thoughts or questions, then if their response is vague and if the situation allows, ask them something about their business or themselves instead, you would be surprised how much more you will find out on follow up calls.

But no matter how chatty your conversation gets always if they don’t make a purchase then your aim is to agree a next follow up date that you can get back in touch.

 

Following up digitally

If you are following up digitally then making it short and sweet is the best approach, it’s not about sending them tonnes of email content, long DM messages and links etc, it’s more about reminding your prospects that your services are still available if and when they are ready.

A good approach to following up is usually a mix of calls and emails depending on the prospects and the service you offer.

 

Once you know how to approach your follow ups, you now need to create a process so you know when to follow up.

This is where your CRM (customer relationship management tool) comes in…

By having a well managed CRM you will be able to see at a glance the last discussion or contact you had with your prospect and you will be able to diarise when to follow up.

But don’t forget, if you arranged to get back in touch with someone on a certain day at a certain time then it’s your responsibility to make sure that you follow through and make contact when you said you would.

You have to keep your promises to your prospects in the same way that you keep them with your clients.

It’s easy to think that you don’t have time to put in a follow up process, and keep in touch with every prospect that you ever made contact with, but once you understand how much revenue you could be missing out on and what following up could do for your business you soon realise it’s worth making the time to keep in touch with your prospects and once you have a system it just becomes part of your working day.

Following up can find you the missing revenue your business may need so ignore this important area of the business at your peril.

 

Once again that old friend consistency will really help 

To be consistent with your follow ups will be key to getting good at doing them, if you intend to make follow up calls, look at the notes of the previous calls you made or emails you sent so you can remind the prospect of anything you both talked about.

If you are sending follow up emails then it can help to have some templates of emails set up for your follow ups you can then diarise these using an email sequencing app which can help.

 

When should you stop following up 

People often wonder when to stop following up, well the answer is simple, don’t stop following up as long as the prospect is accepting your calls hasn’t unsubscribed from your emails.

Whilst they are still agreeing to accept contact from you they are still a prospect who may some day be ready to purchase.

 

How often should you follow up

The frequency that you contact your prospects is dependant on they type of business they have and the way in which you choose to contact them but initially it will be more frequent then taper off to less frequent and sometimes it can be as little as every 3 to 6 months or so.

To work out a follow up plan for your business will depend on the business type, the client profile, the amount of time you are able to put into a follow up process and how you plan to make contact each time either by phone, digitally or both.

It’s often best to seek professional advice for this if you are new to setting up a follow up process.

However you choose to do your follow ups is up to you but don’t miss out on the extra revenue this can bring.

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“My name is Sarah-Jayne Astral founder of the Leads to Sales Accelerator which was created for business owners who are amazing at what they do but need more clients.

I have owned various types of business and been at the the forefront of sales and marketing for over 25 years and now focus on helping business owners generate quality leads and convert those leads into sales.

But that’s not all, from there I show you how to put the right systems in place that will allow you time to do what you’re good at – delivering an excellent service – whilst knowing you have a consistent flow of prospects and a solid revenue stream”

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To find out more about how the Leads to Sales Accelerator programme can work for you just click the link below to book a free consultation