6 Steps to Improve Your Sales Followup
Following up with prospects after initial contact can have a huge impact on the likelihood of converting leads into sales. This is because follow-up communications help keep you top of mind, serve as a reminder of why someone spoke to you in the first place and enable you to build relationships.
Follow-up communications provide a means to share additional information on your product or service, adding depth and detail to your initial meeting and helping to clarify exactly how you can fulfill the prospect’s needs.
There are a variety of ways to follow-up with prospects, such as by phone, email, letter or face-to-face meeting. Whichever way you choose, it is important to do so while your product or service is still fresh in the prospect’s mind. It is recommended by Home Business Magazine to reach back out to the person within a week of meeting them at an event, talking on the phone, or receiving a request for more information.
To help you connect better with prospects and close more sales, below are some best practices for optimizing your follow-up communications.
Take the time to craft individual messages for each person. It may take additional time, but the end result is well worth it. Personalized communications show you care and relieve the prospect of the mindset that they are just another lead to you.
Address them by name and callout some of the issues addressed in your initial meeting. In addition, do your homework and offer useful, relevant information specific to the prospect’s business needs and objectives.
Be Thorough, But Brief
Explain your solution with enough detail that the prospect knows exactly what it is you do, but remember he or she is probably very busy and has a limited attention span. Strive for a happy medium. In some cases this means splitting the information up between two or three follow-up communications. Make sure to deliver only messages that pertain to their situation.
Become a Resource
Be helpful and connect people to information. Don’t focus entirely on you and your product or service. Instead, pass along articles, blog posts, videos, etc., that your prospect might find informative. Mixing this outside information into your follow-up helps establish credibility and builds relationships. Transform yourself from a salesperson to a valuable resource who prospects can rely on. Take the time to educate them so they can make more informed decisions. This is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Grab Their Attention
Be creative with your follow-ups. If you’re emailing your prospect, consider including multimedia elements such as pictures or video. If you’re meeting them face-to-face, consider leaving behind additional resources. Strive to grab the prospect’s attention and leave an impression.
Sometimes using new technologies as the medium for follow-ups can immediately distinguish you from your competitors. Some programs simplify the process on your end and give you information on a lead’s interest level that you may not have otherwise had access to.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
Clearly outline what the next steps are. If you want your prospect to schedule a demo, tell them that. If the next step is creating a proposal, make sure your prospects know. Be specific and tell them exactly what they need to do next and when. Make sure to keep the next steps simple. The more of a time commitment you ask for, the less likely they are to take the desired call to action.
Gather feedback from your prospects and continuously analyze your follow-up strategy. Are there ways you can improve? What is working? What isn’t? Fine tune your performance based on past successes and failures.
Having effective follow-up skills can differentiate you from your competitors and expedite the sales process, helping you close more deals more efficiently.