How and When Should You Follow Up With a Prospect?
You have just contacted a prospect over the phone who is interested in hearing about your service, business or product. You received permission to email /fax him more information about it.
1] The email/fax is your third party in this case. They need to contain enough information that will help your prospect reach a decision.
2] Once he has your information in his hand – this sets room for the follow up process.
A majority of sales closed in this world are closed in the follow up process. Many small business owners leave out the follow up process because it demands leaving the comfort zone and pulling the trigger…aka: asking the prospect: “are you interested?”.. People fear rejection so they prefer not to follow up and hope for the best.
Follow up is critical because it closes the process of the sale.
There are three main aspects in the sales process:
1] Initial contact of the prospect
2] Prospect receives the information via third party
3] Follow up.
Now the question is: how and when should you follow up?
There is no real answer to this question; so many people do some many different things when it comes to follow up.
Here are some follow up tips:
1] Ask your prospect when would be a good time to follow up with him. This is probably the most important tip since you need to talk to him when his mind is relaxed and not calling him by surprise when he is really busy. He may want you to call in two weeks and not the next day. Follow up as often as they say you should.
2] If your prospect is in your local area – ask if it’s possible to show up at his office for just a few minutes. Face to face is very important. When you show up offer him a free sample of your product or what ever it is you can offer him from your company – for free. People like gifts. A great tactic is to offer your free sample together with your companies’ pen or business card so he has your contact information.
3] If you are sending your prospect an email – it is also very important to send out follow up emails. Not to bomb them on a daily basis but at least two emails. The first follow up email should be sent at least two days after the initial email and the second email should be sent three days after that. Some studies have shown that it takes up to seven follow emails to close a sale!
4] Remember: the reason for follow up is because your prospect is busy. When you first contacted him, he listened, he then said something like “sure send me an email” and then he went back to work and probably forgot about your call. The follow up comes into place to remind him about your call and to get him to start thinking.
5] Don’t be pushy on the phone – prospects don’t like that. On the other hand don’t be shy. The prospect should not be the one leading the conversation. It is your job to get him to start thinking and to start talking. You need to start with something like: “Did you receive my email?”
6] Another aspect in the follow up process is to listen to his or her tone of voice. Are they busy? Do they seem relaxed? If they are busy then your tone or rhythm should be tuned in with them. You need to roll with the punches on the phone. If the person is relaxed – don’t try to rush things.
7] When it comes to follow up – never leave any prospect out. Don’t pre-judge anyone because you never know who is going to buy.
8] What ever follow up strategy you have – stick with it. When you are working on a clear strategy it will help you get better with the follow up. Your prospects will also be aware of that and this will help you improve your credibility and professionalism. Of course you can modify your strategy as you go along – but get the foundation right.
9] This is very important – always make sure before your contact any company that they have a need for your product or service. This will help you in the follow up process.
10] “Don’t go chasing birds in an open field” - This means if you see someone is not interested leave them alone and move on to the next prospect. So many people spend so much time following up on a small group of prospects that are just not interested, its like chasing birds in an open field – you will never catch them. Your data base of prospects should be large enough that it should allow you to move on to the next prospect.
11] Be patient!
Check out these related links:
What Happens When Your Marketing Gets Stuck?
Is Telemarketing Good for Your business?