Studies show it takes on average eight touches to convert a lead into a sale. And most sales associates stop after just two. The initial touch point being a cold call, website lead, or a face-to-face meeting; and the second touch point being a one-time follow-up.
That leaves six missed opportunities on the table! Below are seven (7) key follow up techniques you should be using on every new lead. As the old saying goes, ‘It’s All About The Follow Up’.
1) Initial Contact Next Step
After first contact, extend your thanks and ask your potential client if it's ok to follow up with them in 1 to 2 days. If the timing is not convenient, always ask for an alternative time. Once scheduled, send a calendar appointment. Of course, follow up when you say you will!
2) The Pre-Call Reminder
Approximately 24 hours before your scheduled call, send a quick email telling reminding them of the call commitment and thank them for their interest. This is a good time to also send the agenda for your Call!
3) Send a Thank you
After your scheduled call, regardless of the result, send an email thanking them for their time. Outline what was discussed and your deliverables, confirm when you will send any additional requested information and finally, confirm your next step. If you really want to really make an impact, follow up your email with a handwritten note! This will set you apart from the competition and make a strong positive impression!
4) Acknowledge and Outline Your Deliverables
If more information is requested, communicate that you will send it out to them by “x” date and that you will follow up in "x" number of days, and get commitment on that date. Then put the "appointment" in your CRM calendar and follow up on time!
5) Additional Resources
Provide the potential client with additional information or resources (customer testimonials, research/statistics, outline the value of your service or product vs. the competition), ask them if they have any questions about the information you provided and if they are ready to move forward. At this point, you are way ahead of the average number of touches and should have made a positive impression on your potential client.
By now, they probably recognize your name. Winner! Winner! Three possible outcomes are now available to you. They may say that your product is not for them, they still need more information, or they are not the decision-maker. Or, they may be ready to make the sale. Here are a few more ways to follow through on your follow up:
6) Get Creative
If they still need more information, get creative and customize your follow up based upon what is important to the customer. Enlist the support of "the experts" in your circle. Everyone Sells and this is a great opportunity to get your leadership team involved, certain operational or service experts, your global sales contact or other industry partners.
7) Set an Alternative Call to Action
If they communicate that they are not ready to buy yet, ask if you may contact them in "x" number of weeks or months to see if their business initiatives have changed or to share new features that may meet their needs. Oh, and Ask For A Referral! Schedule your next follow up call into your CRM. And FOLLOW UP.
Using many different forms of communication and simply keeping your commitments improves your chances of landing the deal. If you follow these suggestions and are persistent, you should “find your fortune in the follow-up"!
Tips that Lift
Nurture the Relationship! Stay connected with your qualified contacts regardless of if they have a hot opportunity or not. For example, let them know you’re thinking of them by sending an interesting article, an industry related helpful tip or informative piece that will help them in some way, send a congratulatory note when appropriate, remember their birthday or even send something as simple as an inspirational quote. Schedule follow up time for yourself to make these engagement opportunities happen. Remember, it’s all in the follow-up.
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