5 Magic Tips on How To Follow Up with Prospects for Sales Professionals
Believe it or not, you will lose more business due to lack of follow up than you will ever lose to a poor presentation or due to your professional sales skills. The average consumer needs to be reminded (contacted) a minimum of 7 times in order for them to remember your message and/or who you are. Just having one conversation, one consultation, sending one email, one text message, or leaving one voicemail is not enough for them to make a purchase.
Most salespeople DO NOT follow up with their prospects enough.
Most salespeople are afraid of calling, texting, messaging, mailing, or contacting them too much out of fear that the client will be turned off by them. There are plenty of ways for a client to be turned off by you, but professionally following up and demonstrating your enthusiasm to work with them is not one of them.
Tip #1 – Close Early
This is one of the most important skills you will have to master when it comes to following up. I give you permission to close the sale early. That means asking for a) payment or b) their signature right away. You’d be surprised how many clients will buy and sign when given the opportunity early enough. If the client doesn’t buy or sign early, your next step is to identify and handle any objections as they are presented. Many sales gurus will tell you to find out what the objections are and then close. I disagree. Why put the client through a 45 minute sales presentation when they are ready to sign and pay in the first 10 minutes?
Sales gurus tell you to find out what the objections are first and then close. I disagree.
Let’s review this sample Follow Up script:
It’s Paul Argueta. Can I steal 2 minutes? When we last spoke you mentioned that you were still planning on buying <service/product>?
I didn’t want you to think that I had forgotten about you-especially because of how excited I am about helping you buy <service/product>.
Did you want to start the process today or would would Friday be better?
(as you start to close for a meeting the objections will start to come out and/or the client will tell you they aren’t moving forward.)
One of two things will happen:
The client will let you know they aren’t interested
The client will let you know they are interested.
Disclaimer: Your company may have rules that prevent you from using the tools or strategies detailed below. Please make sure you review your organization’s rules prior to engaging in any of these marketing activities.
Tip #2 – Pick Up The Phone
In this digital age, fewer and fewer people use their phones to talk. This is a curse and a blessing. It is a curse as people are less likely to answer their phones. It is a blessing as it makes conversations more personal and sincere. It is important to note that newer phones will use caller ID to label your telephone number as spam. When this happens you are even less likely to get people to answer the phone. To combat this, there are services that assist you in rotating phone numbers that you pay for.
Tip #3 – SMS and Text Messaging
People are more likely to see and respond to a text message than an email. Even if a text message isn’t responded to, it is most likely viewed, and sometimes that is half the battle.
There are text messaging services that permit you to create workflows aka campaigns so that you don’t have to manually send messages one at a time. I recommend using salesmsg.
Keep your messages short. Use hyperlinks as a call to action. Ex : John, you requested more information on our product. Here is the link to sign up : https://join.ly.
Notice the assumption close. I didn’t ask him if he had questions. This goes back to what I said earlier, if John has questions he will pose them right away. If he doesn’t he’ll sign up. Why steal someone’s opportunity to sign up for your product or service just because you want to be long winded?
You can even send links to a video message that you created just for them. The possibilities are endless. Advanced Tip: If you upload a video message to YouTube and share that link, make sure the video is unlisted or any followers of your YouTube channel will see all your messages to your prospects.
Why steal someone’s opportunity to sign up for your product or service just because you want to be long winded?
Tip #4 – Connect on all Social Media
Many social media coaches advise you to have two different profiles. One for work and one for social use. If you’ve ever used social media you know that maintaining just one account is a lot of work. Updating two different accounts on multiple platforms is exponentially more challenging. Yes, you can outsource your social media work, but if you think that outsourcing is hiring someone to simply post motivational quotes every couple of hours, you are sadly mistaken. You will still have to create the content. You can read more on my social marketing strategy here.
I suggest that you have one social media account on each platform and keep that account clean enough to demonstrate professionalism and personal enough to allow your creativity to shine. My general rule is to not share or post anything that your mom or dad would be embarrassed by.
Connect with your prospect on every single social media platform that they use. “But Paul, won’t they get annoyed that I’m sending them messages on every platform. Isn’t that stalking?” No. You are presuming that they are active on every platform and that is an incorrect assumption. There are millions of profiles that are dormant and haven’t been updated for years. You don’t know which platform is the one they frequent and as such you should try them all. Friend them, follow them, connect with them, whatever. The key is reaching out to them and sending them a message. Video messages are ideal. LInkedIn is great because you can see their educational background and their profession. Facebook is great because you can see their social interests. You can’t go wrong with a genuine compliment especially if it is a common interest you share.
I like sending video messages through social media, although LinkedIn does not permit it as of right now. These messages are typically not as cold as they are follow up messages and when done correctly continue to build rapport. Lastly, unlike a message which can be read and discarded very easily, there is something about the human curiosity that prompts people to click on a video versus just an email or text.
Tip #5 – Don’t Take it Personal
Having someone tell you they aren’t moving forward is not the end of the world. In fact, it’ll help save you time in the long run. You want prospective clients to make a decision. It saves you time. Stop taking it personal when someone decides to not sell or buy. Them deciding to not buy or sell has nothing to do with you. Now, if they tell you they aren’t going to buy or sell, and then they do with someone else-that was you. Sorry. Sorry not sorry. You will have that happen to you. More than once. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Your goal should be to have about 20-30 warm prospects and 4-5 hot prospects that you are working with at any given time. You warm and hot list should be changing on a daily basis. You are adding and subtracting hot and warm leads daily. If your funnel of hot and warm prospects is shrinking consistently for more than 3 days, you are not prospecting enough. There will reach a time when your inflow of prospects is more than your outbound efforts through the use of internet marketing. I can help get you there.
I hope you found these follow up tops useful and will implement them into your daily regimen. You might have noticed that I didn’t include email as a follow up strategy and that was intentional. Email serves it’s purpose in business, but is very passive and can easily be dismissed. You need to have an active email campaign in place with every prospect, just don’t expect email to do the follow up for you.