purchase immediately after meeting you and hearing what you offer. While it is imperative to always aim to make a strong first impression with clients and prospects, your follow-up is equally important. Whether you reach out via phone or email, a sales follow-up is your chance to encourage your client or prospect to act.
Many people do not follow up often enough. Whether you do not want to come across as pushy or aggressive, or you do not make follow-up a priority, you may be missing out on valuable business opportunities by not mastering the art of following up.
Vary your methods
If you have already sent a couple of follow-up emails and have not heard back, you may want to consider a phone call. And if the client or prospect does not return your calls, try emailing them. You can also reach out through LinkedIn if you are connected through that platform. People prefer different methods of communication, so try different approaches that are more reasonable for the individual you are working with.
Do not rush it
The last thing you want to do is annoy a client or prospective client with too many follow-ups too close together. Give them time to think about their decision. Remember that they likely must check in with multiple stakeholders, which takes time. While there is no exact formula for when to follow up, it is suggested to be checking in once a week or so. Daily check-ins are annoying and monthly check-ins are generally too far apart.
Instead of a hard push, strive to engage them with each outreach. You can begin by asking them how they are doing and remembering what they say. Simply remembering things about people and showing you care helps build the kind of human connection that drives relationships.
Outline next steps
You can help eliminate any potential questions or confusion by clearly defining what happens next. For example, if the client says they need time to discuss your offer with their team, you should agree to follow up with them in the next week or two. Be as specific as possible by saying something like, “Great! I’ll call you next Wednesday – would 9:30 am or 3 pm work better?”
Use a smart subject line
If you follow up via email, steer clear of generic subject lines such as “Wanted to follow up” or “Just checking in.” These will go straight to the trash folder. Instead, attempt personalizing the subject line with the prospect’s name or creating a sense of urgency with something like, “We’d love to offer you 20% off this week only!”
People are busy. Brevity is important in your follow-up. Your clients do not have time to wade through lengthy emails or listen to rambling voicemails. You only have a few moments to grab their attention, so be direct.
Know when to stop
At some point, you must accept that it is time to give up on your follow-up. Consider 80 percent of successful deals require about five follow-ups, so use this as your baseline. It does not make sense to waste your time if you never hear back from a prospect or hear a firm “no.”
Following up in all business operations is a crucial part of your success. Remember that you are not spamming clients or trying to pressure them into a deal. Instead, you are reaching out because you have a solution that can help them. When you apply the strategies above and think of follow-up as relationship-building, you will start to improve your technique with each outreach. And this will help you thrive.