Following up is an often overlooked part of the sales process. Many times one meeting isn’t enough for someone to purchase your product or service. On average, higher ticket sales require five contacts before a sale will take place. So this means that you could have a great meeting and do everything right, but then blow the sale because you didn’t follow-up correctly. The more that you contact someone, the more you build a relationship with them and you stay in the front of their mind. If you wait too long to follow-up, then people tend to forget about you or your product. They have a lot going on in their life, you need to make sure that you are in their mind by following up with them.
You need to know who to follow-up with so that you don’t waste your time or ignore people who could have been beneficial to your business.
First, follow up with people who are strong candidates to buy your product in the near future. Make sure you don’t miss your follow-up opportunities with these people; they should be high on your list.
Second, you should follow-up with people who are a strong candidate for your product in the future. You will use different follow-up strategies with these people, but they still should be followed up with.
Third is anyone who is or can be a strong referring partner. You want referrals and you need to stay in contact with people who will potentially refer you business.
Here are some methods that you can use to follow-up:
• Email– By itself, email is ineffective. You can use it to say, “thank you” or to send them more information like newsletters. But this type of follow-up doesn’t strengthen a relationship much. You need to couple it with some of the other methods as well.
• Text Messaging– Texting is a good way to thank someone for meeting with you or for their interest, but it also needs to be used with other methods. Texting, like email, isn’t a very personal way to connect with a prospect.
• Direct Mail– This technique is definitely more personal than email and texting. A hand-written letter or note really helps establish the relationship.
• Telephone– Actually calling someone is a very important technique. It is more personal and we can actually hear the inflections and tones in the words of the other person. If you can’t meet with someone face-to-face, then this is the next best method. It allows you to strengthen a relationship.
• Face-to-face– This is the best method and always use it if you can. It is the most personal and you will be better remembered by the person you are following up with.
You should use these methods to follow-up with others. But you don’t want to become overbearing, so here’s a good tip for how often to follow-up. Use the 8×4 method. This means that you make 8 contacts in 4 weeks, and that 3 of these contacts need to be personal (telephone or face-to-face). This helps to keep you in the front of their mind.
Lastly, make sure that you get permission to follow-up. When you first meet someone you want to follow-up with, ask permission to stay in touch. Then follow-up right away. This keeps up the momentum after you first talk with them. It helps them remember you more. Also, use persuasive writing or communication in your follow-up. You can mention why you think you would work well together when you follow-up.