You’ve found the perfect potential client, but now you’re not sure what the next stage of the follow-up should be. You want to keep the communication going but don’t want to be seen as annoying.
Follow-up is an important part of any conversation you have with a prospect or customer. However, there are lots of ways to go about it. There are also lots of ways it can be interpreted as annoying.
For example, you don’t want to hammer your prospects with a slew of follow-up emails. You also do not want to take forever to get back to them. Instead, you want to strike the right balance, which can be tough.
This is because no one can be considered a natural-born salesman. It takes time and effort to get your follow-up game in full stride. But, don’t get frustrated about it.
Check out these eight Ways you can master your sales follow-up without being annoying.
Ask for Guidance on the Best Way To Follow Up With Prospects While Adding Value and Not Being Annoying
Follow-up is a critical component of sales. Great follow-up will get customers who are just not quite ready to buy to change their minds. Good follow-up can also get customers to buy again and to refer others to you.
However, bad follow-up will alienate clients and turn them off to your business. So, what is the best way to follow-up with customers? And more importantly, how can you get customers to follow-up with YOU?
Whether you’ve called, emailed or visited, it can be hard to follow up with prospective buyers without coming off as annoying. But, following up may be the most important part of closing your sale.
It’s the only chance you have to directly engage with a prospect. Hopefully, this interaction makes the prospect feel more comfortable about moving forward with the purchasing process. Don’t become just another number in their inbox.
Ask What Their Preferred Form of Communication is and if They Will Respond
There will always be times that you will have to follow up on leads to ensure you’re not losing them and to keep the leads warm. But, there is a fine line between following up and being annoying. Too many people fall on the wrong side of this line.
Avoid the perception of being annoying to your prospects by asking how they prefer to be communicated with.
As a salesperson, you should be on the lookout for ways to maximize your sales revenue. That includes following up with prospects after your initial sales presentation. During this follow-up, ask if they have any questions and if they would like to schedule a time to talk again.
If you have a website that is relevant to your prospect, send a personal email or referral. The information you include in your initial sales presentation will help you determine which method of contact is best.
- Emails: Emails are the universal standard these days for communication. In most cases, it is perfectly fine to send an email to your prospect if they prefer it. Emails can easily get lost whether through junk mail filters or accidental deletion. Limit the number of emails you send out.
- Phone calls: Phone calls are easy enough to make to your prospect, but always confirm that they want this type of communication. Avoid automated calling as it gives potential prospects the wrong perception about you.
Carefully pick the time to make a call to a prospect. Quick Tip: Believe it or not, the best time to call someone is at lunchtime. People have the time to talk.
- Take both: If the prospect instructs you to use both email and phone for communication, then consider it a huge win. It tells you that the prospect is interested in your product.
At the same time, use this privilege wisely. Do not attempt to bombard the prospect with unneeded or annoying communications.
Try Using Informal Ways to Contact Prospects
As salespeople, we’re always looking for new ways to build rapport with prospects and clients. However, salespeople tend to rely on formal business channels, like the phone or email, to get in touch.
While these communication methods do work, they aren’t nearly as effective as developing relationships with people over time through informal channels. When you consistently engage with prospects and clients through casual conversation, you establish a personal connection that could lead to more sales.
Plus, you’ll be able to see your prospects in a different light. You’ll be able to see them as human beings, rather than as clients you have to communicate with through formal channels.
Many salespeople make the mistake of sending prospects a one-size-fits-all email template as a starting point for sales email outreach. However, an email that works for one person may not work at all for another.
Also, by using a template, you are likely to sound like every other salesperson. To build a relationship with a prospect, you must speak their language. This often means using language they would expect to see from their friends and family.
- Text messages: People will respond to a text message much more favorably than just about any other form of communication. Younger people especially prefer this method because they can get instant answers to their questions.
Another reason text messages are great is that they can be accessed on far more devices than a home phone. Phones, tablets, watches, etc. can receive text messages.
- Social Media: Messaging by social media is acceptable more for the younger crowd than the older generation. Messages can be sent privately and they can include images, documents and more.
Social media is also fantastic for recommendations, testimonials and referrals. Your prospects can recommend you to their network friends and you could potentially gain more leads.
- Referrals: Referrals are great for building a rapport because normally the prospect and you know someone in common. It’s much easier to build a trusting relationship when both sides have something or someone in common.
Provide New and Valuable Information
You’ve made some initial contact with your prospects by either email or phone, and now you’re ready to follow-up. What do you say? How do you keep your follow-ups from being annoying?
Do you have any new information to share? The force of habit could have you reach for the same email and/or phone number and make the same pitch you did previously.
A better approach would be to do a bit of homework and tailor your follow-up approach and content to the prospect you’re trying to engage.
Each sales follow-up that you send should contain new and valuable information. It doesn’t matter if you are responding to a question or concern or sharing your knowledge about a relevant topic.
Even if you are simply updating your prospect on relevant industry trends, you should always provide your prospect with valuable information. It’s even better if you can do so in a way that is relevant to them and their needs.
So, instead of sending a sales follow-up that says, “Hey, how are you doing today?” send a sales follow-up that’s relevant instead.
Make Sure You Always End Each Conversation With a Clearly Defined Next Step
When you successfully contact and follow up with leads, it’s easy to end each conversation with a clearly defined next step. (Of course, it’s also easy to get into bad habits with your follow-up, like calling prospects too early in the day, or failing to clearly define the next step.)
It’s crucial that you take the time to end each conversation with a clearly defined next step. Doing so creates a clear sales process for each sales follow-up.
The main purpose of a sales follow-up is to keep the conversation alive. To do this, you must make sure you always end each conversation with a clearly defined next step.
Doing so will help you create a positive cycle of building upon the last conversation, creating more value and solidifying your relationship.
Summarize Your Conversations and get Written Confirmation
When it comes to selling, getting written confirmation of an agreement from your customer is key. First off, you have proof that the customer agreed to the sale. Second, you can now email this to other people in your company to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what you promised.
There are several ways to get a written confirmation from your customers. You can have them sign a contract or send an email template with a place for a signature.
Sales summaries are essential. Without it, you’ll leave money on the table and sales cycles will drag on indefinitely. But that doesn’t mean you should bombard your prospects with intrusive and annoying emails.
To succeed at sales, you need a process that strikes a balance between staying top of mind with your prospects and helping them feel comfortable with purchasing from you. Practice your conversational skills frequently.
Work the Company, Not the Prospect
The best way to work a company, rather than a prospect, is to have a good relationship with a prospect. If you can build a good relationship with a prospect, you can build a good relationship with a company “behind the scenes”.
This is always going to help your sale. You might be talking to two or three people within the same company. Their word of mouth might be the thing that brings in a sale.
It’s hard to believe that many salespeople spend no time preparing after a sale, or worse, leave it up to their prospects to reach back out to them. The fact is that follow-up is the most important part of the sales process, and is the top predictor of success.
Don’t Follow-Up Too Often
If you’re in the business of sales, one piece of advice is guaranteed to stand out above all others: follow-up with your leads. That’s because it works.
How many times should you follow up? What does following up in the first place even mean? Is it okay to follow up via text or email? The answers to these questions depend on the kind of lead, the size of the sale, and the type of business you’re in.
Imagine this: you’re at an industry conference, you’re in a meeting with an exciting prospect, and you’ve just asked for the sale. But, the prospect hasn’t said “yes” yet.
What do you do? If you’re like many salespeople, your next move might be to send a follow-up email or give the prospect a call. Resist the urge to do so too soon, and learn the best time to follow-up instead.
Hopefully, you will be able to master the eight steps above. They are critical to your success in building the proper rapport with your prospects.
Learning when and how to follow-up with prospects is easy enough. Learning how to do it properly is another thing altogether. It takes a little time, but once you master your follow-up technique, you see your sales increase without much effort.
This next sentence might sound crazy, but it amazes people when they read it out aloud:
As long as you remember that you are communicating with REAL LIVE HUMAN BEINGS and not mindless wallets, you will have no problems at all finding and communicating with the right prospects.
Why Selling Revolution can Give You the Confidence to Master Your Sales Game
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