Following up with a prospect is obviously extremely important, but how to do it correctly and when to follow up with them is an eternal question that all sales people struggle with. I was personally able to close a few of my recent deals as well as our customer’s deals because of consistent and persistent follow up. While this sounds very nice, I’ve also ruined relationships and lost deals due to aggressive follow up.
- When to follow up?
I have found that the best time to follow up is right after a prospect has shown some interest. For example, they just opened an email or just logged into our platform for the first time. If this is a cold prospect, the situation gets murkier. I typically recommend a follow up routine based on a cadence over the course of 14-21 days depending on your sales cycle .
If you cold email someone from a list of email leads that you bought, then you should not follow up too aggressively because it might mean that they do not have any interest in your product/service. It is still good to follow up at least 4 times to make sure that your email didn’t get lost in their mailbox, but if they still don’t respond, then it’s probably best to wait until you have a reason to follow up again. I use voicemail drop to leave pre-recorded voicemails to handle my large volume of follow up calls.
We do notice that the people who don’t respond after 5 follow ups, might not respond ever or show interest in your product. The last thing you want to do is end up being too pushy and ruining your brand.
If the prospect replied to your initial email/call and showed interest , but does not respond to your later emails, then you should follow up as much as possible. You should be looking for a “NO” or “YES” ! I personally find following up with a call right after an email open and/or reply.
2) Have a reason to follow up
Simply saying, “Hey, I’m just checking in” is usually never enough. We notice that those type of follow up just doesn’t work as well. Instead, always have a reason to follow up. It could be the most simple reason, but find one. It could be a blog article they just posted up or a press mention on the web. Congratulate them with a follow up.
The most effective emails are the emails that can create a sense of urgency. Have a reason to make them feel good about your product/service and have a reason for them to continue speaking with you to buy.
Many times I transition from an email to a phone call to close the deal and I always listen to my past sales calls that I’ve had with the prospect. That way I always stay 100% up to date and have complete understanding about what I need to follow up about.
3) Have a call to action when following up
It’s important to have a call to action at the end of your following up. No point in just messaging the prospect and saying, “Hey I’m following up. What’s up?” Have a call to action. For example, “I’m free on Tuesday at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm. I’m also free on Thursday during the same time. Does any of those time work for you for a quick call?”
Another call to action could be an offer that you are offering them. Have a reason and have solid purpose. For example, “We’re offering 30% discount only for you. Here is the discount code : “Code”. You can checkout using this link — “examplelink.com”
The whole point of that follow up message above is to create a sense of urgency as well as make it so simple so them so that they don’t have to visit your site again to find a checkout link or look back into an email chain. Create an impulse moment during a follow up.
4) Use Tools To Help Your Follow up
If you are dealing with a lot of prospect on a daily basis, then it might be smart to use tools to remind yourself to follow up. This can be any tool, even if it is as basic as an excel sheet with email reminders. Just have something to remind yourself to follow up. Below are tools that are excellent to reminding yourself to follow up.
– Trello — You can set notification and notes with this.
– Boomerang — Most sales people love this because of how it sends you inbox reminders and it’s simple to choose when you want to follow up.
– CRM platforms — Salesforce / Pipedrive / Zoho all works great as a platform for following up.
5) When Not To Follow Up
Following up too aggressively screwed me over a couple of times. An example would be a SaaS startup that showed interest in our sales phone service. The CEO of this company fully understood the value that we could provide for them and also replied with , “Let’s do it!”
I followed up with a link for signing up, but never received a response for weeks. I followed up almost every other day for a month straight and finally received a reply saying that I was too pushy and it made that company not feel confident in what we can do for them.
Another time to stop following up is when the prospect shows no interest in your product. If they say, we’re not interested, then stop right away and stop bothering them because it won’t get anywhere and it will just ruin your personal brand.
This does not mean that you can’t reach out to them again in the future. They might be interested in your product/service in the future but again have a reason to do it and give it at least a few months.
6) Timing for follow up
Timing is extremely important. As I mention above, you don’t want to be too aggressive or too pushy. Following up works best for us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when they aren’t swamped from weekend work that they have to catch up on. Holidays don’t work well for follow up and weekends don’t work well either.
If the prospect still haven’t responded after a few follow up, set the follow up dates to be further apart to prevent yourself from sounding too pushy.
7) Following up on other platforms
Following up doesn’t have to be on email or with a phone call. You can try social media, their blog (comment on their blog), Linkedin introductions and almost anywhere else the prospect might be hanging around at.
At the end of the day, following up is just giving the prospect a reminder that you still remember them.
The team here at Kixie uses our enterprise phone service, powerful sales dialer, and intelligent CRM integration to stay on top of follow ups.
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