The Art of Follow Up With Potential Clients
When it comes to closing sales, having a well-oiled follow-up strategy is vital for success. How many times have you come back from a meeting convinced that a client would purchase your service, only for them to be hesitant afterward? Suddenly, the excitement turns to panic.
All experienced sales professionals know that this tends to be expected; hence they have contingency plans. A follow up ensures you remain in control, giving the client greater confidence to proceed with your services.
The art of the follow up requires nuance. You can’t come on too strong, or you will risk losing your client. But, you also can’t let a potential client go to a competitor. The key is to treat the relationship the same way that you would approach a real-life relationship. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when following up.
Following Up After a Successful Sales Meeting
Before the meeting is even over, you should clarify with the client which follow-up method would be ideal. You shouldn’t feel awkward about mentioning a follow-up since both parties would benefit from the business engagement. People tend to be busy, which is why you should ask directly as to which method of communication would be ideal and which times would be best for the client. Something as simple as “What would be the best way to reach you” can be enough. A meeting should always close with an apparent action item. It may be too early to push for a decision, but you should clarify the next steps. It may be a higher management meeting or a more detailed brief.
At Riley, we are acutely aware of the need to build real relationships with leads. This is why our software allows you to quickly mention all of the crucial details you might forget later. We recommend that you follow-up on the same day as a successful meeting. A short thank you email alongside some essential minutes of the meeting will allow you to stay in the client’s thoughts. Using a voice-activated CRM for data entry can be a more efficient way to collect and manage critical information. Furthermore, it can provide valuable relationship insights.
Following Up After No Response
Sometimes you may have thought things had gone well, only to be alarmed to find that the client hasn’t responded at all. There can be many reasons why a client hasn’t responded, and rejection is sure to sting. You should keep in mind that people can be busy and may have to deal with priorities. In some cases, your email may have been lost in their inbox. Alternatively, they could be weighing up offers from your competitors or waiting for permission to sign off from their manager. Rather than thinking about what could be going on, it is better to get a clear answer. You should follow up to get a clearer idea of where things stand.
Considerations Before Following-Up
Before you send that follow-up email or call, here are some considerations that you should always take into account.
1. Don’t Overdo it
Sometimes you may need more than one follow-up to get the attention of a client. But, it is essential not to go overboard. Always leave at least a few days before sending a follow-up, and don’t be too pushy. Instead, you should understand that they may have other priorities, and they will get back in touch when they have the right availability. Communicate with them on the platform where they feel most comfortable. Also, make sure that you offer value in every follow-up to build trust with the client.
2. Consider Calling
In certain instances, it can be well worth calling the client. Typically, most communication is handled through email and with good reason. This is a convenient mode of contact, and it allows each individual to send a response when they have time. Unfortunately, most email inboxes tend to be cluttered, and important messages can get lost or ignored. If essential things require attention, then it can be tedious to do this via a back and forth on email.
Remember that it is far easier to ignore an email than a phone call. If a client has indicated they are okay with a phone call, it may be worth getting in touch for a short snappy call to see where things stand.
3. Automate Email Follow-Ups
Following up on leads can be time-consuming and expensive; most of all, it requires effective contact management. Luckily, some tools allow you to automate follow-ups. Therefore, you should make the best use of these to make your process more efficient. You can set-up emails as a part of a follow-up sequence that relies on specific triggers. For example, you can automate an initial thank-you email within 24 hours and add another email that goes out before the deadline for the next action item. If a response is not received, then an SMS can go out. A contact relationship tool can help you to plan this process.
4. CTAs are Essential
Make sure that the client is always clear of the next step. Even if it is evident to you, it may not be as clear-cut to them. Whatever you need from a client (whether that’s a new detail or a final sign-off), make sure they are fully aware of it. Be direct to avoid any potential confusion.
5. Do You Really Need to Follow-Up?
Always ask yourself whether a follow-up is critical. Make sure you haven’t already emailed your prospect’s expectation or misunderstood a key detail. Check your inbox and junk/spam folder first before pushing ahead.
It is important to be flexible with your approach to following up. Not every client or proposition will work the same way. But, it is vital to have a strategy in place for following up with prospects effectively. This will lead to an increase in conversions and allow you to build stronger relationships. You need to strike the right balance between engaging while also not being too pushy.
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