According to Jim Rohn, sales trainer and motivational speaker, “The fortune is in the follow up.” Although this is a well-recited truth, professionals in private practice and salespeople struggle with following up. The phone seems to weigh 100 pounds. The emails go directly to spam. The once excited prospect never returns the inquiry. When it comes to follow up, what to do???
Most people stop prematurely. According to the National Sales Executive Association, 48% never follow up; 25% stop with one try; 12% give up after a second effort; and another 10% persist for round three. Yet 80% of sales are made between the 7th and 12th contact.
Prospects receive hundreds of emails and phone calls daily. Yes, they are busy, so if you truly want to connect, you have to be persistent and stand out.
Have a System
Persistence requires a system. Ideally, you should follow up within 24 hours of your initial contact. Assuming you didn’t connect, then you follow a specific schedule for the second, third, and subsequent contacts.
Use a Variety of Touch Points
Not only is it a good idea to have a time frame in mind, but you also need to use a variety of touch points. These include emails, phone calls, letters/notes/cards, instant messaging, and personal visit. Your own style may have a bias for which one you use. However, have you considered how your prospect would like to be approached? Which one(s) will set you apart from the competition and keep you top of mind?
Not only should you think about your approach, but you must also be mindful of your message. A big mistake is to sell your product or service. Until you’ve established a relationship, this can be a turn-off to most prospects. Your safest and most effective approach is appreciation. Appreciation beats selling every time. Appreciation marketing easily converts prospects into customers. It makes them and you feel good!
About Dr. Nancy Zare
A retired professor, Dr. Nancy Zare is a sales psychology who teaches you how to read buying styles and close more sales. Follow Up is a huge part of the sales process and she’ll guide you about which approach works best and what words to use.