Follow up with your leads like a master. Forget about “touching base,” “circling back,” or “checking in.” Those phrases only annoy people. For real success, you have to build a relationship. Business relationships are all about details. Here is how you follow up with someone like a pro.
Ask How You Can Follow Up
There’s only one person who can tell you how to follow up with a client. The client is in the position to tell you what they’d like. They’re just waiting for you to ask! Be specific when taking this step. Ask things like “How can I follow up with you?” Or “How can we connect later?” The client is likely as busy as you are. They skim emails just like everyone else. Being specific with them will help you get your emails read and your phone calls answered. They may tell you when you should call, or who to speak with to get in contact with them at the office. They might tell you a specific keyword to put in the subject of your email. Remember that people get 200 to 300 sales emails a day. If someone gives you a tactic to use, such as sending your emails priority, it’s wise to listen.
Remember to Stick with It
Sales is tough. People often get five rejections before they get to yes. Only one in fifty sales calls end in a yes on the first try. So be persistent. The key difference between being persistent and being annoying is real connection. Send that email or phone call. Then let it sit a couple of days. Try three times. The third try should be what’s called a “break-up” email. This lets people know that you will stop contacting them until they make contact again. It’s a nice way to leave your contact details and open the door for communication. Remember, they might just be busy! Staying in connection means listening well to what people are telling you. Take notes and mention relevant details every time you connect. Let people know you are attentive.
Phone or Email?
Ask specifically whether someone would like to be contacted via phone or email. If they shrug you off, it’s okay to try a combination of the two. Remember that you should not contact someone daily. Let your communication rest a couple of days between tries. Some people are phone people and some people are readers. Always meet your client where they shine most.
Writing Great Subject Lines
For email communication, it is critical that you write incredible subject lines. There are a couple of tactics for doing this. You can go short and sweet. The idea here is to shock someone. You should be aware that spam filters have become borderline censored nowadays. Take the time to read a spam filter list before you go down this road. You will be amazed.
You can also take the longer route. The idea here is to come across as extremely interesting. Your tone matters here. Make sure that you make a clear point with your tone. Are you trying to sound sophisticated? Authoritative? Make sure it matches the email. In other words, don’t muddle the two. Don’t be punchy and long.
Always Define the Next Action
End each time you connect with a clear action to take. People are distracted. If you guide them in the right direction, you will get much further than by leaving things up in the air. Remember to do this at the end of the conversation, not the beginning. Come across as accommodating and team-oriented. Avoid giving someone a list of to-dos. One action is plenty.
Leverage Social Forums to Get a Connection
It’s totally okay to work the social leverage that you have online. Try connecting on LinkedIn or an app in a natural way. This will help people keep you in mind. The more of a social presence you have, the more people are able to remember who you are. You don’t want to get lost in the crowd! Stand out with a lot of interaction.
Talk to Everyone
Now isn’t the time to be cliquish. In many companies, there are multiple people involved in a sale. You want to connect with all of them in order to win it. This can obviously take some time. Use what time you have to make important connections, but include everyone. You want every signature.
All of these tactics create meaningful and efficient interaction. Remember to always build relationships with purposeful, meaningful talk. Don’t call just to “catch up” or “check in.” Call with a purpose. If you can be persistent without annoying someone (or a group of people), you’re well on your way to that big sale.
Following these steps will have you doing follow-ups like a boss. Pay attention to the details and be mindful of the person you are calling.