Ok, so it’s not sexy, and just the thought if it can evoke eye bulging fear in some people, but following up is effective for more sales. Yes, it’s something you have to schedule and do consistently for it to work for you, but the rewards are significant. And guess what? Most entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals don’t do it! This means if you do it you have just created an edge on your competition – just saying.
Most follow up consists of an email or a phone call and then, when there is no sale forthcoming, a cessation of all communication from the provider to the prospect. Service providers who practice following up this way give up too soon and leave a lot of potential business for the competition to scoop up. In this post I have listed seven easy to implement follow up tactics that you can start experimenting with.
At the bottom of this article there is a link to a PDF download that I created for you that lists 44 different ways to follow up. There are many sales strategies and sales techniques around, but good old follow up works wonders. Okay, so onto those seven tactics I was talking about:
- Point them to a vendor who can solve one of their issues you don’t address. I know this seems counter intuitive because you are giving away a potential customer. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t take on a customer that you know you can’t help. Right? So, your placing their needs ahead of yours in doing this for them. They will be very impressed and when the time is right for them to require services you do provide, guess who will be front of mind?
- Tell them about an upcoming event that addresses an issue you think they have. This follow up approach addresses two issues. One – It informs your prospect of a potential solution to their problem and creates an image of you as a provider who can support and guide them towards their goals. Two – It gives you an opportunity to build the relationship by attending the event with them and creating shared experiences.
- Invite them to an event where you are a speaker, organiser, or sponsor. This allows you to show your expertise and cement your image in their minds as an expert who is active and connected to small business.
- Ask them to meet you for coffee, a drink, or lunch. It’s an invitation that is benign and hard for them to refuse. Please, use the opportunity to get to know them and not as a means to ambush them with a heavy sales spiel.
- Invite them for golf, tennis, a bike ride, or a walk in the park. If you and your prospect are sporty types, then inviting them to participate in a match is very appropriate. Of course, you could even let them win! Understanding your target avatars psycho graphic profile (affiliations, clubs and other leanings) allows you to understand what would appeal to them and what is appropriate as a follow up request.
- Invite them to a concert, play, reading, or art opening. Again, these approaches require you to have done the research on your ideal clients and know what they are into. They may have indicated they are passionate about a particular author or movie….it pays to listen more than you speak.
- Offer them a free sample of what you can do for them. A free consultation, assessment, report, wire frame website prototype or low cost example of your offerings lowers risk and allows your prospect to sample your services. Some business owners think this is working for free and refuse to entertain this approach. It works. I am not suggesting you give your services away. Bakeries and other businesses allow you to taste test their wares for good reason. It shows you are confident of your products quality and know it will delight them enough to purchase.
Your sales strike rate can be increased hugely by building a follow up process that is adhered to and measured. The bulk of your potential sales are in the pipeline of prospects who may have initially said no to you. Maybe it wasn’t the right time, or money was tight or they just didn’t need what you were offering at that point.
By keeping in touch you set up an environment and a relationship with your prospect that has a high probability of you doing business together. I have included 44 follow up strategies in a downloadable ebook for you. To grab your copy click the button below to get your free ebook – “44 Follow Up Strategies For Small Business”.