A solid follow up sales strategy is essential for any serious business. In order for a business to grow and be successful, it needs to be constantly filling its sales funnel with leads and nurturing them into new clients. Whether they are more profitable clients or the company is scaling and handling more work, new customers are a must. With a well planned (and executed) follow up strategy, you will turn more leads into sales.
New leads can come from many places, your website, cold calling (not what we recommend :), social media, a networking meeting or event, and so on. These are all places to find potential leads. All of these different lead sources will need a follow up sales strategy in order for your team to close them at a higher rate.
Networking events can be especially great, but just as equally, often lack the necessary follow up to bring in real business opportunities. It’s always great to meet new people and tell them about your business. However, once your “meet and greet” conversation is over, how do you convert that lead to a real potential customer?
This is why you need to have a follow up strategy.
After a prospect enters the top of your funnel (the top, meaning they aren’t ready to buy right here right now), it is never too early to follow up with the lead. Only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact with a prospect. To keep your brand fresh in this person’s mind, send them a follow up email. Let them know you appreciate the time they took to speak with you, and include a possible time to chat again when it’s best for them.
You want to show your prospects that you can help them achieve their goals. In another follow up email, remind them of your initial discussion, and why they thought you could be useful to their business. Let them know that you are there to help, and to answer and questions.
If you have a business blog, this would be a great chance to send them an article published by you or your company to reenforce your credibility.
Your clients will react positively to someone who is knowledgeable on how to make an impact on their business. It’s always a good idea to be a reliable resource for your clients. You may want to send them an email or give them a quick call that reflects the thought and research you’ve done for their business. Send them some information that will help them understand how you’re going to help them effectively. Give them examples of how you problem solve.
Only 3% of sales are made with the 2nd contact of a prospect. At this point, it’s a good idea to schedule a time to talk on the phone. Ask them what their week is like, and make it a point to get in their calendar. Discuss further on the ideas that you’ve come up with to help them be successful.
Only 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact with a prospect. Don’t worry, if they didn’t buy yet don’t give up hope. Continue to educate your clients on the decision they are going to make. Send them an article on the subject, a case study to help them understand the process. Convey to them that you know it is a big decision, and you are there to provide them with as much information as possible. A this point, it would be wise to set up another phone conversation to answer any questions they may have.
A lead requires a lot of nurturing and persistence. If you think you’re being a little overbearing, think again! Just 10% of leads are made on the 4th contact with a prospect.
The truth is, most leads (and by most I mean 80%) are captured between the 5th and 12th contact with a potential customer. Developing a follow up sales strategy to guide your leads while making a business decision is an important tactic. Following up with a client doesn’t end at an initial phone call or email, continue to educate your lead on why your business will benefit theirs.
In the comments below tell us about your follow up strategy. Do you follow any of the guidelines from the article above?
Our consumer decision making process template can help you define the questions and needs of your potential clients and allow you to more clearly develop your follow up strategy.