7 Tips to Create a Follow-Up Strategy
Written by Grace Moores
If you don’t have a follow-up strategy, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Most of my clients never returned my initial calls or emails, but they did with follow-up, which in turn has brought in revenue and resources over the years.
Follow-up is not hard to do and doesn’t take up a lot of time. For most of us it is the fear of rejection and coming across as too pushy. Not everyone is going to be your customer, and that is ok because realistically, you don’t want everyone to be your customer.
Here are 7 steps for overcoming the above, and developing a follow-up strategy that brings you revenue.
Keep a Call Log
You can do this in a CRM program or on an Excel spreadsheet. You only need 3 columns:
- Date – the date you called
- Who – who you spoke with
- Next Steps – do you need to follow up? If so, when, or are you taking them to the next step of your sales process?
The Right Person
Make your first call about identifying the right person. There is nothing worse than spending weeks following up with someone only to find out they are not the right person. Argh! Such a waste of time.
Expect to follow-up. People are busy, and in case your email doesn’t jump straight to the top of their to-do list, schedule a date in your calendar or call log to follow up, just in case you forget! Follow-up calls or emails should be between 3 – 5 working days. If you are following up after an in-person meeting, try to aim for 1 – 3 days.
Keep It Short
When you do follow up, keep your email or call short, polite, and to the point. Make it easy for them to reply. Don’t make them feel bad for not replying; we are all busy. Let them know that you know they are busy, and ask when a good time is to follow up if you have had a couple of new replies.
How Many Times Should You Follow Up?
Most research says it takes 5-7 times of seeing something before we buy. While most follow-up circumstances normally don’t take that long, there can be instances where you can ‘check in’ and follow up with certain people/companies for years. Don’t be discouraged!
Different Ways to Follow Up
There are many different ways to follow up, rather than sending 7 emails saying, “I’m following up.” Consider sending emails that build trust, like external testimonials, or company announcements that may interest your potential client. Send a sample in the mail, email them an article about something they are interested in, or mail out a Birthday card. BUT – don’t add them to your weekly newsletter just yet! Keep the follow-up as personal notes/emails letting them know you are there when they are ready.
Leave the Door Open
Always leave the door open and ask if you can touch base in 6 months to a year, depending on what the obstacle is that is blocking them. It’s great to be top of mind for most people, and building trust and openness comes from being courteous and available when they have decided they are ready.