Did you know that if you do not follow up with prospective clients, connectors and even possible collaborators, that you can leave up to 80% of your sales on the table? And when you struggle and aren’t diligent with follow-up, you leave that prospect in the hands of competitors ready to turn your work into their sales success?
Aye yae yae – all the time and energy goes to setting things up for someone else’s timing.
The pace of your follow-up after any kind of meeting, speed networking or networking in general, should match both your style and your prospective customers. Everyone is unique. How do you know then whether the schedule might be monthly, quarterly or something else? How do you know what to include in your follow-up plan?
Several criteria to consider:
– Have you asked your prospective customer or client their preference of follow-up? Some people do better with telephone, others email and others in-person.
– Is your follow-up message weighted more toward building a relationship or just asking for a decision? The follow-up is both about selling and building the relationship at the same time. NOTE: shift your focus to helping the person buy and it will minimize you possible queasy factor with selling. When you help another person to buy you can’t help but want to understand their needs more.
– Will your frequency be enough to cut through the clutter and keep your name at the top of your contact’s mind? You need to understand your prospects style to tailor this.
– Are you mixing educational or editorial messages with advertorial or marketing information? If all you are going to do is talk about about you, your company, your sale, yourself, it’s weighted too heavily on one side. Talk with you prospective client about things that you heard them say interested them.
– Are you being yourself? If you are an introvert the follow-up is where your strengths with shine: listening, being more curious and wanting to maintain the relationship to preserve your own energy. If you are an extrovert you may want to strengthen your: focus on the planning and then be your natural gregarious self while you strengthen you listening.
– Are you being personal?
Follow-up can be systematized and within the system you can tailor to each person’s unique buying style.
Yes; you can send too many messages, leave too many voice mails, send too many cards. The likelihood of this with most people is slim because anywhere from 80% to 99% of business owners and salespeople don’t follow-up at all!
No; you can’t necessarily follow-up too quickly. You want to follow-up according to the other person’s seeming decision making style. Some follow-up will be speedy, some follow-up will be slower. Take the pace of your prospect.
Maybe; if you start following up mid-year with all the people you have already net through any networking, you won’t need to attend any new networking events! You will begin to help prospects make decisions that favor purchasing your product or service which you introduced to them earlier in the year. No curdled cream.
We’ll be wrapping up this series with a follow-up plan that you can fit your own product or service.
But what other criteria do you believe you want to consider to continue to be the best you that you can be in your follow-up?