Monday June 20, 2016
Following up with potential leads, clients, customers, vendors, etc. can be a pretty intimidating process. Trust us, we know. We have an entire video series on it. You want to be memorable, and we totally get that, but there is etiquette involved that you may not be aware of. Plus, you really need an effective follow-up strategy.
Because of this, we’ve composed a fantastic list of do’s and don’ts that will make your star shine in their eyes.
- Try to follow up in a timely manner. One to three business days is best, but it’s truly never too late to follow up.
- Make your contact about them, not you. We talk about this a lot. It’s our 90/10 rule and it applies to newsletters, emails, phone conversations, and any other form of communication you can think of. Are you ready? 90% of every message in your follow-up strategy should be educational and resourceful information. This invites your prospects to care about what they open and read. The 10% is the “next step” part of your sales process. This is definitely NOT the time to push your sales pitch.
- Be personal. Let them know that you thought of them, were wondering how they were doing, etc. Remember when we talked about our golden rule of great customer service? Make every potential client or contact feel as though they are important to you.
- Be authentic to yourself and your brand.
- Create your email subject line AFTER you’ve written your message. This goes right up there with authenticity and being personal. Making a generic subject line will almost always ensure that your message is either ignored or put off until later.
- Whatever you do don’t say any of these four phrases when you follow up: “Just following up with you”, “touching base”, “reaching out to you”, or “just checkin’ in”. There are few phrases less generic and impersonal than these when it comes to following up with prospects.
- Don’t be needy. What do we mean by that? This goes back to the 90/10 rule. Your follow up message is not the time to hit them up for sales. To tell you the truth, it can be a sleazy move. “Hey remember me, buy my stuff” is not the way to create loyalty. It will actually turn off prospects faster than almost anything else.
- Don’t ramble on. Let them know you were thinking about them, offer them a piece of educational resourceful information, mention the “next step” in your sales process, and close out with a polite and personable statement where you look forward to their reply.
Remember, the follow up is about that first step in the bridge of trust. Laying the foundation now is so important.
Do you have any pet peeves about follow up calls or messages? Any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in comments!