5 Winning Strategies for Following Up Your Prospects

You have successfully secured the first appointment with your prospect thanks to your awesome pitch. Congrats! But wait… don’t get happy so soon. You still have a long way to turn a prospect to become your customer. Life is a journey, so does sales! Some people may argue that when your prospects agree to meet you, you are so close to the winning. It is true, but it is only true for 2%. Studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when two parties agree to meet for the first time. It means that the other 98% of your prospects only respond at some points during your follow-up progress after the first meeting.

Today, selling is much more about progress rather than the ‘deal-closing tricks’ that many sale courses used to advertise. The sales professionals need to know their prospects, identify prospects’ products, and provide the prospects solutions and values. Besides, the sales professionals need to build sustainable relationship and trust by engaging an ongoing follow-up progress. The follow-up is about a range of meetings, emails and phone calls that you employed to engage your prospects. Here are five strategies for you to effectively follow up your prospects:

Engage by meeting the promises

There are many factors that prevent your prospects from giving positive responses: concerns about cost or timeline, too many things in mind, lack of incentives or other pressing matters. In your first appointment with prospects, you should try to define the key matters, which mostly prevent prospects from purchasing. Besides, during your first meeting, there may be questions that you may not give them thorough answers. Or, there would be cost issues or incentives (discount, payment process etc.) that you need to check with your supervisor. Make promises with your prospects, and engage the communication flow by starting with your promises.

“As promised/ discussed with you regarding this matter, I have found a solution …” is what you can start your follow-up call/ email in a natural way. There is nothing more natural using a promise to send a follow-up email or a phone call. It shows that you’re not desperate to keep in touch with prospects. Besides, it means that you care about your prospect and never miss your promises. You should try to respond to your prospect as quickly as possible, when your prospect’s memory about the meeting is still fresh.

Choose the best medium for follow-up

Nowadays, despite the introduction of new forms of communication such as smartphone chat apps or Skype, phone call and email is always considered the most common, effective medium for following-up. You need to define the best medium for following up your prospect. The best medium to follow up depends on the nature of your deal and the type of response you’re looking for. For time-sensitive matters that require little information to process, a phone call is recommended. However, you should consider the number of phone calls for your prospects in order to avoid becoming ‘annoying’ to prospects. It’s a sure thing that no one wants to receive more than five phone calls in one day from only one sales guy.

On the other hand, you should use email if the issues have information for processing, or you’re looking for positive responses. An email may take you days to get response; however, there is one tip for you to get quicker responses on emails. In emails, you should ask for a response regardless if the response is negative or positive. In another way, you just sweetly ask ‘what do you think about it’ and implied that it’s not necessary to give decision right now. That way will not put your prospects under pressure, and they can give you honest responses.

Sharing is caring

Your prospects want to work with someone who is always trying to help them improve their business. Sharing is caring, and you need to become genuinely caring. However, your sharing must be important and relevant to prospects’ business or concerns.

Create impressions that your follow-up emails/ calls are all about how to improve prospects’ business. Provide your prospects with the relevant ideas and insights that will be helpful to your prospects’ business. Be quick and to-the-point, for example: “I have been thinking about how to raise more brand awareness in this untapped market. I thought you might be interested in what we did with our previous client to solve the same challenge. Do you care to discuss on my suggested solution?”

Keep it short

Whether you are giving a phone call or sending a follow-up email, you should always remember to keep it short and simple. Some sales professionals love to be sweet and upbeat in follow-up emails or calls. Your prospects are all busy individuals who don’t have patience for your ranting on phone calls or emails.

Define your follow-up frequency

For different types of your prospects, define the suitable schema for your follow-up frequency. If your contact is a busy CEO, you need to let him/her have more days to respond to your email. The planned follow-up schema will ensure you never forget your prospect during the follow-up progress. And to keep things in good order, you should use CRM programs or common Google calendar to remind you of your follow-up progress.

Here is a general schema for follow-up strategy:
Day 1: Follow-up email (+2 or 3): after your follow-up email, let it be 2 or 3 days till the next follow-up move.
Day 4: Follow up (+4)
Day 8: Follow up (+7)

How's about your successful strategies for following up prospects? Enter your comment now!

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With years of working as a Marketer and Copywriter, I have worked extensively in a number of projects for corporate and start-up companies in Asia Pacific, and North America.
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