There is a huge difference between following up with a prospect and chasing folks. And if you can learn the distinction between the two it will save you a ton of time, energy, and even money.
Here’s what I mean. I’ve had this prospect who about every few months messages me and asks me a question and for a quote. I openly give it to her and then request a date that she’d like to start. No bullying, no running her down, just a simple this will cost you x dollars, when would you like to begin. It’s simple and it requires very little effort or energy from me because I don’t get to a point where I’m expecting that money or even counting on it. If it comes great, if not then we move on to the next person.
No amount of chasing is going to make a client who isn’t ready to buy do so. No amount of emailing or bullying is going to make someones financial situation capable of hiring you. That’s just not how this works.
What it does do is stress you out, make you seem desperate, and genuinely keep you from the clients who are ready, willing, and able.
When you talk with someone following up is a huge step in the process. If you did not sign them right then and there you need to touch base with the person. If you did sign them you still need to reach out! Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping this easy and organized.
- Set up reminders/appointments in your calendar for who to follow up with and when.
- Create drafts for situations you find yourself in on a regular basis. For example, a thank you for taking the time to talk with me and discuss your needs email. It doesn’t have to be long but it does need to be general. Save this email to your drafts so you can just copy and paste and go.
- When sending the generic email make sure and add a special touch that applies specifically to that person. People want to know that you were paying attention and understood their needs and their concerns.
- It doesn’t have to be long. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
- If you have this persons phone number call them as well as send an email. Begin with the email and then followup a week later with a phone call.
- Always get a phone number for your contacts.
- If you have an address for the person a handwritten note is a great way to show your appreciation. I assure you that in 16 years of using services and buying things this has only happened to me a handful of times but every time it did it made a huge impact in my relationship with the business. And when I personally have taken the time to do this in my own business it has done wonders.
- Ideally you want to follow up 3 times total.
- Within 3 days a handwritten note or email with a simple thank you and if there is anything I can do to help please don’t hesitate to ask.
- Within 7 days a followup email or call to see if they have any questions, concerns, and if they are ready to buy.
- Within one month if they have not purchased just a hey I was thinking about you and wanted to see how things were going? No mention of a sale in this email. That’s not the time.
- If they still haven’t purchased set yourself a reminder to follow up in the following quarter. Try and keep detailed notes about things they were concerned about so that you know how to approach your emails. Find something personal to mention to start things out. A child’s birthday, a spouse’s promotion that took place the last time you talked, etc.
- Add in an article to a blog you have written that deals directly with the problem they need solved. This makes you look competent, acknowledges that you were in fact listening, and if they are not ready to sign with you now it gives them something to work on before your next chat. By showing them that you are willing to give value for FREE it tells them that you genuinely care about their success.
I could come up with more tips around this topic but I think this is a good start and maybe something to build on over time. The gist of all of this is that finding clients and doing the work is based around building relationships and keeping in touch. Someone who isn’t ready to buy now if approached occasionally over time could become ready and this keeps you top of mind.