How many times have you had someone call or meet you (they are interested in your product or service), you follow up, and they never get back to you? The initial call goes excellent, but all your follow-up and polite initiatives get neglected. First of all, the lack of a non-response is just plain disrespectful. And then you wonder if you are doing something wrong. Every sale or business professional has had this experience. How you respond to an initial call can be crucial in making or breaking a relationship or closing business with a potential client.
According to therefferalsquirrel.com, 80% of sales are made on the 5th through the 12th time you contact the prospect, so it real important to keep that in mind. Yet, at this point, you have to figure out how to re-engage your prospect when they are not responding, which typically involves sending the dreaded “Just wanted to follow-up about…” email. This is where your outreach could make or break your relationship (or potential sale) with the client, so it’s essential to avoid some basic mistakes with your follow-up. Prospecting for a new business can be tricky, so how can you reach out without scaring them away (using email)? Let me offer a few tips that could help.
Here’s what you can do to better your chances of response when using email:
Provide background information: No matter what you’re selling or what field you’re in, it’s safe to assume your prospective client is busy. This means your client will be distracted and may not remember who you are or what you discussed previously (why it’s probably always good to follow up within hours of your visit or call). And, they are probably being wooed by other sales reps, or your business deal is a low priority on their “to-do” list. If it’s your first follow-up email, it is a good idea to provide background information about who you are and what you discussed previously so you don’t lose their attention. And do it quickly.
Add value (or make the “next step” easy) – Your prospective customer and/or client wants to feel like you have their best interest in mind, so try to be creative in how your solution adds value for them. One right way to do this is to share resources and information relevant to their industry (and business) using LinkedIn or Google alerts. You might let them know a new way to use your product and service to further their business goals.
Make it easy for your client to say yes by helping them with the sales process. For instance, maybe they are struggling with pitching your product or service to their superiors, so offer to help do it for them. Or, perhaps they struggle with how you compare to your competition; you could do a cost and benefit analysis comparison chart for them. Think outside the box and do something that will set you apart from others and provide that “value add” that most others won’t.
Include a ‘benefit’ or ‘why’ statement. As is the case in every pitch you make, it’s important to reiterate your benefit statement(s). Why does your client need your product or service and the benefits it provides to them? More specifically, why are you the best option, even if your price is higher? KEY POINT: It is essential NOT to make a sales pitch per se but to educate the prospect on the benefits that your product or service provides; and the possible return for that investment. Make it personal whenever possible, and keep it short and relatively simple while being confident that you have the best solution.
Include a call to action – One of the biggest mistakes for any follow-up email is not including a strong call-to-action. Leaving the email open-ended with phrases like “let me know what you think” or “keep in touch” isn’t a strong enough incentive for your client to respond. You’re more likely to get a response when you ask a pointed question like, “What day and time works best for you next week to discuss this further?” or, “What would be the best time for us to meet to discuss further?” Good quality and timely follow-up are a must.
Hopefully, the above tips can help you with your call to action when following up with potential prospects and getting better responses and, therefore, better results.
If you would like to learn more about implementing strategies to grow your revenue and profits further, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!