Tips For an Effective Follow-Up Process
Your follow up process is just as important as the initial call, and it is how you will drive the conversion of a prospect to a client.
You’ve connected with a prospective client. Now What?
Be Persistently Consistent
No matter what your potential new client's response sentiment is, you should always schedule your next follow-up. If they say no thank you, schedule a call for one month out to check in. Set reminders so that you will remember to follow up with your prospects.
Advertising Repetition: The Importance of Persistence
It has been said before that a person has to see or hear new information 7 times before it really sinks in and they remember. However, a study conducted by Susanne Schmidt & Martin Eisend of Technical University Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany and European University Viadrina, Frankfurt, Germany (respectively) in 2015 concluded that a subject has the strongest increase in information recall after 10 exposures to advertisements.
The takeaway: your messaging must be persistent in order to be internalized and recalled by your recipient.
Always Focus on Next Steps
It's also valuable to be cognizant of the fact that we live in a world with a constant onslaught of consumer-driven information. Your follow-up message is only one of many. Your carefully drafted, relevant, and personalized content delivered on a consistent basis will eventually stand out with the memory recall that you're after. To be sure your prospects begin counting on your consistent touches, it's critical to schedule your next steps immediately after each interaction. Take down notes and commit to your plan for the next steps to be taken.
Just because someone says no doesn’t mean they don’t want to do business with you ever, it means not right now. That’s why a follow-up process is so critical—even if that means your consistent marketing touches aren't relevant until 3-4 months later. Timing is everything, and your initial outreach may not have come at the right time. It's your job to be patient in your consistent marketing efforts, and you'll eventually capture the right timing.
Be Genuine, Not Pushy
Follow our tips for establishing relatability with a client. During a first meeting, or before you even speak with a prospective client, do some homework to find points of relatability to give clues of what aspects of your services will be the most valuable to the prospective client. Keep track of notes in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.
Relatability is critical to establishing authentic client relationships from the first impression. Your efforts will be recalled and valued in the future. (To learn more about the importance of relatability, read our blog post, How to Establish Relatability)
Add Value: Offer Relevant Information
Part of not being pushy is to refrain from appearing too "salesy" in all of your communication. If you have any articles, blog posts, or other informational marketing material that you think would be helpful for your prospective client, share it with them. Don't be afraid to give something away for free! Show that you care by offering knowledge and assistance, even if they aren't ready to do business with you quite yet.
When you genuinely pay enough attention to understand who your prospects are, and what needs they may have, it's easier to know what information will be relevant to them.
Specific follow-up messaging is an important part of the Cold-Click® marketing method we use in our operations at IN-Link Advisors. We use sentiment analysis to funnel what type of lead each client is and then move forward with future follow-up campaigns based on their level of interest. Just because a contact said "no thank you," "not right now," or "I already have a financial advisor," that doesn't close the door to the possibility of doing business with them in the future.
When sending follow up messages, try to avoid generic language such as:
"I enjoyed getting to know you on our call the other day. If you need anything, please let me know. Thanks!"
A message like the one above is very impersonal and leaves the ball in their court. Share specific information about the call (take notes when you speak with a contact). What you learned about their unique situation, and how you can specifically address their needs. Above all, your messages should be worth the time the recipient takes to read them. Nothing is worse than communication without content.
"Hi, ((contact))! The last time we spoke we discussed X, Y, and Z. I found an article by ((respected industry journal)) that I think you will find very helpful. I look forward to our next call on ((scheduled date))."
Short, sweet, specific, and helpful!
Tracking your progress is a step that should become second nature. Treat your process like sports statistics. You should be able to analyze your actions from every angle, and from every play.
Using your CRM (Salesforce, Pipedrive, Redtail, Hubspot, Netsuite, etc.), track every "touch" in your marketing process. Take notes on every message, every call, and what the plan is for the next steps. Scheduling a call, sending a message or an email with a timely and relevant news article, etc.
Whatever your unique process looks like, be sure you track your progress and keep moving forward to the next steps in your long game. Your patience, persistence, consistency, authenticity, and relatability are what will stand out in the relationships you have with prospective clients.
End Goal: Closing New Business
An efficient and persistent follow-up process is what will turn your initial connections into hot leads over time. Prospecting new clients should be looked at as a long game. You're in it for the long haul, and your patient efforts will be rewarded!
Advertising Repetition: A Meta-Analysis on Effective Frequency in Advertising, By Susanne Schmidt & Martin Eisend, 2015, Research Gate
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