Do you use a lead follow-up system? If not, it’s likely that you’re not being systematic in your follow up approach and this can result in many missed opportunities. The best salespeople are organized and structured in their approach and use a lead follow up system to ensure they stay in their prospect’s mind without becoming a nuisance.
Your follow-up system will depend on different variables such as how the lead was acquired and the personal communication preferences of your prospect. Therefore, it’s important to craft a flexible system through which you track and move your lead through the sales cycle. Here’s our tips.
Tip One: Act Fast With New Leads
If your leads are coming through online, then you have a very tight window of opportunity. In our technological age, customers and prospects expect instant responses. Automating emails to go out within five minutes is a great practice - strike while the iron is hot. Then make your first follow-up call within 24 hours so you can be ready to answer any questions. If you met your lead at an event, a call within 24 hours is again appropriate.
Tip Two: Have Lead Qualification Questions Ready for Your Call
Not only should you be ready to answer any questions your prospect has, you should also have your own set of questions on hand so you can qualify your lead in your first call. Make sure they have the means, motivation, and permission to buy. Listening skills are critical here, not only for qualification but for future follow up.
Tip Three: Plan for Multiple Attempts
Don’t bank on getting through the first time and definitely don’t give up. Craft your follow up system to encompass at least three follow-ups. Research shows that calling three times gives you an 81% chance of getting in touch with your prospect. Six attempts gives you a 93% chance. Make it part of your follow up system to schedule follow up attempts in your CRM so you don’t forget.
Tip Four: Never End An Interaction Without Scheduling a Follow Up
It’s unlikely you’ll seal the deal on your first couple of interactions. As you talk, jot down or make a mental note of reasons to follow-up. There could be an obvious reason, such as your lead requesting further information but, if not, search for a valid reason - it’s always there. Schedule a follow up before you let them go. Important note: make sure you find out their communication preferences. Simply ask them how they like to be contacted and then use that method.
Tip Five: Send a Thank You
A short thank you message after a call or meeting is great practice. Be sure to reference a point of mutual interest and reiterate the next scheduled interaction.
Tip Six: Map Out Next Steps in Your CRM
After calls or meetings with your prospect, make it a part of your system to evaluate where they are in the sales cycle and map out next steps. Be prepared to cut the cord on prospects that are drying up. Others might not be dead in the water but rather a longer term prospect. Add reminders in your CRM to follow up on key dates such a work anniversary, birthday or an industry event.