In a fast-paced sales environment, it’s easy to drop the ball on communication.
In fact, 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, Dustin W. Ruge explains in his 2014 book, The Successful Sales Manager.
But in sales, persistence wins. The saying “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” rings true here. The only way to remain top-of-mind to prospects is to keep in touch with them and follow up consistently.
Here are some tips to help make following up easier:
1. Create a plan in advance.
Determine how often and when you and the team will follow up with prospects, and stick to it. Make your workflow visible to everyone in the organization using a digital document management platform or intuitive CRM, so team members can hold one another accountable for follow-ups.
2. Use tech to help you stay organized.
Leverage the power of technology to help you stay organized. Record all prospects in the CRM and categorize them based on where they are in the sales process.
For example, create separate tabs for new prospects, qualified leads, and warm leads. Set reminders to alert you to follow up after each call or email and document when and how the prospect was last contacted.
Use a digital document management platform to create, send, and receive proposals. Choose one that allows prospects to comment on documents with questions, so you can address them quickly.
3. Record where you left off with a prospect.
Each time you speak with a prospect or lead, record what you discussed in your CRM. Also, note which gatewayyou left them in and what information you need to help move them through the next gateway. Instead of accidentally repeating the same information again or, worse, asking where you left off, you’ll already know. It’s your job to keep track of where your prospect or lead is, not theirs.
4. Email on a Tuesday.
Emails have a relatively short life-span. In fact, fewer than 1% of emails are opened, if left unopened in an inbox 16 to 24 hours after delivery, according to a 2013 Get Response study. If you’re going to communicate with clients this way, be strategic about your timing.
Get Response found Tuesdays have the highest email open rates, and people happen to receive the highest volume of emails on this day, too. Although it’s a busy day, reach out to prospects on Tuesdays. They might be kicked into high gear and ready to respond.
5. Always reopen the conversation with what you and the prospect have in common.
Prospects don’t want to hear about what you want them to buy right away. Always begin the conversation with something that aligns you and the prospect. Start the conversation with a common value or vision you share. Or, if you can connect on a personal level with a common hobby or interest, talk about that.
Then you can ask them how their current process or situation is, identify what’s valuable to them and share how your product or service has helped others like them achieve success. But in each conversation, alignment must always be established first.
6. Be consistently responsive.
Follow up consistently to build trust and show prospects you’re reliable. When prospects buy, they enter into a long-term relationship with you and your product or service. They need to know they can count on you to respond should they have any problems, questions, or concerns.
Ultimately, sales are fueled by the relationships you build with people. Keeping in touch consistently is the key to nurturing a relationship. So, don’t drop the ball on follow ups, and use tech to help you stay on track.
What are some other ways to make following up easier? How might digital document management or an intuitive CRM help? Share in the comments below!