You’ve made contact with a lead, and you might have even secured a set time for a call or in-person meeting. But since that last contact, have you followed up? Sellers don’t often think about improving their sales follow-up techniques; some don’t even bother to follow up consistently. This is a mistake.
Why sales follow-up techniques drive sales success
“Most people will contact someone once and then wait around for that person to get back to them,” writes Steli Efti for the Close blog. “That’s the completely wrong approach.” To stay competitive and top-of-mind, sellers need to engage consistently with prospects. While you may worry that you’re being a pain or annoying, thoughtful techniques for outreaches can prevent this feeling. And practice makes perfect. As Efti notes, “Following up is more art than science. The more you do it, the better you get at it.”
The follow-up basics
First, sellers need to be aware of general best practices when it comes to following up. If your initial outreach was cold, keep your follow-ups to about six messages. But if you already had a warm lead, feel free to reach out more often–especially if you don’t get a response. But, keep these communications spaced out to at least every other day. And remember, Efti writes, “These aren’t hard rules; they’re guidelines. It all depends on the context, the situation, the relationship, and the interactions you had with the other person.”
Also, optimize your outreaches for maximum impact. Note that SalesFuel’s research revealed that email is the most preferred method of communication with a salesperson. While you want to align your strategy with each prospect’s preferences, keep in mind that email may get the quickest response.
Techniques to master
Efti shares effective follow-up techniques that sellers should consider adding to their process. He discusses a variety of techniques for the various stages of the sales process and communication methods.
One of his suggestions is to demonstrate the value of your solution in a follow up. Engage and educate with an email that includes a case study, testimonial or review. It will be even more effective if you spotlight a client who has a business or issue similar to the lead’s. “Remind your potential customers what value your solution provides,” he advises. “Remind them of their pain point (in a subtle manner) and confirm how you can solve the problem.” This drives home the fact that you are thinking about them, their business, and how you can help. Want even more impact? Include a video. Here are some tips from SalesFuel for crafting short and personalized videos that work perfectly for email outreaches.
Follow up with a social media message
To avoid monotony, vary your sales follow-up techniques. As mentioned, the phone is one of the most preferred ways of communication, so making a call may be the best choice for the first follow-up. But for other touch points, consider engaging on social media. “Tap into internal social media as another way to stay on the other person’s radar,” Afti suggests. “Doing things like retweeting or favoriting a tweet, sending a LinkedIn invite, liking or commenting on their status updates or posts.”
Just make sure that your message, shared post or tagged status is relevant to their interests. Check out this article for more advice on effective social selling tactics.
Keep it brief yet effective
Each follow up doesn’t need to be long-winded. In fact, they may be more appreciated if they are short and sweet. This is especially necessary if you are sending multiple follow ups. Be intentional and to the point. Short communications that extend value should be the goal. Specifically, SalesFuel recommends short messages that are easily scannable and fewer than 100 words.
These are only a few highlights of the tactics Efti shares. It’s important, no matter which sales follow-up techniques that sellers employ, value and personalization are prioritized. Prospects are more likely to respond if they feel that reps truly care about them and their business. Make sure that this care is evident in each and every outreach.
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