The dreaded follow-up.
You know it. You hate it. But you also gotta do it.
Whether you’re a sales guru or not, it’s hard to think of a task that’s more universally dreaded. The line between a friendly and irritating can be a thin one, and a dangerous one to cross when running your own business.
Here are my tips for following up without being annoying.
Avoid the follow-up all together
The best way to get out of doing a follow-up is closing a sale on your initial pitch! This means making a solid pitch the first time around. Give your service or product offer a deadline for sign-up or purchase to create urgency. Letting your audience know that your client calendar is filling up quickly, or your one-time offer ends in the next 48 hours will prompt your audience to respond quicker. In the case you don’t close the deal from the initial pitch, it gives you a good basis to follow-up on, reminding your potential client that this incredible offer ends soon and you don’t want them to miss out!
Don’t follow up every day
Yes, it’s important that your audience has you and your offer on their mind, but that doesn’t mean spamming them with emails or calls on a daily basis. Feeling pressured is exactly what will make them go running for the hills. As a general rule, try following up after about 5 days or so (and keep it to weekdays.) After that, get back in contact every couple weeks after until your sale is made or it is clear your efforts have been exhausted.
Use the communication method they prefer
Some people hate speaking on the phone. Some hate emailing. Heck, some may even prefer snail-mail! Whatever the case, accomodate to the preferences of your potential client.
Make it matter for them
One of the biggest mistakes when following up is not having an action-plan. Each potential-client that didn’t buy into your first pitch did so for a reason; timing, budget, their partner’s approval. Make sure you take note of each one’s specific circumstance and need. This will allow you to personalize your follow-up by catering to each prospect, upping your chances of closing a deal.
Don’t get disheartened
You won’t have success 100% of the time. And that’s okay. As humans, rejection is a tough pill to swallow, and sometimes it can get the best of you. Whether you’re given a straight no or ignored after various communication attempts, it’s important to remember that it’s nothing personal. Don’t get frustrated or irritable, as this can result in becoming snappy with a once-potential client, or feeling they are disregarding all your time and effort. Remain humble, friendly, and always say thank you. You never know when they may need you in the future.