Follow-up is crucial to a business’s success. The faster you follow up, the more likely you are to close the deal. In fact, one study found 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to them first.
By not following up with prospects, you put your reputation at risk and force them to take their business elsewhere. Talk about an anti-growth strategy!
Worse still, you’re not just losing on that one transaction. For example, if a real estate agent abandons a prospect, they not only lose the commission on that transaction but miss out on any subsequent transactions, such as potential referrals.
Following up with potential customers should be a high-priority component of any marketing strategy. With that in mind, here are five effective follow-up strategies you can use to connect with interested prospects.
1. Make Time and Make a Plan
Creating a follow-up schedule–complete with notifications–keeps the process efficient and effective. When you’re fielding leads from phone calls, emails, website inquiries, social media, even snail mail, mapping out your plan of attack isn’t just convenient, it’s essential.
Here’s an example of a 22-day follow-up schedule from LeadSimple.
Of course, a follow-up schedule is just a guideline for you. Your prospects are going to have ideas of their own, and they’ll buy when they’re ready. The best you can do is to remain vigilant, nurture the relationship and stay top of mind.
Bonus Content: Follow up with client emails faster than ever with our free Cut-and-Paste Follow-Up Templates.
2. Treat Potential Customers With Respect
Following up with potential customers shouldn’t be tricky. The lead is warm, and the interest is there. All you need to do is initiate a genuine conversation that will hold their attention and nudge them gently forward.
Do your homework and have your questions ready, but also come prepared to listen. Listen to what each prospect has to say. Get a feel for who they are and what they do, then figure out how you can make their lives easier without wasting their time.
When you respect potential customers, your conversations resonate better. And there’s nothing more memorable than real advice from an industry expert, especially when it’s tailor-made for the prospect’s specific situation.
Providing a quick follow-up to the questions and concerns of prospects and clients is an essential building block of long-term relationships. It shows them you care about their business and helps you earn their trust and respect.
3. Provide Valuable Content
Your prospects are busy, and not every follow-up requires a direct conversation. You want to add value, not stress and aggravation. Content marketing not only allows you to bridge the gap with value during the in-between times, but it also allows you to expand your potential touchpoints.
The content you create and share should always be relevant to your prospects and your business. It shouldn’t be a non-stop hard sell; instead, it should provide value and advance the overarching conversation. This positions you as an interested partner rather than a pushy salesperson.
Remember, for 70 percent of consumers, interesting content is their preferred way of hearing from businesses and brands. So whether you’re creating infographics, FAQ videos or sharing images on Instagram, always keep the potential customer’s needs in mind.
4. Meet People Where They Are
If you want to form a lasting connection with potential customers, meet them on their own personal stomping grounds. It’s all about their comfort and preferences, not yours.
If you know your customer is a phone person, give them a call. Maybe they’re social media focused and you follow up via Facebook or LinkedIn. And everyone can (and should!) be sent emails to communicate.
The important thing to remember is that it’s all on the table—phone, text, email, snail mail, social media. Use whatever works. The more touchpoints you use, the better chance you have of staying top of mind.
5. Respond Quickly
We mentioned at the very beginning of this post that time is of the essence when you first respond to a prospect. However, it’s important to balance speed and personalization. This means reaching out quickly with a response that doesn’t feel canned or empty.
We’ve developed several of follow-up templates (linked below) that you can use to make sure you don’t waste valuable time trying to think of what to say. These are built to be easily customized so you can add your own personal details.
Improve your follow-up today
Following up doesn’t have to be time-consuming or painful. Our free cut-and-paste follow-up templates that will make it faster and easier to connect with your prospects.