Following up Just Once Isn’t Following up!
The networking event went well. Better than expected, actually. You leave clutching a wad of business cards with ideas, promises and opportunities fresh in your mind. When you get back home, to the office or to your team, you’re full of excitement about a few of the leads.
These could well be new clients, customers or advocates for you
But then it all goes quiet. You email the leads, try to call the contacts you’ve made and the excitement slowly slips away.
It’s not you, it’s them. It’s not for now, but later. “We just don’t have the budget right now…”
It’s a common problem and we’ve all had it happen. The worst thing is – it’ll probably happen again.
But it’s your fault if you allow those leads to go cold as it’s down to you to be there when the time is right, when the budget is there and when they’re ready to start looking at what you can offer.
Not every lead you get will convert, but hardly any of them will convert right away, after one touchpoint, one call or email or after just one time of asking.
“80% of sales happen at the fifth time of asking”
80%? The fifth time?? Can you see now how that stack of business cards from the expo, show or networking meeting might not be dead, but more likely just forgotten… by YOU?
You must ask five times for the business, and here’s a simple way to do it!
At SalesRadar we’re all about systemising your follow-up approach. With a CRM in place you’ll be able to set and forget your follow-up reminders once you add a prospect to your system.
The follow-up then comes from you, or your email or wherever you decide is best, but the system ensures you don’t forget and you can follow up en masse!
Here’s a simple follow-up funnel for you to think about…
On your phone there’s a really great app that allows you to actually speak to people! Amazing how far we’ve come, isn’t it? If you think about it, your inbox is overflowing and if someone emailed you right now it might not get the attention the sender wanted it to. The same is going to happen to you. So, pick up the phone and call your prospect first.
The networking event or show was the start of your conversation, so continue it a few days after. Don’t go in for the hard sell unless you’re certain that this is the right time to do it though. Just ask how they felt the event went or continue your chat from when you met.
Find out when would be a good time to contact them about the business and pop that into your CRM to remind you to contact them then.
Although email is busy and a phone call is better, you can of course follow up with many leads very quickly with email. Sometimes it might just be better to drop your prospect an email and then follow that up with a phone call a few days later.
Whichever way around you do this, don’t leave the first touchpoint too long after you meet. We are all forgettable after all. Your prospect will have 100 things on the go too, remember!?
… online! Social media is a great way to follow up with a prospect after an event or show. LinkedIn or Twitter will be the best places to do this, although Facebook and Instagram are fast becoming places to link up with business prospects too.
A simple note, reply, connection request or similar are fine here. Don’t go for the sales – go for the conversation. If you successfully add them to your social media then there’s a very good chance that they’ll see your updates online, and you can gently remind them that you exist on there. Of course, this gives you the perfect opportunity to take an interest in their updates and remind them gently from afar that you’re still there.
Direct mail might not be as dead as you think it is. Amongst all the junk you get in the mail lies an opportunity. Fewer businesses are using this medium in favour of email as it’s largely free to send.
Why not send something to your prospect that reminds them of you and also helps them out a bit? The obvious thing here is a pen or notepad or similar for their desk or office. In this digital age, there’s nothing that stands out more than something that isn’t digital!
Think about the packaging and how you send it though. Whereas a snappy subject line will help your email in the inbox, a bright envelope helps your message get opened from the door mat!
Other networking meetings
We’re big fans of Stefan Thomas, the author of Business Networking for Dummies. Stefan talks a lot of sense and is actually a SalesRadar partner. We spotted an interesting video from Stefan recently about using networking meetings to follow up.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If you meet people you’re already talking to at a networking event you can continue the conversations at scale. The clever way to approach this would be to keep an eye on your prospect’s social media or emails, see where they’re heading and offer to meet for coffee or arrange your networking around it.
It’s an informal way to meet up again and might just remind them you exist, until they’re ready to buy from you.
We do a lot of networking here at SalesRadar. Many of the customers we have were from networking events, but they didn’t buy from us right away. It takes time, so we just kept going to the events and we made sure we followed up, too!
How are you going to get to fifth base?
80% of sales come from the fifth time of asking. Unfortunately, most sales conversations stop, get forgotten or simply fail to get to the fifth time.
Putting a system like SalesRadar in place allows you to decide how you’ll follow up with your leads by creating a simple process that you set to remind you what you need to do next and also record what you did at each step.
Now every time you meet someone, just add them into a process and SalesRadar will remind you what you wanted to do next.
It’s the perfect merge of automation and human interaction, and it stops you forgetting to ask for the business.
Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey… via a system with a memory like an elephant!