It’s widely acknowledged that the #1 reason we fail in sales is lack of follow up.
Not surprising really. After all, most people don’t buy stuff immediately. When was the last time you sent out a prospecting email and someone requested the contract as soon as they got that email? Or you handed over your credit card the minute someone walked up to you in a shop?
It takes times and persuasion to get people to decide to buy a product or service.
Even in a perfect world…
Let’s say your targeting is absolutely spot on. Perhaps you’ve used a tool like LeadFuze to target, select and gather your data ready for a campaign. You know your buyer personas; you know their profiles and why they want to buy.
Your messages are clear and compelling and (gasp…) you might even have tested them already to determine the strongest and put them in the right order (gasp again…) to match the buyer journey that is clearly documented.
Even with all these boxes perfectly ticked and maybe even a LinkedIn connection request accepted, it takes time and persuasion to convert someone to part with their hard-earned cash.
This is where the discipline of following up comes in. And it is a discipline. You must be disciplined to do it and it is extremely regimented.
Go that extra mile
According to various sources, to ensure that you have maximised your selling potential, you need to send between 2-12 follow up emails with the optimum coming in somewhere around 4-8. Yes, really.
Check out our friends at Woodpecker’s take on these statistics in this informative blog – it makes for sometimes surprising reading.
Given that most people generally stop calling or emailing after 2-3 times and you can see the missed opportunity. By overriding our natural fear that we don’t want to ‘bother’ people or come across as a nuisance or pushy, making that 4th, 5th or 6th contact will ensure you are upping your closure rate significantly.
Take that to a 7th or 8th contact and you’re really starting to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
It’s important to note that this is of course directly related to your targeting. Be confident that if you’ve targeted precisely and with good intelligence then why would people not want to hear about what product or service you have to offer?
So – we know that our targeting is right, we’re confident in the fact that following up multiple times is not a crime against humanity, and we know a significant number of follow ups are needed to properly qualify out or close the deal. What now?
Plan your follow up
Be super organized about follow up and have a purpose to your plan. Don’t just ‘touch base’ – think about what you have to share; what information or experience will your prospect be interested in.
Ensure your follow up is of value
Here’s where your awesome content comes in. You’ve built your personas, so you know the pain points. Use these in subject lines, to write blogs, to create content that is worthy of your prospects time and justifies the follow up email or call.
And consider video, use emojis, research other techniques that will make you stand out. The world’s your oyster when it comes to how you present compelling material in follow up.
Don’t let anything stop you
Whether in your CRM, diary, Outlook (whatever works for you) schedule your follow up and DO IT. Don’t put it off or move it, just do it at the cadence you are comfortable with and that suits the product or service.
But stop when the time’s right
Have a clear process – whether automated or manual – to stop your follow up juggernaut immediately when the prospect has responded either positively or negatively. Now is the time to move them to a different flow – whether ‘dead’ no interest or to the next level of the buying cycle (likely arranging a personal one to one call or meeting).
Turbo charge the process
On our busy Dux user group, during one on one Booster Calls and on support calls we were repeatedly asked about how Dux can help automate the initial phases of follow up.
We completely understood. This fits beautifully with the Dux mantra of taking the legwork out of lead generation so you can focus on the all-important close. Time is money and for many of our users there is a volume play to all of this. Help was needed.
So, in response, we launched a new version of Dux-Soup Turbo a few weeks ago that automates follow up through LinkedIn. Read this handy blog to find out more.
Very briefly, the automated process you can set up in Turbo looks like this:
- Send an automated LinkedIn connection request to your targets
- Target accepts (but as we know this is just the beginning!)
- Send a personalised automated follow-up message sequence - the delay to start and between messages is in your control / you can create templates and get creative
- Sequence stops automatically when you get a response
- Manually follow up those who have responded positively
- Close the deal
We’ll stop short of saying ‘And Bob’s your uncle’ as we know that getting the right content and messages is not a walk in the park. But see how Zeb Pirkey at Pound Social does exactly this with Dux-Soup Turbo - it's awesome!
Through automating much of the follow up process you can rest easy that it is being done and that you’re maximizing your close potential.
In short, that follow up is your #1 priority.