So, someone makes an enquiry, they want to know more, they don’t buy right away – what do you do? Do you leave them be, take the view that they have made their decision and forget all about them? OR do you follow up?
Follow up is a super duper important part of your business. It’s not pushy, it’s not icky, it’s not unethical, IT’S IMPORTANT. You need to make sure that once someone has raised their hand and shown an interest in your services that you stay on their radar, you demonstrate that you care, prove to them that their business is important to you.
If you aren’t following up you are missing people you could be helping.
BUT here’s the thing. Follow up is a tricky old beast. It’s soo easy to get it wrong. It’s so easy to mess up.
I want to let you into a couple of revelations here (ok, you ready?)
Firstly follow up does not need to be pushy or icky
Secondly follow up need not make you feel sick
Thirdly failure to follow up WILL result in you loosing business.
Follow up doesn’t need to feel icky or pushy. It should be natural & organic
Sales cycles can’t be fast tracked in many cases. It takes time for people to get to know you, start to warm to you, recognise that you are the answer to the problems they are experiencing and be ready to buy from you. Kim Duke from salesdivas.com quotes that it takes between 5-27 touches before someone will buy from you. That’s between 5-27 times of seeing your business. Whether that be a Facebook post, a Tweet or your newsletter winging into their inbox they need to have had some form of contact with you between 5-27 times. So follow up in it’s simplest level may well be happening without you even knowing that there is someone out there considering purchasing from you. That’s why consistency is the key. Your marketing and your messages needs to be consistent.
Having a system of follow up in your business for direct enquiries is important too. You need to work out how you are going to get a system of follow up working in your business. The very best tips are that follow up should be
~ on the terms of your prospective client, ask them when it would be a good time to follow up with them, how would they like you to contact them?
~ NEVER ever make your prospective client feel guilty. If they feel guilty then it will make them feel uncomfortable. What might be urgent to you may simply not be important to them. Don’t start conversations along the lines of “I’ve been trying to get hold of you for ages.”
I had an interesting follow up email the other week:-
“So we’re breaking up.
We get it.
But we also get that it’s not you…it’s us.”
Ok, so there was a use of humour BUT it did make me feel a teeny bit uncomfortable. No, it’s not you, in fact it’s me. I have found someone else, someone who does everything I need them to do, someone who is kinda out preforming you and making me happy. I have outgrown you. It’s not your fault lovely software provider, it’s me, I’ve moved on. Now’s the time. I am really sorry it’s over but, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, it was good whilst it lasted!
~ Follow up should be Natural and Organic – don’t try to force it, don’t be desperate or pushy. Just agree the method of follow up, the time of follow up, leave the door open
Aside from physical follow up, where you are contacting a client to discuss their specific enquiry, you can be doing natural follow up in your business every day to make sure you can help the people who need your help. Think about the following:-
* Consistent contact with your audience on Social Media. Make sure you are around and continuing to appear in their newsfeeds
* Make sure you have an e-newsletter so that you can drop into your crowd’s inbox regularly
* Make sure there are ways that your crowd can get in touch with you.
* Ask your crowd questions to ensure that you are serving them in the best possible way
* Do everything in your business with your crowd in mind – look after your crowd and they will, without a shadow of a doubt, want to continue to be involved with you.