Once someone has expressed interest in your company and wants to know more about hiring you or buying from you, what do you do?
Do you have a plan in place for responding or do you rethink your approach every time?
If not, all of your hard work marketing your business to attract clients will go to waste if you ignore the follow up process.
After the initial contact, to which you quickly follow up on (more on this here), it’s your job to create a clear process that works for you and serves your clients.
Because you want a process that is easy and stress-free for you and does not create pressure for your prospective clients. This applies to new clients as well as returning clients.
You’re The One
As a business owner you wear many hats and I encourage you to delegate as many things as possible (more on that here). You can outsource things like; accounting, taxes, website maintenance, design, computer repair, etc.
But there are some things that are difficult to outsource like marketing and sales. Two reasons it’s not so easy to delegate marketing and sales are:
- No one knows your business like you do and most likely you are a big part of why people hire you and buy from you. Therefore you are the most effective person for the role.
- You may not have the budget for it.
So unless you have a salesperson working for you, you need to accept the fact that you are the sales person. You want to make sure your marketing efforts pay off and that way to do that is to follow up.
And if you know you’ve been neglecting your follow up, don’t panic. Watch my video, It’s Never Too Late to Follow Up.
Why Follow Up is Crucial
People are busy, they forget about you. They need reminders. It’s nothing personal; you’re just not the most important thing in their world, which makes sense if you think about it.
Turn the tables and put yourself in the shoes as the client who is interested in buying something. It’s not top of your mind all of the time is it?
Your goal is to be helpful without being annoying. It’s a delicate balance, you want to stay on their radar and also trust that they will know when the time is right for them.
How To Follow Up
You want to personalize each follow up and when possible add additional helpful information or offer to answer questions they might have. As long as your follow up is interactive, you can check in and follow up as long as is necessary.
But, if after a few follow attempts (whether by email or phone) you haven’t heard back from them (and you’re sure they are getting your messages, don’t assume) it’s best to get permission and agreement about how to move forward.
It’s not helpful to leave things unfinished and you don’t want people to think you’ve forgotten about them or that you don’t care, therefore closure is important to the process. When you have closure you free up time and energy that you can put to good use in other areas.
There’s nothing wrong with being direct, you can do this without being aggressive. Give people options so that they can choose what’s best for them. In your wrap up message you can:
- Ask if they are still interested in working together or buying your product.
- Offer to get in touch again later on (at the time of their choosing) if they aren’t ready to move forward right now.
- Let them know that you’re leaving in it in their hands to get back in touch with you if they choose to do so.
And if you have a regular ezine they’re subscribed to (which I highly recommend, more here), you’ll be able to stay in touch that way.
Of course you want to customize your approach so that it fits with your personality and personal values.
The important thing is that you have a process in place. That way you won’t have to struggle each time to figure out what to do, or worse yet, do nothing at all. And more importantly, you will serve your clients with the highest level of attention and care.
I hope you’re starting to see that it’s never too late to follow up. Connecting is fun and seriously, what’s the worst thing that could happen? And most likely you will experience positive interactions and rekindle many relationships.
So make the decision today to get in touch with all of the people who showed an interest in your business in the past. And commit to following up with people in the future. These small actions will help you serve more people and allow your business flourish.
© Stephanie Ward
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG, OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this information with it: Stephanie Ward is the Marketing Coach for Entrepreneurs who want to create meaningful and prosperous businesses. Grab your FREE copy of the special report ’7 Steps to Attract More Clients in Less Time’ plus business building tips, at: http://www.fireflycoaching.com.
How do you follow up with your prospects? What do you struggle with? I’d love to know what you think about this, share your thoughts in the comments section below.