Follow-up is so simple, yet complicated. It’s simple, but not easy. It takes effort. Most people think that you only need to follow up on leads who are interested in your product. But you must also follow up to get meetings, to get in front of people, to explain your value, to close a deal. Keep thinking follow-up.
This is so vital that today I have summarized the follow-up advice from Steli Efti, a recognized authority on this subject. You can get more information from https://steliefti.com/.
Follow-up is not only on direct leads but on opportunity. Got an idea? You have to act on it. It is not happening unless you follow up. Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.
You have to be the outside force. You have to follow up, follow up, follow up. Why? Because we live in such a distracted world. I can want to do business with you and yet get distracted and busy. I miss out because I didn’t follow up. I get distracted because of the current of the urgent. Everything is urgent.
Why do you have to be so fanatical about following up? Because in our world there is an over saturation of content and options. If you don’t stay in someone’s face, they forget about you. You must not only get their attention but keep their attention. If you have the interest, you can find the time.
It takes 7 to 15 touches 80% of the time to convert a prospect to a client. You must stay in people’s faces. Make a list of high-capacity people; people you should be doing something with. Each transaction should lead to 4 to 6 referrals. How much opportunity are you losing because you don't have a disciplined follow-up? We lose 10% of our momentum every day we don’t act.
You are either a relationship builder or a challenger. Even though you have done a great job of showing them what the problem is, and the solution, if you are a builder you will not move them off the fence.
Challengers create a healthy tension, but they are not mean or guilt/shamers. Relationship builders want to be liked. Challengers call for action: “I know I can help you.” Forty percent of all top producers are challengers. Ten percent are relationship builders.
Relationship builders start with deflection: “I know that you are really busy…” This will not take you down the road you want to go. You have to be a person of conviction.
Following up is more art than science. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Nothing can replace building strong follow-up habits. You can develop the right habits if you choose to do so consistently. This advice from _____________________ will help you.
How often should you follow up?
1. If you reach out completely cold and never had any interaction with the other person, follow up a maximum of six times. You really don’t have the type of relationship that gives you permission to do much more than that.
2. If you already had some kind of interaction and that interaction was not a clear, definite NO, then follow up as long as it takes to get a response. Never stop till you get a response.
3. The right follow-up frequency
Here’s a general guideline for timing your follow-ups:
Day 1: First follow-up (+2)
Day 3: Follow-up (+4)
Day 7: Follow-up (+7)
Day 14: Follow-up (+14)
Day 28: Follow-up (+30)
Day 58: Follow-up (+30)
from there on once a month
Also set up tasks with due dates, and create lists using smart filter functions.
4. These are not hard rules, they are guidelines. It all depends on the context, the situation, the relationship, and interactions you had with the other person. For example, if you follow up with an incredibly busy and important CEO of a large enterprise, don’t send another follow-up email tomorrow and two days later and four days later. Give them more time; maybe four to seven days until your first follow-up. Maybe follow up once a week. If you know this person gets 5,000 emails a day, be respectful of that fact.
5. Which medium is best for following up? Email or phone? This depends on what you’re after. Do you want to optimize for 1) a quick response or 2) a positive outcome? If you optimize for a quick response (because an issue is time-sensitive), then a phone call is the best medium. However, it’s easier to be annoying, so the risk of turning a "maybe" into a "no" is much higher. If you call ten times in two days, they will probably turn you down even if they were actually interested. Because they’ll think, "Geez, working with this person is too much pain; I’ll pass. "If you optimize for a positive outcome, then email is the best medium for follow-ups, but is a very long process..
Following up by email
Keep it short, upbeat, and professional.
Email #1: “Hey [first name], how is it going? Can we schedule a time to talk this week?”
Email #2: “Hey [first name], we got some new press coverage [link]. I’d love to pick up on our conversation. When’s a good time to chat?”
Email #3: “Hey [first name], can we hop on a quick call Wednesday 4 p.m. or Thursday 11 a.m.? PS: Thought you might find this article interesting [link].”
You get the idea.