A couple of years ago, I was at a new networking event, and I noticed this bizarre pattern surface. People would walk up, hand me their business card and then dive into their elevator pitch of who they are, what there is business is and then ask me for my business card and look at me expectantly to do my elevator pitch… and then they would move onto the next person nearby. By the end of the event, I had 22 cards in my hand and felt it was a complete waste of all our time. I did nothing with those business cards but stick them in a drawer I was so frustrated.
It was proven to me, when not one person I met ever called me to either follow up about their business, or to call me about mine. I was telling a friend about what happened, and they nodded knowingly and said. “Yep – it’s called say and spray.” Say who you are – and spray your cards around the room hoping that someone will be interested in your services or products. It’s the equivalent of putting on a blindfold having someone spin you around and then try to hit a dartboard on the wall somewhere in the room.
The reason I share this story with you is because it is a good example of how NOT to do Follow up.
Instead – ask yourself the following questions – and all your efforts will be less frustrating, and more successful.
Prepare and Plan:
· How do you define a qualified lead?
· What can you learn about them personally and professionally that will help to build natural trust and connection?
· What 3 questions can you ask to help you figure out if this person a qualified lead
· Prepare based on what you learn about them WIIFM – “What’s in it for Me” or in this case “What’s in it for them?”
The Follow up:
So, you got a business card in hand or they have agreed to you following up with them.
Now it’s up to you.
· What is your current strategy for tracking leads – and how is that working for you?
· If it isn’t working for you – do some research online to get ideas on better ways to track leads.
It could be as simple as a post it notes – or adding a reminder on your calendar – or more thorough like setting up a CRM to help you track all your leads. Experiment and figure out what works for you. Everyone has a different follow up tracking method they prefer.
Here are three quick tips to help you along with getting better Follow Up responses
Respond in a Timely Fashion: Send a ‘thank you’ email or phone call to be made within 12-24 hours after you connect with that person for the 1st time.
Personalize Your Communication: All those questions you asked to get to know who they are and what matters to them personally and professionally will come in handy here
Also, be sure to create a follow-up schedule
Remember, it typically requires 7-10 touches before a conversion happens. Creating a follow-up schedule will ensure you remain consistent with your communications and prevent you from letting the leads you worked so hard to attain fall through the cracks. Your communications calendar should aim to keep you top of mind with your leads but not become a nuisance.
A good rule of thumb to follow:
• Emails: once per week
• Phone calls: once per month
• Face to face: once per quarter
Anything more than that and you run the risk of getting the brush off.
Most people don’t get the business because they are poor at follow up. This is your invitation to not be like most people…. And do your follow up, so you can see the success you deserve.
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