1. Quote Confirmation and Clarification
Chances are you sent your quote via email. The nebulous nature of email and attachments create the perfect excuse to follow-up. When composing the initial quote email, drop in a line about your intention to ‘follow-up with a call to confirm receipt and answer any questions.’
By stating from the get-go that you will be following up, your call will be better received when you actually place it (they’re expecting it) and it primes them to prepare questions that you will be ready answer.
2. A Well-Timed Call
It’s tempting to start dialing as soon as you arrive in the office on Monday morning and stay late Friday night in hopes of closing out the week on a high note. Unfortunately, these aren’t the best times to follow-up with clients and prospects. People tend to trickle in Monday and head out early at the end of the week. As you build relationships with your clients you will develop a knack for knowing the best time to reach them. But in the beginning it is advisable to call mid-morning Tuesday through Thursday and leave your Monday morning and Friday afternoon time slots for strategizing.
3. Relevant and related content
Constant follow-up is annoying. Relevant contact is key. Follow-up with your prospects when you come across (or your company releases) information that is relevant to their business and your relationship. Internal promotion ie: real, bona fide sales, are a great reason to follow-up but so are insightful news articles and research papers that relate to your prospects business. By surfacing genuinely relevant content and sharing it with your prospect you are proving your expertise in their subject-matter and opening the door to advance a sale.
4. Do it through Email
Follow-up on deals via email. Emails are checked and managed at all hours of the day, but should only be sent from you to a prospect during business hours – it is a more professional approach. Getting in someone’s inbox is a less obtrusive interruption than a phone call or visit. If they don’t answer within a reasonable amount of time, consider a phone call.
Bonus tip: Responding immediately to off-hour inquiries is a perfectly acceptable practice. Just be sure you keep it as professional as you would during daylight hours.
5. Book Some Time on the Green
Prospects are often eager to discuss your proposal if a little bit of fun is involved. Keep your eyes and ears open for interests you can engage in together. That could mean swinging some clubs on the green, on you. Or sharing box seats for the home team. Make sure the meetup is a blend of business and pleasure by arming yourself with business-related talking points without hitting the hammer over the head too hard.
6. Connect on LinkedIn
Knowing your customer can help you devise the best strategy for follow-up. This isn’t always easy to do when you are wooing a new prospect. Social media helps open that door. Professional connections are best made on mediums people expect to run into colleagues. Don’t hesitate to connect on LinkedIn after an initial meeting. Feel free to follow on Twitter before or after you’ve already pressed palms.
Did You Know?: Only 40% of sales people have generated revenue through LinkedIn. So what does the 40% know that others don’t?
7. Use a CRM to Hold it All Together
A customer relationship management tool with sales tracking features will help you keep it all together and close more deals. A CRM like Base will help you manage every deal with phases that can help you strategically close more deals. Phases clarify the point in the conversation you are with your would-be clients and prompt you to take next steps to keep the process moving along. Base is also designed to allow you to easily associate email threads to contacts and to store documents and links with deals. By using Base to track deals and contacts, you stay fresh on the information you have shared and helps you pace relationship-building and proves to the higher-ups you are keeping your irons in the fire. If you haven’t tried Base yet, you can get started with your free trial here.
Download our exclusive e-book, How to Improve Your Sales Process, to learn how to improve your sales process, increase revenue, and close more business.