One of the biggest push backs I get when I talk to coaches and entrepreneurs about sales is the that they find sales “annoying” and “pushy.” The more I dig into this, the more I learned that the follow up is the part tripping up most female entrepreneurs. They hate reaching out repeatedly to see if someone has made a decision.
However, it’s 100% true that “the fortune is in the follow up” and that a large portion of your sales conversations aren’t going to close on the spot. Which means, you need to get comfortable with follow up.
The key is to follow up without being annoying.
You can’t just text or email someone and say “Hey, have you made a decision yet?” or “Hey, are you ready to get started?” You have to provide value and have a strategy.
It has to start with getting permission to follow up. If your dream client can’t give you an answer right away – you have to ask for permission to follow up. I recommend scheduling your next conversation before you end the current one. It might go something like “Sarah, I totally understand that this is a big investment in your business. I want you to be confident in investing in yourself. Let’s jump on the phone first thing on Tuesday morning to answer any questions and get things moving forward.”
Then, Tuesday morning rolls around. And Sarah is busy. She got pulled into another meeting. I would ask Sarah if it’s okay to follow up again the following day. When she says yes, I’m going to schedule an email to go out to Sarah the following morning.
Here’s what it looks like:
I’m so excited to work with you. I’m confident that investing in sales coaching for your business is going to help you leave your corporate job and run your business full time!
Here is one of my free videos that my clients love about implementing a sales process in their business.
If I don’t hear from you by Tuesday of next week – I will give you a call.
Here is why this is email is important.
1 – I mention the specific goal that Sarah told me she wanted to hit (quitting her corporate job).
2 – I send Sarah a video to get her re-engaged with me and my content. I want to her to remember why she wanted to work with me to being with.
3 – I get “permission” to follow up with Sarah again in a few days.
By telling her that I am going to follow up – she knows that I am holding her responsible for making a decision (whether it’s yes or no!).
The really, really important next step – CALL SARAH ON TUESDAY!
We’re still building trust – and the way to do that is to do what we say we’re going to do.
So, Tuesday rolls around. I get Sarah’s voicemail.
Here is what I say…
“Sarah – it’s Ryann Dowdy with Uncensored Consulting. I am still so pumped to get starting on hitting your big goals. Sarah, I know you’re busy. When you can – give me a call. If I don’t hear from you – I will reach out on Friday.”
Then, on Friday – I send Sarah a text…
“Sarah – Ryann Dowdy with Uncensored Consulting. We’re having a hard time getting connected – are you still interested in working together to hit your goals and grow your business? Sarah – no is a totally okay answer – keep me posted! If I don’t hear from you – I will reach out again next Wed.
Then, on Wed – I send Sarah an email…
When we first chatted – you told me your 3 bigs goals were..
1 – Goal #1
2 – Goal #2
3 – Goal #3
I want to help you hit these goals. But, I totally understand if the timing isn’t right for you and your business. How can I help you, Sarah? Is the program we discussed still on your radar?
Sarah – I want the best for you and your business – even if we’re not working together right now! Let me know how I can help you.
P.S. Don’t forget that the amazing women in the Sales Skills for Women in Business Facebook Group are always available as a resource, too!
After that many touch points, we can assume that Sarah isn’t ready to move forward.
Which is 100% okay.
You only want to work with people that really want to work with you. We’re not in the business of forcing a business relationship where it doesn’t make sense, right?
At this point though – I don’t write Sarah off and stop reaching out to her. In fact, I add Sarah to a specific email list in my database called “follow-up.” Unlike my typical bi-weekly email that goes out, Sarah (and anyone else that doesn’t say “yes” right away) gets her own set of emails. These emails are more specific and more tailored, as I have a stronger relationship with these people. We’ve chatted on the phone. I know their true pain points and frustrations.
I also recommend calling these “warm” leads at least every 30-45 days. The key to success here is to not call them to sell them anything. Call them to check in on them. Ask how they’re doing towards reaching their goals. Ask them if you can help them.
THEN, if the opportunity presents itself – you can ask them to work with you.
If the answer is still “not right now” – ask them if you can follow up again in another 6 weeks or so. You will be amazed at the number of people that say yes.
Here is what that follow up call might sound like…
“Sarah – I’m so excited to catch up with you – how are things going? Last time we chatted, your kiddos were just starting softball – are they loving it? I bet it’s keeping you so busy!
Sarah – how is your business? You were working toward some serious goals – how is that going?!”
If Sarah says she’s still struggling, my answer might be..
“Sarah, I totally get it. Starting a business alongside your full-time job is TOUGH! You’re doing a really great job. Have you made any additional investments in yourself or your business since we last spoke?
If Sarah says that business is actually going really well…
“Sarah – OMG, I’m so excited for you. I knew you had it in you. So proud of you and your commitment to your goals. Sarah, can I be a resource for you in anyway?”
The key to follow up is to continue to the build the relationship.
Don’t make it about you – make it about them. Not every conversation is an “ask.” Show support. Be genuinely excited for their success. You never when they’re going to need you and your services – or meet someone that does.
The biggest opportunity with each touch point is to provide value. Send a video. Send a blog article (could be yours or someone else’s) with great content. Send a handwritten note. Send a recent client success story.
Stay in touch. Keep reaching out and providing value. The fortune is in the follow-up. If you follow a cadence like this – you will be amazed the compound success your business will see as it grows.