Learn the five effective tips you can use in your follow up call to keep your prospects and clients engaged.
In this article:
- Why Are Follow-Up Calls Important?
Follow-Up Call Tips: Importance of Following Up in Sales
Why Are Follow-Up Calls Important?
Follow-up call and sales follow up, in general, play an important role in the sales process. When done right, you can openly communicate with your prospects and clients while keeping them engaged.
If you’re not able to maintain communication through a series of follow-ups, you stand to lose their interest. Eventually, you may even lose contact with them and miss the opportunity they bring.
Start having purposeful and effective sales calls with these five tips!
1. Ask the Client How You Can Stay in Touch
If there’s anyone who can tell you the best way to stay in touch with your prospect or client, it’s them. There’s no need to feel embarrassed or shy away from asking how you can follow up with them.
This is how you can end intro sales calls, especially with prospects who can potentially become your clients. For this to be effective, you need to make sure you’re adding value to them.
When you ask clients how you can follow up, give them very good reasons why staying in touch with you is beneficial for them. Some of the things you can use as a hook are:
- Information about their role or industry that they can use to their advantage
- Solutions you offer that are a good fit with their business or with their upcoming endeavors
- How their competitors are benefiting from your services
This is where you can use the information you’ve gathered from your pre-call planning and research. When your prospects and clients see that you can help them, they’ll be more inclined to keep their communication lines open for you.
2. Ask for the Client’s Preferred Communication and Get Their Commitment to Respond
You should also ask for the prospect or client’s preferred mode of communication. The best time to do this is after your discovery call.
This takes you a step further towards grabbing the opportunity to work with them.
Don’t be afraid to ask, “How can we stay in touch moving forward? Would you prefer to email, call, or text?” It’s best to be clear, so you’ll know how to reach them for your follow-up conversation.
Now, you don’t just want to get their preferred form of communication. More than that, you’ll also want to stand out from the rest of the messages they receive.
Again, ask your prospect or client directly how you can get them to answer your call, text, or email: “Is there anything I can put in my sales email subject line or text message that’ll catch your attention and get you to open my message?”
Some people might ask you to use keywords that’ll guarantee they’ll read your message, or they may even save your number in their contacts.
Lastly, get them to commit to a response turnaround time without sounding aggressive:
“When would be the best time for me to follow up? Would a few days or a week work for you?”
It’s best to establish this expectation and ask for their commitment to respond in the sales process. This way, you can hold each other accountable all throughout.
3. Always Specify the Reason for Your Follow Up Call, Text, or Email
Never contact a prospect or customer to simply check in or touch base — make sure you always have a reason for reaching out. Sales reps often use these phrases as an excuse to contact someone, even though they have no good reason to.
Your follow-up call will be a waste of time if you don’t have anything valuable to say.
Personalization teaches us that you can effectively connect with people by talking about something they’re interested in. For instance, you can have Google Alerts notify you on any news that concerns the person or company you’re keeping tabs on.
This may bring in useful information you can connect back to your previous conversation or the services you offer. This way, they’ll know you’re not just shooting from the hip with your personalized message.
Train yourself to start your follow-up by specifying why you’re calling, texting, or sending an email. You must always have a good reason, so your prospect or customer won’t hesitate to act on your follow-up.
Don’t be shy to overcommunicate (as long as you don’t do it too often or too consecutively) when you have a legitimate reason to. If they aren’t able to pick up your call, send them a voice mail and write an email as a follow up, so they’ll know you have an important agenda.
4. End Every Conversation with a Specific Next Step
What are you trying to accomplish with your prospect or client? Knowing the end goal or the big picture lets you figure out the steps you need to take to achieve it.
It helps to create a to-do list you can follow with your prospect or client. This brings purpose to each conversation or meeting you’ll have with them, and at the end of each one, you can lay out what your next step is.
The best opportunity to get your customer to commit to another meeting is at the end of your current one. If your talk went well, they’ll most likely agree to schedule another one.
Most clients have their schedules on their gadgets, and you should take advantage of that. Lock in a date and time for your next appointment and immediately send them a calendar invite.
If they asked for a proposal, schedule a follow up call so they can review it with you. Don’t settle for a vague, “Send your proposal, and we’ll get back to you.”
If you let your customer go without committing to take the next step, you’ll end up chasing after them to re-engage.
5. Review Your Conversation via Email and Ask for Their Confirmation
When you get home or back to your office, send an email that summarizes the conversation you had and ask for the person to confirm it. This is a form of follow-up that adds value to the prospect or client.
There are good reasons why sending an email after each meeting is best practice:
- The context behind your notes are still fresh in your mind — Immediately after the meeting, you can still remember your discussions and make sense of any shorthand notes you made. Take advantage of this to avoid miscommunication.
- To prove you listened and understood their needs — Taking note of what’s important to your client conveys that you consider their needs, and you’re finding ways to meet them.
- To hold your prospect or client accountable — When you get their confirmation on your summary email, it means they agree with what you discussed.
The summary email puts you and your client on the same page. It’s something you can always refer to over the course of your partnership.
It may also prompt them to ask you follow-up questions. This is good, as it means you’ve effectively engaged them.
Apply these five effective follow-up call tips to make your client communication more purposeful and meaningful. Use these to properly plan what to say in a follow-up call so you can make the most out of every opportunity.
As a salesperson, what’s your go-to sales follow-up practice? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!