“I have sent you more than 15 emails so far. Why didn’t I receive a response yet?”

Do your sales people send follow-up emails like this to your prospects? 

If that’s the case, then there is a long learning curve ahead for them. 

Here’s a simple question- what is common between David Ogilvy, Zig Ziglar, Mary Kay Ash and Dale Carnegie? 

They are all salespeople? Yes. Apart from that? 

If there is one thing that all of them agree upon, it is the power of ‘sales follow-ups’.

That’s because they know that no matter how effective your pitches are, if you do not follow-up, the chances of getting a response is almost nil.

44% of sales reps give up after just one phone call. Marketing Donut says that more than 80% of sales requires at least five follow-up calls after the meeting. 

The first call is pretty easy. There is excitement on both the ends if the prospect is also looking for a solution similar to what you offer. You’ve pitched them your product and the prospect looks satisfied. They say that they will get back to you soon. So you wait for their response with a lot of hope. 

Unfortunately, that’s what most salespeople do. They do not follow-up. 

Salespeople take incredibly few follow-ups because they are afraid of getting rejected or they don’t want to come across as too pushy. The sweet spot lies in finding the right words and keeping the conversation extremely short. If you don’t do follow-up, then you are not helping your business at all. 

How often should you follow-up?

When sending cold emails to your prospects, do not follow-up with them for more than 4-5 times. Anything more would be inappropriate as you are a stranger to the prospect. 

If there was some kind of interaction and the prospect didn’t say a ‘No’, then you can follow-up until you get a response. 

Pro tip: If a lead has approached you, then the time you should take to respond back to them should be immediate. The longer you keep a warm lead waiting, the more likely they are to forget that they reached out to you in the first place. 

What is the right follow-up frequency?

1st follow-up: It can happen in three days where you connect with the client on the same channel that you used previously.

2nd follow-up: Give them a week’s time if they don’t respond to your previous email. Instead of just checking back, ask if they have any other issues where your product could help or offer something of value to them.

3rd follow-up: Allow a gap of another ten days before you make the next follow-up. Do remember that the person might be busy and getting more than 100 emails a day, which is why they haven’t responded yet. 

4th follow-up: After your 3rd follow-up and for the subsequent ones, leave at least 20-30 days between each of them. At no point should you think that you are entitled to a response. 

You do not have to stick to the above gap in the number of days, there are no hard and fast rules. The above timeline is just to give you an idea about the appropriate number of days that you need to take while following up. Your follow-up depends on the relationship, what you are trying to sell and the number of times you have interacted with the prospect.

Best practices for effective follow-ups:

Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that your prospects don’t forget you after the meeting:

Do not send “I am circling back” emails:

When you follow-up with your emails saying that you want to circle back and see if they are still interested or you are “just touching base”, it doesn’t give them an incentive to respond back to you. Always warm up the prospects when you follow-up. Make them recall the previous conversation where they mentioned about their requirements. Ask them if they have any new requirements, remind the prospect about the solution you offered in the earlier conversation. This is exactly why salespeople are asked to take notes when on a sales call. 

Use different channels:

Reach your prospects through different channels- emails, phone calls, SMSes, social media sites, etc. Prospects might have channels that they prefer being reached out to. So, if you happen to have a rigid stance where you use only phone calls, you might end up alienating them.

Pore over the details:

As a salesperson, do you think it is redundant to discuss the same details that were agreed upon in the previous interactions? You couldn’t be more wrong. Reiterating how your product will help the prospect will leave an impression on them. 

Drop off with a CTA:

Every time you connect with a prospect, plan for the next step. It could be scheduling a demo, sending the payment link if they are planning to go ahead, setting up a call with the leadership team, and so on. Not only your blogs require CTAs, real life sales calls need them too. 

Conclusion:

The most successful salespeople are those that are persistent. If you need to maximize the impact of your sales team, then teach them the intricacies of follow-up.