How To Follow Up With Potential Clients?
You delivered an amazing presentation and impressed the client. They love your product and they have already given a verbal commitment to close the deal soon. You’re sure you’re going to onboard this client and start making plans on how you will use your bonus.
Weeks pass by, and you don’t ever hear back from the client. After almost a month later when you finally speak to the client, you find out that they already closed the deal with your competitor. What happened? What went wrong? Why did the deal not go through?
This is a common challenge faced by salespeople all across the world. Unfortunately, 70% of salespeople give up entirely when they don’t receive a response to their first email. While there may be a lot of reasons behind this, one of the key issues is the fact that sales representatives do not follow up effectively.
People lead busy lives and sending them a quick reminder can go a long way in achieving your goal. Sending follow up messages not only makes the customer feel appreciated but also connects you with leads, help you grow your network, build your personal brand and start conversations with the right audience.
In this post, we have shared some quick tips on how to follow up with potential clients to grow your business in the long-term.
1) Have a clear goal before reaching out
Goal setting is an important aspect of sales professionals’ life. Having a clear goal on what you’re trying to achieve from your follow up message helps you in crafting the right message for your potential customers.
Reaching out to customers without a clear objective in mind will only result in increased efforts & lower conversions.
Your end goal is to achieve your targets, sell more products and find new clients. However, you’re follow up messages can have different goals at different stages of the customer lifecycle. Each follow up message should be focused on answering customer queries.
These are the 4 types of follow up emails types with clear objectives:
- Informative Follow-Up Email: When potential customers simply need to clarify their questions and want to equip themselves with more information about your product, you can send them an informative follow-up email. The objective of these follow-up emails is to share relevant information in a concise manner and answer all customer queries.
- Discussion Follow-Up Email: Sometimes customers like your product but they want to pick your brain to find out if it is the right fit for their organization. In such cases, customers need a few more meetings to discuss their issues. When you sense that the customer needs to set up further meetings, you can send them a discussion follow-up email. The objective of this follow up email is to share your online booking schedule with the customer and find out an available time slot on their schedule to book the next meeting.
- Thank You Emails: You cleared all customer queries and after certain rounds of discussion your customer request more time to think. In this case, you have already done your part and must wait for the customer to come back to you. In such thank you follow up emails, your objective is to thank the customer for their time and attention and show a positive attitude towards their organization.
- Catch Up Emails: Some of your customers may be decision makers with busy schedules. It’s impossible to get hold of them or to find a time slot to make an appointment with them. In this case, your follow up email will have the objective to just keep in touch with the individual so next time you meet them, they remember some information about you.
What you want to achieve with your follow up mail will change based on the customer and the campaigns you’re running within your own organization. However, it’s imperative to have a clear objective when drafting a follow-up email and know exactly the kind of response you’re expecting from your customers.
2) Personalize your follow up and don’t forget to add context
Personalization of emails goes way beyond addressing the receiver by their name. Sending a follow-up email works great, but no one likes to receive generic emails. A tailored follow-up email can increase your chances of converting the deal and leaving a positive impact on the receiver.
Here are a few techniques to create a unique personalized follow-up mail:
- Incorporate a specific detail: Add a quick reference of a few specific things you spoke about. It doesn’t have to be something big, but anything which helped you connect with this person. For example, “I noticed we had a few common friends back at the golf club. Do you play golf often?” can help the receiver feel more connected to you.
- Use social media to your advantage: It’s possible that you did not get enough time to chat and connect with your client. However, that shouldn’t stop you from personalizing your emails. Use social media channels like Facebook & LinkedIn to find some common topics of discussion. For example, an individual was involved with the same non-profit as you are and you can ask about their experience.
- Add value to them: Don’t follow up randomly to just “catch up” or to “touch base”. Every follow up email is an opportunity to leave an impact on the receiver’s mind. Ensure that you provide value at each interaction. For example, talk about an interesting webinar that they might find useful or share a digital resource which may benefit their work. Adding high quality and relevant information in your emails will encourage them to respond to your email.
- Talk about areas which excited them the most: Every good conversation has some exciting moments. In your follow up email, share more details on the topics that your customers found most interesting. For example, if they related to a particular issue, you can ask them more questions about the issue and propose how your product will help them in their goals.
- A specific call to action text: Your follow up email should make it easy for your customers to respond. Use your own appointment booking system like SuperSaaS to create your own individual schedule. Add a link to your personal schedule and encourage your customers to book a meeting on your schedule. SuperSaaS allows you to send customized automated reminders and follow up messages. Use these automated follow-ups to share interesting information about your work.
In the last step, use all the information to craft a concise and interesting follow-up email which is thoughtful and crafted for a particular individual. The process may be a little bit more time consuming, but it is guaranteed to deliver better results than a generic follow up email.
3) Stay easily reachable via multiple channels
Your decision makers are present across multiple channels. They may be too busy to pick up your phone but reaching out to them via email may work better. Some channels work better for them and may be equally effective ways of reaching out and connecting with them.
Find out which channels your customers like to hang out on and engage with them. Share articles and content which might be of interest to your customers and comment on the content they share online. You don’t necessarily need to overwhelm them by following them on every social media channel or by commenting on every post they share. A better way is to engage with them on multiple channels spread out over a longer duration of time. This will help you in building a long-term relationship with them.
Use this opportunity to get to know them better. Put on your thinking caps and look at the situation from their perspective to decide which channels are worth putting efforts into.
Experiment with different channels, and track your results to find out what channels your audience may be more responsive on.
4) Remind them what makes you unique
Regardless of which industry you’re working in, you’ll always have competitors who are better than you. However, every business has some features which are unique and worthy of the customer’s attention. This helps you in formulating your unique value proposition for your customers.
A unique value proposition in practical life is simply a collection of most persuasive reasons for your customers to notice you and take the relevant action you’re asking for. Your value proposition is one of the biggest and most important factors which helps your customers in distinguishing you from the others.
It’s a great idea to emphasize how you’re different from other competitors in your follow up emails. Take this opportunity to remind them how you’re special and why they should choose you over the others. Simple ways to achieve this is to use your brand tagline and your logo in your email signature, or emphasizing your value propositions in your messages indirectly.
For example, if your value proposition is “feel fit instantly” then you can encourage your customers to “book a free introductory session to experience an instant feeling of being fit”. If you’re not sure where to start, have a look at these 10 free templates to formulate your value proposition. Repeating and emphasizing on your value proposition in your follow-up messages will help you in improving top of the mind recall as well.
5) Don’t push too hard or use sales language
Often sales reps show desperation and use sales language in their emails which completely turns off their prospects. How can you draw the line between persistence and harassment? As a salesperson, you need to carefully use your words to demonstrate value, identify customer pain points, create a sense of urgency and close your deals.
When writing a follow-up email to your prospects, craft a clear concise email which is free of sales language like, “Is it a good time to connect?”, “Just checking in if you received my email”, “Trust me”, “I guarantee…”, “Do you have any budget for this?” and so on.
These phrases are focused on fulfilling your needs and not focused on your customer’s needs. Instead, create questions that are independent of you and holds your prospect’s attention.
When your customers sense the sales language, they tune you out right away and your message is flushed down the spam filters.
When crafting the follow-up email, use one closing line which entices them to engage with you. They’re not obliged to answer your questions, so you don’t need to be authoritative in your emails. Use friendly language, which displays that you genuinely care about them and their organization’s requirements.
6) Keep a track of your emails and know when to stop
Know your customers because each customer’s needs are unique in their own way.
Keep track of follow up emails you send to each client. Follow-ups need to be spaced out over a certain period of time, which is guided by the need of your customer, the deal size and the importance of this deal for your customers.
There’s no right time to send a follow-up email…
For example, if you met a customer who is interested in scheduling a demo of your product, then you can be more aggressive in connecting with them since you’re trying to fulfil their request. However, if you’re cold calling prospects who didn’t even give you their contact details in the first place, sending too many messages would end up irritating them.
Allow the context of the customer relationship to drive the frequency of your follow-up emails. Keep a track of your last sent email. Create a system which tracks how often the lead has interacted with you or your emails.
You can use free software like MailTrack, MailGun, etc. which allows you to track how your leads interact with your emails.
Once you know which channels and which emails are more effective, focus your future efforts on those specific channels. However, if you do not receive a reply or any kind of response even after 4-5 follow-up emails, it’s better to find out an alternate way to connect or put a pause to your follow up efforts for certain time.
Finding opportunities and converting leads into customers demand a lot of persistence and a sound understanding of your buyer’s psychology. Ensure systematic efforts and personalize your strategy for each customer to improve your conversion rate,.
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