The Follow up Dilemma – Persistent or Annoying?

Follow up. You know you need to. Remember that prospect that, “wasn’t quite ready yet”? You told them, “No problem. Get back to me when you’re ready.” But now it has been a long time. Long enough for them to make the decision, get the financing, or whatever was holding them back. And you haven’t heard from them. If you don’t follow up, you may lose the sale – to another business or another priority. However, if they truly aren’t ready yet, you risk pushing them away and being annoying.

A similar scenario to this has probably played out in your head many times over the course of being a business owner. Persistent follow up leads to more sales. Too much follow up is just plain annoying. Here are some ideas to help you be persistent without being annoying.

Persistent Follow up

  1. Ask them when they would like you to follow up. If they dictate the time frame, you are simply following through. Once you know if they are planning to buy in a month or a year, it’s easier to cater to their needs. When you follow up by phone or email, you can remind them that they asked you to connect with them.
  2. Be interested. Make your follow up more about the connection than the sale. Sincerely ask about them and if appropriate, share something personal about yourself. Make sure you are interested in what they have to say, not just doing it to, “sound interested.” We’ve all had those phone calls where the telemarketer asks how we are, but doesn’t really want to know. Then they launch into their canned script – yuck!
  3. Be helpful. The sale is about meeting their needs. Find out what their needs currently are and find a way to help them – even if it isn’t your service. When they mention that before they are ready to work with you they need to take care of X, help them find someone in your network who provides X. Not only do you help your prospect, you also are a hero to your colleague. Help might also come in the way of a free resource or lower-priced option that can get them started on the path with you.
  4. Be friendly. If you need to follow up for an extended period of time, connect with them about things that have nothing to do with your service. Send them an interesting article. Stick a greeting card in the mail. All the friendly connections you make turn into a relationship of trust. Then when they are ready to buy, they will immediately think of you. (If you’re looking for friendly things to send in the mail, check out my snail mail content program. Something new and interesting every month that will engage your prospects without being annoying.)

Following these guidelines will make follow up easier. It will help you be persistent without being annoying. If you want more follow up ideas, download 50 Friendly Follow Up Ideas. What have you found effective when it comes to follow up? Share what works for you in the comments.

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