Too many salespeople fail to follow up, and often, it’s because they don’t have a follow up schedule that works.
It’s common in sales for a lead to come in, a conversation to happen, and for the seller to never again—maybe once or twice at most—follow up with the lead. They get distracted by new leads or don’t want to be a “stalker” or a “pest” so they simply give up too easily.
Don’t let this be you or a member of your sales team.
What can be helpful in scenarios like this is adhering to a schedule. That is, a follow up structure that gets you in front of the lead again enough times to reignite a conversation without seeming desperate, needy, or pushy.
Here’s the one that I use, which works well:
On the first day, I call the contact, leave a voicemail, and send an email.
A couple of days later, I do the same thing, and perhaps substitute the email with a LinkedIn message.
A couple of days later, I repeat this process.
I take a break this week from following up, to give them an opportunity to circle back.
If I still haven’t heard back at this point, I repeat the same steps I conducted in week 1.
This time, I take a two week break from following up with the contact.
Again, if no touch point has been received at this point, I’ll repeat the same steps I conducted in week 1.
Now, I take a three week break from following up.
At this point, if nothing further has been received, I’ll send a final email and voicemail which professionally puts the ball in the contact’s court until they’re ready to move forward. Often I’ll say:
I’m guessing this is a bad time for you and I don’t want to turn into a follow up pest!
So, if I don’t hear back from you by (a few days into the future), I’ll consider the file closed for now and you can reach out to me when it’s a better time to move forward.
This is a final attempt which is both professional and assertive. The entire process itself is professional and rigorous, but also gives the prospect room to breathe with the breaks that the schedule allows.
Here’s the important part of this whole thing.
The schedule provides people with the framework they might need to actually implement their follow up outreaches consistently. When a sales rep is following up randomly, with no strategic path or reason, it becomes a chore for them.
It goes without saying, but don’t underestimate the power of the follow up. It can mean the difference between a sales slump and sales success!