For any business, gaining new customers means you are gaining success because of your hard work, aspirations, marketing and selling skills. But there is one key element that may dramatically improve your sales and your revenue stream through your list of existing customers.
It is also reality that most new business prospects will not convert and buy from you instantly. Simply introducing your products and/or services is not enough for you to expect that they will go the rest of the way and buy.
In both existing customers and new prospects, your primary focus is spreading the word across the market. However, the story doesn’t end there! No matter how many people you attract (old and new), they will never convert without timely follow-ups.
Without follow-ups, you are turning away from the potential revenue that is right within your reach with just a bit of elbow grease. Following up with customers is the most crucial part of any marketing strategy, which many marketers forget.
A sales follow-up is a process a business undertakes to contact potential or current customers to create or bolster an existing relationship with them. This can involve anything from sending a simple “Thank You” note after purchase to staying in touch with customers through email, phone calls, or social media.
By engaging with customers regularly, businesses can increase their chances of future sales while creating a positive relationship with their customer base. The creation of a follow-up strategy is like that of creating social media and digital marketing strategies – but on a more personalised level and experience.
Why are Sales Follow-up Important?
Apart from the possibility of enhancing revenue, successful follow-ups not only mean an increase in sales but also increase the number of signups with both new and old customers.
This in turn positively affects a business’s bottom line. The key to this is a strong follow-up plan to get prospects and customers on board.
Constant contact and communication with prospects and customers determine how quickly you can have them make a purchase. Constant follow-ups also help you better understand your customers’ needs and desires and for you to come up with ways for you to address and ultimately close them.
Conducting regular follow-ups also gives an opportunity for your customers to be heard and engaged effectively. Through effective follow-ups, customers can keep you on top of mind when they have a need that you can fulfil. Much more, existing customers who receive constant follow-ups are more likely to go for new offerings than those without follow-ups.
The Types of Sales Follow-Ups.
Given the importance of an effective and persistent follow-up, how do you create a follow-up strategy that is worthwhile and valuable for your prospects and customers to respond to after your initial pitch to encourage them to take action?
But first things first; we need to identify and review what kind of follow-up you will be doing.
Cold Sales Follow-up
A lot of salespeople feel uncomfortable with conducting follow-ups because they don’t want to come off as stalkers. But the truth is, a cold follow-up is an incredibly powerful tool in your arsenal – if used correctly.
Obviously, you can’t send out a follow-up without conducting the initial contact. That first contact is vital because it sets the tone for your entire interaction with a particular prospect or customer.
After your initial cold calling or email with a customer or prospect, you can send a follow-up within 24 hours by writing a recap of the conversation. This practice is an excellent way of keeping the relationship moving forward and providing a concrete reason for a response.
It is also important to have a warming line/reason for the call or contact, this is often missed and makes the call seem unwarranted and spammy. It could be something like “Hi ___, I just read the blog on your website, and it led me to give you a call as there might be some synergy between our businesses” (and yes, read the blog!)
Warm Sales Follow-Up
You can’t risk a hot prospect going cold, but don’t give up. The more follow-ups you make, the more your chances are for you to win that sale. Conversion rates are higher with prospects who’s had multiple follow-ups.
This is where it can get tricky and interesting, especially if you’re following up on a previously opened but unanswered email (or many of them). This is where your preparation and planning will pay off to find the right tone.
There is no timeline when it comes to warm leads, you can continue following up until you get a yes or a hard no, however, it’s important to segment and not annoying.
Free Trial Follow-up
A business can get some of the best leads from free trial users. These prospects have already tried your product and are ripe for conversion into paying customers.
Though many free trial users do not become customers, even a slight increase in your conversion rate can result in a considerable revenue boost. In many cases, a simple, well-timed follow-up email is all it will take to nudge prospects to pay ones.
Lead Magnet Opt-in Follow-up
This follow-up is sent after prospects set off an automatic online trigger, such as a newsletter sign-up or clicking on a link. We’ll assume that you’re using some form of tracking and analytics on your sales emails and/or sales calls, which help you automate this process.
If you find your prospect opened your email or clicked a link, and/or visited your site, you need to strike fast while the lead is hot. Lead magnet opt-ins tend to be educational in nature, so your follow-up should nearly be of that nature as well, the goal is to inform and give value then progress the lead to sales.
Product Sale Follow-up
Customers remember businesses that provide good service. Following up on your sales, shows your commitment and builds customer loyalty and may generate repeat sales. The simple step of following up after a sale and asking them for their reaction to your product will make them feel valued. They are also more than likely to tell others about your business.
Contributor Outreach Follow-up
A great way in amplifying your content quality and reach is by tapping into the expertise of influencers in your niche. The key to making this work and enhanced by experts is by getting a small group of legitimate experts to provide meaningful commentaries. Their insight can potentially increase your response rate.
Promotional Outreach Follow-up
The creation of great content is just one step in the content marketing equation. But no matter how great your created resource is, you won’t realise any income or a return on your investment if you don’t get it in front of the right people.
There are various ways in which you can promote your content, but one of the most effective methods is direct mail promotional outreach. Sending a follow-up email to your customers informing them of your content can work in your marketing niche.
A successful sale in business can be accomplished with a well-designed follow-up. Your follow-ups should be pleasant and direct. If your efforts fail, keep on trying!
It is also a good idea to infuse a bit of your personality in the follow-ups you make. Doing so will keep your prospects or customers from feeling they are talking to a robot.
It is difficult to learn the ins and outs of the art of selling. This is why, at The Growth Manager, have created our Sales Marketing Mentoring Program to help you develop not just your sales strategies. Our program also guides you through your Customer’s Sales Journey and help you streamline your follow-up processes. Contact us today and get started.