When you’re in sales, you can’t just sit back and expect customers to come to you; being proactive is the key to success. But you need a good reason to reach out – “I just called to say hello” isn’t going to cut it! Looking for a good excuse to follow up with a prospect? Here are a few to try.
Order Confirmation. Even if the prospect says no, it is always good to reconfirm your offer as a way of leaving the door open for them should they change their mind.
Ask for the Next Order. If you win the business, make it clear (if relevant to what you do, of course) you would like this to be a long and fruitful relationship. If you don’t win, make it clear you would like to supply them in the future.
Ask for a Referral. Always, always, always ask for a referral when you win business. If you don’t win the business, you can still ask them if they would be happy to recommend your services to anyone they think might be interested. (Brides often know other brides-to-be or marriageable gals. Whether or not they choose your product/service, they’d likely be happy to refer you. BUT YOU HAVE TO ASK.)
Offer to Help with Potential Issues. If you don’t win the business but your prospect has an issue with your competitor, simply make it clear you are there to help solve their problem should they wish you to.
Act on Important Events Clients Have. Whether you win or lose the business, it is always good to congratulate clients about things that are important to them. Record any relevant information you receive, including their date of engagement, wedding date, birthdays or other milestone occasions your client mentions, and send a handwritten card, email, or both.
Holiday or other Occasion. These are perfect opportunities to reach out and send reminders or well wishes
Event Invitations or Sales on Your Product or Service. Don’t make this a hard sell; just let your prospect know about upcoming events or special pricing without looking for a commitment.
Recipes, Stories, Useful Tips & Tricks or How To’s, Other Content of Value.
It really doesn’t take much to follow up with a prospective client. The more touch points you have with your customers, the more profitable the relationship you will have with them. It doesn’t matter if you follow up by phone, email, or social media. Ask yourself, “Does this communication from my business add value, or is it just noise?” Strive to add value every single time you communicate with a potential, past, or current client. You’ll earn their admiration, strengthen the relationship, and hopefully earn their business.
The average sales person only makes two attempts to reach a prospect. [Sirius Decisions]
TAKEAWAY: Keep reaching out to stand out.
~ The best times to email prospects are 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. [GetResponse]
~ Tuesday emails have the highest open rate compared to other weekdays. [Experian]
~ Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. [Aberdeen Group]
~ Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text. [Neo Mammalian Studios]
~ Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity translate to a 22% higher open rate. [Email Institute]
TAKEAWAY: Be thoughtful in your email approach. Send emails at the right time to be noticed, use the prospect’s name (most automated email programs offer this option), engage readers with visual elements including photos of your product, videos of your services in action, and your logo; start the process off right with an amazing subject line.
~ 91% of customers say they’d give referrals. Only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. [Dale Carnegie]
~ 83% of consumers are comfortable making a referral after a positive experience. [Texas Tech University]
~ Customers are 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend. [Neilsen]
~ A referred customer spends 13.2% more than a non-referred customer. [Journal of Marketing]
TAKEAWAY: Ask for referrals with confidence. People will happily refer your business to a friend if they’ve had a positive interaction with you – even if they haven’t personally made a purchase.