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Who's afraid of the big bad follow up?

I wrote a post recently regarding an easy sales strategy you can implement today that will have an immediate effect on growing your business.

It’s simple because you will have already done most of the work. You will have built relationships, asked the right questions and listened to the answers. From this, you will have identified how your products or services can genuinely help and answered any concerns raised.

If you’ve asked for the sale (which you should always do) and they’ve bought, make sure you put that customer on a follow-up list.

If the sale was declined, that potential customer still needs to go on that follow up list.

The fortune it is said is in the follow-up. Don’t let an initial refusal undo all your hard work. It might be a ‘no’ for now, not forever. If the follow up is done right it can mean a recurring customer or a new customer ready to become a recurring customer and more than happy to refer you.

It’s not important ‘how’ you follow up but it is important you do follow up and do it consistently.

A lot of people I speak to mutter that they’ve already called a few times or an email follow up hasn’t been opened or that they worry it will be a ‘no’. Don’t let this put you off. Everyone is busy. While that next sale could mean the world to you, it’s usually just one thing in an already huge to-do list with your potential client.

Keep in mind you did identify clearly with them that you could HELP. So help them remember you when their challenge rises up again. You want to be the first thing that pops into their mind as they reach for their smartphone.

So here’s a list of 39 ways you can follow up in a heart-centred way that really adds value and helps people make an emotional attachment to you.

  1. A simple call to ask if they have new questions about what you last discussed.
  2. Share with them a book, blog post, video, or website that might help them with what you talked about.
  3. Send a personal, handwritten note with a copy of your catalogue or link to your website.
  4. Point them to another business owner you know who can solve one of their issues you don’t address.
  5. Tell them about an upcoming event that addresses an issue you think they have.
  6. Invite them to an event where you are a speaker, organiser, or sponsor.
  7. Attend an event where you are likely to run into them - networking is so important.
  8. Send a nice-to-meet-you or good-to-see-you note with your business card.
  9. Call or email to ask what’s new in their world - honestly, this works. Very often people will answer ‘I was just thinking about you’.
  10. Ask them to meet you for a cuppa, lunch or drink
  11. Invite them to a concert, play, reading, or art opening that you know they might enjoy
  12. Offer to stop by their place of business, everyone’s busy so this might help them tick something if their to-do list
  13. Send a letter summarising what you last talked about and suggesting next steps.
  14. Ask for a meeting so you can prepare a detailed proposal for them.
  15. Send them (or link to) an article or guest blog post that you have had published.
  16. Send a copy of your newsletter or post from your blog and invite them to subscribe.
  17. Write a tip sheet, white paper or case study and send it to all your prospects.
  18. Watch for their posts on social media and comment on them.
  19. Compliment them publicly on social media for something they’ve recently done.
  20. Post a comment on their blog.
  21. Post something useful to an online community where they are members - you’ll be helping them AND other potential customers.
  22. Invite them to visit your updated website.
  23. Send a link to a print, audio, or video interview with you about your work.
  24. Send a link to a video where you share helpful tips or a client success story.
  25. Send them a present — chocolate, cookies, flowers, a plant, a bottle of wine, or a book - something you’ll know they like because you listened to them in the early stages of your sales conversation.
  26. Send them a birthday card.
  27. Send them a joke or cartoon about their industry or your field.
  28. Send a postcard reminding them what you do.
  29. Tell them about a special offer available if they act now.
  30. Offer them a free sample of what you can do for them.
  31. Send an announcement about a new development in your business.
  32. Hold a free webinar on your Facebook business page and invite all your prospects.
  33. Invite them to an open house, reception, demonstration, or free workshop.
  34. Host a networking breakfast/event and invite several prospects.
  35. Offer to give a talk for their organisation at no charge.
  36. Refer them a prospect for their own business.
  37. Ask the person who introduced you to contact them and mention you again.
  38. Introduce them to a colleague of yours they might like to know.
  39. And of course, you can always ask if they are ready to start working with you.

The simple addition of mastering the follow up into your sales strategy will, I promise, lead to new wins. As long as you are consistent and you know your business can genuinely help them, then you are #sellingwithheart

Do you have any follow-up ideas I’ve not covered here? Or would you like to talk to me about improving your sales strategy? If so I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at moira@moirabarnes.com or call me on 07808129775 and we can arrange that cuppa!

Who am I? I’m Moira and I’m a Fellow if the Institute of Sales Management because I’ve worked in sales, successfully for over 30 years. I’ve won awards for my sales skills, collaborative sales approach and my creative sales techniques. I love talking about sales and my aim is to get everyone #sellingwithheart and improve professional sales standards across the wider economy.