Business Basics: Follow up!

One of many things that will hold you back from the stellar business you deserve is not following up. I used to suffer from it myself, mainly because I forget. But I’ve learned that the minute the idea enters my brain I need to put it in my calendar. And, I’ve said it before: if I tell you I will do something for you or will meet you somewhere, if you don’t see me put in my calendar or hear me say it’s in my calendar, there is a chance I’ve already forgotten. There is just way to much going on in my brain.

So, if you are not following up because you forget, start putting it in your calendar the moment the idea hits you. I put meetings, things I need to do, everything in my Google calendars (I have separate ones for coaching clients, networking, etc.)

Following up is one of the easiest parts of our job because we are contacting people who have already expressed interest. But sometimes we don’t do it because we’re nervous, we don’t know what to say or we don’t want to seem pushy. Let me share some statistics I heard during a seminar about following up and how they relate to sales. No, I have no idea which seminar, I should have wrote that down but they are as follows:

Following up stats!
48% of people never follow up
20% of people make a 2nd contact
12% make a 3rd contact
10% make a 4th or more contact

Sales stats!
2% of sales made on the 1st contact
3% of sales made on the 2nd contact
5% of sales made on the 3rd contact
10% of sales made on the 4th contact
80% of sales made on the 5-12 point of contact

Lesson of the day: The more persistent you are the better your chances of closing the deal.

Your business action agenda

Look over your notes/calendars and to-dos and make a list of all the people or organizations you were supposed to follow up with and then all of a sudden didn’t. Don’t get safe in the excuses that you’ve contacted them two weeks ago and if they wanted your services they would have gotten back to you already. Or, it’s the holidays and no one is really working. No, my friend, you need to a lot more aggressive. People get busy and they forget. And, you’re not exactly their number one priority. Now, I’m not saying to call them every day, every hour and then send emails every half hour. That is annoying.

And, if not knowing what to say is holding you back, then write out what you want to say first. There is nothing wrong with being prepared. They won’t know and I sure won’t tell on you! After you write it out, and practice it, pick up the phone and start dialing. Don’t over think it or you will talk yourself right out of doing it or putting it off ’til tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that…). If they don’t answer, leave a message and then send a follow-up email. Still nothing! Then, if you feel it’s appropriate, send them an article you feel would be helpful to them. Just providing them information. Find ways to stay top of mind, without being annoying.

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