At any given time, only 3% of our target audience is in the market and ready to buy right now. So even with our qualified buyers that you are in conversations with, only 3% of them are ready. This means out of every 100 qualified buyers or qualified prospects that you have in your database, only three of them are ready to buy. This means you need to become an expert at follow-up.
You need to become an expert at making sure that you continue to build the relationship with the leads, with prospects, with people in your database.
#1 Follow-Up with Qualified Buyers
First things first, we want to make sure that we are following up with qualified buyers. This is such an important part of the process is making sure that people are we are following up with fit criteria of your ideal client.
- Are they the type of people who would buy?
- Do they fit the criteria?
- Are they ready?
- Do they have the type of business or the type of problem that you solve?
- Can they afford your services?
- Do they want it?
- Do they need it?
- Do they have previous buying decisions that indicate that this person might be our person?
That’s the most important part of follow-up. Making sure that we’re not wasting our time following up with people who are never going to buy, who are never going to be ideal clients.
#2 Prepare for the Long Haul
Now we’ve made sure that our follow-up strategy is very specific to a very specific, very qualified person that we want to continue to have a relationship. This is really where the rubber hits the road in sales, and therefore a lot of companies struggle with sales because they missed this follow-up piece.
We are sold in today’s online marketing space that it’s all about closing deals today. I have a client today, sign a client tomorrow, sign a client the next day. We have a very short-sighted vision of what we should be doing. When somebody doesn’t call us immediately or sign on to our programs or buy our services immediately, we just kind of cast that aside.
We don’t really focus on the long term relationship but what creates sustainability in your business and what creates daily sales on demand, which is the system that we teach inside of our academy, is the idea that every single qualified person in your database is somebody that you are prepared to build a relationship with for three months, six months 12 months, two years, if that’s what it takes.
That’s what’s going to set your business apart from everything else. The stronger relationship that you have with somebody:
- the more likely they are to buy from you
- to refer to you
- to introduce you to their friends
- to invite people to your different events
What we want to make sure we’re following up with qualified people and we need to understand that a lot of people will not do this. This is not taught in a lot of places because it is the long game. It doesn’t give us that instant gratification of signing deals every single day.
If you do this and do this well, you will sign deals every single day.
#3 Focus on the Relationship
The first thing that we must do is become focused on relationships. We have to take the focus off of the sale and focus on the relationship. I know that that is counterintuitive coming from a sales coach and coming from somebody whose responsibility is to close sales, but we really, really need to focus on the relationship.
I always say that conversations equal relationships and relationships equals clients. Instead of viewing each lead and each person in your database as a sales opportunity, treat it like a relationship. Get to know that person. Have a relationship that is mutually beneficial. We’ve heard of a law of reciprocity. Really focusing on:
- How can I go build a relationship with this person?
- How can I get to know them?
- How can we become colleagues?
- How can we create a connection?
- How can we really focus on getting to know one another?
If they have a problem that we solve, yes of course we will make an offer to help them but if they don’t, they don’t.
#4 Provide Value
The next thing that we need to do in our follow-up strategy is to continue to provide value. There are a million different ways to do this. There’s a lot of drama when it comes to providing value and what that means. There are a million different ways to provide value:
- Share content. If you have a podcast or you’re watching this video right now and you’re like, “Hey this is really great. I think that’s one of my prospects would definitely love this,” Go share it with them.
- Share ideas
- Invite them to events or going to a networking event
- Are you part of a networking organization? Is there a conference coming up that you think would be valuable to this person?
- Give them a tip for free.
I can give you a personal example. Someone who I’m Facebook friends with who I think is just incredible and super smart, there was a typo in one of their posts on social media and I just shot them a message. “Hey, I love the content, I just wanted to let you know that I think that there’s a typo in here somewhere, so you can fix it.” No ask. No nothing. Just doing them a solid. That is a way to provide value and show that you’re paying attention.
An excellent way to provide value and to become great at follow-up is to connect people, to become a connector. My goal is always to be the person that people reach out to and say, Hey I need this. Who do you know?” When it comes to follow-up, being that person that when you’re introducing your prospects to your clients, your prospects to your colleagues, or your mastermind to your prospects to your sister because they have the problem. Really becoming a connector is an excellent way to follow up. “Hey, I want to introduce you to someone,” or “Hey, I wanted to connect you with someone,” or “Hey, I’m going to send you a lead or customer who I think might benefit from your services.” An excellent follow up strategy is becoming that connector.
#5 Connect Professional and Personal
Another great way to follow up is to focus on both the professional and the personal. This is where social selling really stands out from the old-school traditional selling model. Old-school traditional selling is all about, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. Get somebody through the funnel, sell them something. That’s great, but we’re social selling. I think it’s fun now because of social media. There’s so much personal information. There’s so much personal stuff out there that we’re able to connect both personally and professionally so finding what is that thing that you have in common.
- Are you both parents?
- Are you both former college athletes?
- Are you both really into yoga? Hiking? Basketball?
Finding a way to connect both personally and professionally makes it way easier to build that relationship and keep that long-term follow-up going. It’s an excellent way to stay top of mind and really build relationships. Sales follow-up strategies really should be called sales relationship-building strategies. Building relationships for the long-term sustainability of your business, not building relationships for the deal that you will close tomorrow.
Whether it’s you or a member of your team who is executing this:
- What is our long-term strategy every time we bring a qualified prospect into our ecosystem?
- They are on our database, what are our touchpoints?
- How are we going to stay in touch with them?
- How are we going to build relationships with them?
- How are we willing to go the long haul?
A lot of people won’t do this, but this is where long-term sustainability is built. Even if it’s six months down the road, you’re still checking them out. You’re still shooting the shit about basketball, or you’re still talking about their kids or, “Hey your kiddos are so cute” or “How’s their first day back to school” or “How was your favorite vacation,” and “Hey I just introduced you to this person and here’s this piece of content based on our conversation that I think that you would find really helpful.”
All these different things are things that we can do to connect and stay top of mind. If we take the time to do this, this is what creates daily sales on demand. This is what creates long-term sustainability in your business, and this is where social selling is the ultimate way of building relationships and really replaces old-school, traditional selling.