There is a number of ways to follow up but I am going to focus on how to follow up your prospect so they actually feel happy they were approached by you again.
The information for these follow ups could be gathered by marketing or done by sales, but as it is time consuming, sales should deliver it to the client, while marketing could take care of all the other details.
I put this list of ideas that can spice up your follow up game the same way as it has spiced up mine and after you start creating relationships and standing out, you will be booking meetings like never before.
In The Cancer of Checking In (The Way We Follow Up) I explain on why your follow ups must change and here is my list with ways you can change it! I dare you to never check in and only bring value!
1. Articles, podcasts, books and authors that your prospect should hear about.
If you are in a contact with your prospect, you must know their industry well enough to be a competent advisor. This is why you need to target specific people, as we can not be professionals in a bunch of different spheres.
A great simple follow up is sending your prospect an article, podcast or a book that you know they should definitely read. It should not be just close to what they are interested in, it should be something truly valuable to them. Even better, if it is any of your work, this way you are also building your personal brand as a professional in their field.
You can also recommend an author or a person they should follow as they are constantly bringing direct value to what your prospect is interested in.
Try to always be on your toes in the field you are working in, as any competent person must be up to date in their market and know the biggest news.
2. Conferences, visits, other formal events they should attend.
Just as with articles and podcasts, people who understand the value of constant learning and building their network, should visit events that happen in relation to their business.
However, as there are a lot of them, we often get overwhelmed and miss the opportunity in meeting like-minded people or our potential clients in such places, that is why it is great when somebody can recommend events to visit.
Be up to date with what is happening in your network and invite your prospects to come along, as it could be great for their business and your relationship too.
3. Contacts of people you know they should contact for their business matters.
Referrals is something we crave for and so do our prospects. Connect them with people who could be interested in their business, recommend them partners, clients, people you know who could be a good fit.
Always look for an opportunity to help them out and if you need to make a call for it, do it.
This way you strengthen your relationship with both ends of the people you recommend and your prospect, getting a double win.
How can you keep track of who’s good at what and be the connector your prospects or clients need?
I know one guy who really used KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). In his iPhone “contacts”, when he would add a contact, he would assign the skills that the contact has next to that person.
Then when he would be speaking to someone, who let’s say needed help with their social media, he would search for “social media” in his contacts and would then connect the two people so they could work together.
4. Video message.
Now this is something that will definitely make you stand out.
I wrote about it my article on 7 Sales Tools You Will Actually Use, as it is a very unique way to approach your prospect and something we should be doing more often.
Deliver any of the other points I mention here in the article through a video message and it will be something way more memorable than any other email your prospect had received that week.
It is personal, eye catching and a way to start a conversation, it would be great if you make the video explaining solution to their exact problem or tell them how you solved a very similar problem to theirs with a different client through a video.
5. Invitation to lunch or dinner with people that might have the same business interests as them.
People say that a real sales person should never have lunch alone or with the coworkers, as it is a great time to strengthen relationships with potential clients and partners.
Invite your prospect for lunch and not only give them a chance to get to know you, but also offer a chance to meet someone that could be in their business interest too.
Talking with people over food could bring a sense of friendship, trust and honesty and as you will be offering to also meet a potential partner or client, they will not be able to say no.
6. Invitation to an unofficial gathering that is related to an activity they personally enjoy.
A sports game, a concert or a fishing trip.
It can come up during a small talk or on your prospect’s social media, but if you know that they are a particular fan of certain activities, get yourself out of your comfort zone and invite your prospect to your team’s basketball game or a trip to bungee jumping.
This is a way we can make friends but also a great way to become a part of your prospect’s environment, build a relationship that will not only be beneficial to you because your prospect will start being more open to what you are offering, but might also bring new connections and referrals as they will be starting to feel more acquainted with you.
7. Offer help in something you are competent in that they need for their company, that is not directly related to what you are selling (yes, not DIRECTLY – super important).
It is a fact that if your prospect will like you as a person, they will more likely buy what you are selling. It is not a must, but is something that will help you out.
Help them with other issues you noticed they are having in their company. It could be as simple as offering to give a talk at their office on something you have implemented in your company.
If your competences allow it, do it yourself or offer to recommend someone who could do it for them.
Be available for consulting, advising and make sure to keep your eyes open for any other ways you could help your prospect’s business thrive.
When the right time comes, they will want to open up for the service you have been offering all along.
8. You noticed something published by them and it brought you thoughts or ideas that you want to share and could be valuable/flattering for them to hear.
As it is obvious that we should connect with our prospects on LinkedIn, we should also follow their posts, articles and what they support online through their comments.
Read them, follow them, comment, like, email with a review or something that they helped you realize. You can also start a positive discussion if it is something that made you rethink the way you see a certain topic.
Feedback is valuable and a positive support will always bring you a step closer to the personal brand and sale that you want.
9. Invite them to partner on a project
If you see your prospect as a large potential client, it might be worth inviting them to collaborate on a project for a different client. This way you can showcase how good of a partner you are as well how well you do your job.
If they were not certain before whether they want to work with you, now they know they are tempted.
It can be something as small as participating in a radio show together, talking about a topic from different sides, to something as big as applying for a tender.
There are plenty of ways to follow up, there are not as many ways to follow up and bring direct value to your prospect.
If we want to book meetings and be the number one partner our prospects recommend, we must stand out as people that help their business partners and this list just gave you a good insight on how to do it!
If you like what you’ve been reading, share this article with your colleagues and connect with me on LinkedIn!
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Sales & Marketing Alignment Advocate, HubSpot Gold Partner, Owner of Structsales.
With 20 years of experience in sales and marketing it’s exciting to share what it takes to build the best sales organization for your business to thrive.