The average customer needs 7 communications with you before they will decide to buy.

Remember when you were dating, so much is reliant on the first date, not just how the first date goes but what happens after the first date.

Can you remember waiting to either receive the call or the text or make the call or text after the date?

Sales is so like the dating game and the follow up after the date is usually a similar story.

The number of people that do not follow up, or only follow up once and then most of the time do not actually speak to the person or get a reply to an email, is astounding. The average person only follows up 3 times and then stops, just think what would happen to your closing rate if you started to follow up four times or more.

Prospects either need your product or service to solve a problem they have now or they are considering something for the future, so may not be ready to buy immediately.

Just because they are not ready now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in touch.

A follow up can take many different formats. It can be a call, an email or even a text message but make sure you follow up in some form.

The follow up is normally an opportunity to answer any objections, questions or to seal the deal and close the sale. You must never see the first follow up as the end, even if the person says no.

It simply means that you will follow up again with them in the future.

When you are following up always remember that your prospect might be busy. Keep in mind that your competitors may or may not be following up, so if you are keeping yourself front of mind and they aren’t ….. the business could be yours at some point.

Some tips for following up

Always follow up

Follow up within 5 days of your pitch or proposal to check they have received everything – this gives you an opportunity to find out if they have any immediate queries

If you can’t get hold of the person then plan a follow up after another 4-5 days

If you haven’t been able to speak to them after trying twice, send them an email

You are best placed to know the prospect and can decide how many follow up emails you do but don’t bombard them with email after email – if they haven’t responded after 2 or 3 emails you need to consider that they may be too busy now, not ready to decide or don’t want to pursue the proposal

Now you need to think about varying your approach – don’t just stop following up but you can do this by using a combination of contact methods (see suggestions below) that will allow you to put yourself in front of them many more times than simply bombarding them via one medium

Make sure you add the prospect into a 3 monthly follow up

Never stop following up. There may be a time when they are let down or the prospect changes jobs, so always keep in touch

Remember – this isn’t spamming, it’s following up regularly so you remain front of mind. After all, if your emails are being spam filtered, it doesn’t matter how many you send…. The prospect won’t convert.

If they do respond and tell you they won’t be able to buy or use your service until next month/next year, make sure you schedule to follow up at that time.


Some suggestions for other ways to stay in touch:

Send them an article which relates to their industry. For example, if your prospect deals with the finance sector, you might send them some information on some new research on people’s pension plans saying, “saw this and thought of you”. It takes 2 minutes and shows them you understand their industry and are interested in it.

What about a postcard? This one can be graded to how sales-y you want to be. Getting something physical into your prospect’s hands can be a powerful tool. It might be a postcard relating to your services, but equally it might just be something daft or pretty you saw and picked up.

2-line email. We all have mountains of emails to wade through. Instead of bombarding your prospect with more information, send them a quick 2-line email asking how they are and how business is. Keeping it general means they can respond honestly without pressure to either fend you off or give you some work. You may even find out more about the climate they are working in and this in turn will help you understand their needs.

    o  I use this with prospects I haven’t heard from in a while or prospects who have gone cold …..

Connect with them on social media and follow them. This may help you see what is going on. Make sure you like and respond to some of their posts – this will show you as being interested in what they are doing and saying.

    o  This is an easy one to do and one I do a lot of


Of course, if you don’t have the capacity or time to do the following up yourself, you could always outsource it.

If you would like to know how Smart Office Support could help you with this, get in touch for a coffee (or tea) and a chat.