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How to Follow up with a Lead Before They Grow Cold

36% of sales reps have difficulty transitioning leads to customers. A large part of this problem comes from ineffective follow up with new leads. 

Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

A good follow up strategy helps you convert prospects into paying customers. Your follow up strategy will also help you develop big leads so you catch them when they’re ready to make a decision.

What is an effective strategy to convert leads? Here’s a simple five-step process that combines organization, good questions, and effective calling and emailing strategies.

How to Develop Big Leads with Follow Up

To create an effective follow-up strategy, first try to understand your target audience. Before you spend time reaching out to new prospects, you want to make sure they’re the right customer for your services. 50% of new leads aren’t the right fit.

Once you’ve separated good leads from bad ones, you need to make initial contact as soon as possible. The longer you wait the less interested they become. You then need to make sure you understand their needs so you can offer them the right solutions.

Have a Lead? Organize Your Info

To capture leads from in-bound marketing, you’ll need a good landing page in place. This landing page converts the prospect into a lead by capturing contact info such as name, email, and phone number. You can also use the landing page to ask screening questions to help qualify the lead.

Once the lead is qualified, it can be automatically integrated into your CRM (Customer Resource Management Software). This helps you organize, manage and reach out to prospects as you develop them into customers.  Make sure you categorize each lead so you know what step of the sales funnel they’re in. Here are some categories we use:

  • Qualified lead
  • Discovery call
  • Proposal call
  • Contract sent
  • Follow up with buyer
  • Contract closed

These categories will help you determine your next step in the follow-up process. Reach out to a new qualified lead immediately to set up a discovery call within 48 hours.

You also need to do a little research on the lead to get prepared for that discovery call. This research includes learning about the financial decision-makers involved. You want to include financial decision-makers in your initial calls so you better understand their needs.

Plan Your Discovery Call

The discovery call is your chance to learn what the lead needs and how your services will fit those needs. To make the most of these calls, send a text and email reminder 24 hours ahead of time. Send another email 15-20 minutes before you place the call.

Start by call by establishing rapport.  Listen very closely to uncover their specific wants and needs and then frame up the call around those specific needs, leveraging them later. Discuss how long you plan the meeting to take and what you plan to discuss with them. Make sure they’re okay with this framework before proceeding.

During the discovery call, it’s super important to listen. Ask targeted questions that generate a need and elicit emotion.  How do these problems affect them currently? YouA good rule is to ask 11-14 questions during the call so you can really understand the problems they have, your can explore emotional pain points, and later identify proper solutions.

Ask them questions about their goals and how reaching those goals will affect them. Get them to share as much info as they can about their emotional needs before moving on to the sales pitch.

Once you understand their needs, present a simple and short sales pitch that highlights how you can help with their goals and emotional needs. Tell them you want to put a plan together to meet these specific needs. Schedule a proposal call before ending the initial contact that takes place two-to-three days later.

Present Your Proposal

Once you have a proposal call set up, schedule reminders in your CRM. This allows you to send an email the day before this next meeting reminding them about the call and letting them know you have something prepared for them.

During the proposal call you want to review what you discussed in the previous meeting and link solutions in your proposal to the concerns they addressed. Highlight changes they need to make and what can happen if they don’t make these changes.

Allow your prospect to discuss your points and ask questions. During the proposal call, you want to outline the cost of your proposal and ask them if they’re ready to get started on these solutions. Then shut up and give them time to digest the information and ask questions.

Offer short and simple answers to their questions and respond to their concerns. Ask follow up questions on these concerns that will help them reflect on their current situation and motivate them to make needed changes. Remember, questions from them means they’re considering.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

During the proposal, you want to outline the next steps involved. You should then follow up with an agreement for them to look over. Offer to follow up with them on this agreement to answer any questions or concerns.

You want to follow up often during this stage and offer to meet with the prospect and the financial decision-maker to help them make a decision. Highlight the value your solutions offer and remind them of the next steps.

During this follow up stage, you should also consider offering an incentive to help them make a decision. Consider offering a discount or throwing in another service if they decide within a certain deadline. The best customers are those that can make prompt decisions.

What to Do If You Don’t Hear Back

Only 25% of leads are ready to buy at the time of your initial contact. If you don’t hear back from a lead after several attempts to follow up, they may not be ready to purchase at this time. This doesn’t mean the lead is gone forever though.

If your lead goes dark, send an email reminding them you haven’t heard from them. Explain that you understand the timing might not be right, re-establish the value proposition being offered and then indicate that you’ll plan to close their file if you don’t hear from them in a few days time.  Then if they’re not interested, remove the prospect from the active lead pipeline.

Email is a helpful way of keeping these prospects semi connected.  If they opted into your email newsletter, you can keep them on a drip-email campaign. This allows you to provide more info and gives them the ability to reach out when they’re ready.

Get Help Finding Qualified Leads

Nurturing leads takes time but it’s essential for developing in-bound marketing leads.  But before you nurture them, you need to make sure you’re getting a steady flow of in-bound leads into your sales pipeline.  If you need some help with this or improving your sales funnel with more qualified leads, contact us to learn about the tools and strategies we have to help you succeed.