Following up on customer leads is both crucial and delicate. It’s crucial for your bottom line. It’s delicate because it’s so very easy to annoy or scare away a potential customer.
Most leads aren’t ready to commit to a sale on sight. People resist change even when a new approach is more effective.
Think of it as a psychological inertia. Once a person starts doing something one way, redirecting them is tough. This is why follow up is so critical to success with customer leads.
You must overcome their resistance to change without annoying them to the point of ignoring you. Fortunately, there are several ways to follow up in constructive ways.
Le’s jump in and look at four of them.
Email Follow Up with Customer Leads
Email is still the default communication method for a lot of people in business.
After all, it’s a communication method they control to a large extent. They check it when it’s convenient for them. How often do you get called about something and think: “Why didn’t they just email me about this?”
Even when you follow up by email, you must still offer something to keep the lead reading. So what can you do?
Say you met the lead at an event. It’s unrealistic to expect them to remember you out of all the people they shook hands with. Remind them who you are and what you talked about.
It puts you and your product or service into context. The reminder also helps to slide you out of the category of “random person trying to sell things.”
Also, include a call-to-action at the end of the email. Make it as easy as possible for them. If you’re looking to set a meeting, include a link to an online scheduling app.
Social Media Outreach
Social media offers you an extraordinary opportunity for fast follow up. You can access it from your tablet, your phone, or your notebook computer. Speed is the key here.
Social media moves fast. If you make social media part of your business, leads expect you to move at the speed of the platform.
If you don’t respond to a Twitter comment in moments, the interaction loses context almost immediately. Facebook is a little more forgiving, but same day responses are best.
Social media responses are especially useful for when you’re doing events. Say that someone stops by your booth and then follows your business page on Facebook. Respond the same afternoon with something like this:
“It was great meeting you earlier. You might want to check out this blog post on subject X that we talked about.”
You come off a responsive, helpful service or product provider.
The thing to remember about social media is that it’s not good for in-depth sales conversations. For the most part, it’s just too public. A transition leads to a more private communication channel, such as email or phone, as fast as seems practical.
Phone Follow Up
Phone calls are a necessary, but often unwelcome part of following up with customer leads. Millennials, as a group, dislike making phone calls at all. Baby boomers spent more time using phones as a primary mode of communication, so they’re more comfortable with it.
When deciding about whether phone follow-ups are the way to go, market research plays a role. What are the demographics of your main market segment? If the demographics skew older, phone calls will probably do better.
You still need to avoid the just following up line when you get a lead on the phone. It’s as aggravating on the phone as it is in an email.
You must deliver value when you talk to a lead. Discuss an insight about how your product can support and improve the lead’s current efforts. Talk about how your product solved a similar pain point for another client.
The object here is twofold. You remind the lead they’ll get something beneficial from your business and from taking your calls. It might not net a sale that day, but they’re more likely to take your next call.
Touch base enough times and you improve your odds of overcoming their resistance to change.
Snail Mail Follow Up
The total volume of mail people get keeps dropping as more and more communication moves online.
After all, most businesses deliver bills online these days to save money on postage. A lot of businesses use texts and emails to market sales and special offers. Texting and email all but killed letter writing.
Even so, snail mail does offer some advantages. For one, people pay more attention when they get physical mail.
Consider how you deal with your email inbox. You probably scroll past most of it with a split-second spent labeling most of it, “Junk.” How about when you get envelopes?
Interacting with physical mail also creates a stronger, lasting impression in people’s mind. That makes your business more memorable in the long-term.
Even more meaningful for businesses is that this is true for Millennials. As Millenials transition into the dominant economic force, a marketing postcard sent in the mail can pique their interest.
Of course, the trade-off here is cost.
Email, social media, and phone calls are cheap. If you’re a sole proprietor, you can get phone and internet service at a modest, fixed rate. Boom, following up with customer leads for one price.
Physical mail comes with up-front printing, postage, and possibly copywriting costs. You must determine if the profit from your product or service can offset those costs.
You aren’t boxed into one method for following up with customer leads.
You can send emails or reach out on social media. You can also call or send a piece of physical mail.
No matter which approach you choose, never follow up just to follow up. It’s an annoyance that no one wants. Follow up with a good reason and give some value for the lead’s time.
The logistics of managing lead follow up can prove overwhelming. Yoobly offers a CRM software package can take some of the headaches out of the process. For questions about our software or to start right away, contact us today.