How much follow-up is too much follow-up?
Is there such thing as too much following up in a sales process?
Now, I would like to err you on the side of caution that most people never follow up. That’s right. 58% of people that I’ve found never follow up after their initial conversation with the prospect. And sometimes in the contracting world, (HVAC, electrical, plumbing, cleaning, janitorial, lawn landscape, the blue collar, hardworking people of America) they sometimes don’t even follow up with a prospect period, like-ring, ring-Susie, the homeowner called in, leaves you a voicemail, ’cause you didn’t answer your phone. You didn’t have an answering service, so now she’s leaving a voicemail saying, “Oh yeah, Jim, I’d like a quote, give me a call back, 5551234.” Then she never gets called back.
Believe it or not, it happens more often than not. But most people wanna say, well, I don’t wanna be too pushy, and I don’t wanna follow up too much. There’s no such thing. There’s no such thing if you believe in your product. That’s where a lot of people fall short-is in their belief patterns of what they sell, what they do as far as the services, or the ideas or the products that they provide. A lot of people come up short in that area when it comes to sales. But let’s talk to the point at hand here, how much follow-up is too much followup?
80% of sales are made after five plus touches. So, somewhere between five and 12 times of reaching out to a prospect, the prospect will eventually buy 80% of them. So, if the majority of people never follow up, all you gotta do is follow up five times, and you’re gonna be in good shape.
So let’s talk about what is follow up? We’re not just talking about calling the person, leaving a voicemail every single day for the next year and a half like some psycho. No, we’re talking about being methodical with this and being smart. Our time is valuable. So we need to make sure that when we’re following up, we’re doing so in the best way possible. Here’s some ideas:
1. My absolute favorite is a ringless voicemail, and I use a company called Slybroadcast. What’s a ringless voicemail? Ringless voicemail means that their phone is just going to go “bzzz”, and they’re gonna have a voicemail. Some pretty cool stuff. And the technology part behind it is, you can go into your CRM(your customer relationship management software, CRM)-We like to use Pipedrive-and export all your contacts out. You take your quotes or your people that you’ve not done business with-we’ll call ’em prospects. They’re not customers yet. They’re still prospects. You export that list. Then you record a little voicemail on your phone, and it sends it out to them. So that’s one way to follow up.
2. You bulk follow up. You can send an email blast. And you’ll find all the people that still have open estimates, open quotes, people that you haven’t closed yet. You can send them an email.
3. The other thing you can do is text message marketing, you send out a mass text message.
It’s all about these communication channels, and really sales now has become an omni-channel approach. What I mean by omni-channel is that, you’ve gotta be talking to people wherever they are. It doesn’t matter. It’d be on their cell phone, via text messages, voicemails, phone calls, on social media, in their email inbox, in their mailbox. You have to be able to be omnipresent if you want to maximize your marketing and advertising dollars and give yourself the best opportunity to win at sales.
So how many times is too much follow-up? What I recommend is four follow-up phone calls at maximum. This also comes into understanding how big of a deal you have. For instance, is a client actually big enough for you to be following up with? Like, if it’s a $7 job, you don’t wanna follow up with them at all. You don’t wanna give them any of your time. You can’t do that. So, I like to look at opportunities. When I come into companies and do consulting or coaching, I like to try to find opportunities that we can implement technology in order to help them maximize results. That way they can max out on the benefits of using the tech and not having to use their time, so that they can step back and do the things that truly only they can do in a business.
As a sales person, if you’re thinking, man, how many times should I follow up with this person? Simply look at the size of the deal. I recommend anything under a hundred dollars. You can have zero one-on-one follow-up. It needs to be all automated. If you’re in thousands of dollars, you can maybe do some phone calls, and tens and hundreds of thousands, certainly you’re gonna do that follow up with a phone call and the touch. And when I say these numbers, this is the LTV(lifetime value) of the prospect or clients should they join and wanna become a client, and be a part of your awesome business. You need to understand what that lifetime value of that customer really is. That will help you determine how much followup is too much follow-up. I just don’t believe that there is, because if you truly believe in your product, your service or your offering, your POS (product offering service) then you’re gonna follow up with the prospect, because you truly know you’re the best choice for them to go with. And that’s all you gotta say.
You just have to continue to stay in front of your prospects so that they understand that you care. Professional buyers will truly appreciate a salesman or a sales woman that is professional in their follow-up game. Meaning, “Hey, Mr. Johnson, when we talked the first time, you said you needed to think about it. I set a next step that was very specific that I talked to you Tuesday at two o’clock. I’m calling Tuesday at two o’clock.”
Even this morning I had some guy, he DM me on Instagram. He said, “Hey, man, I’d like to pitch you my shit.” I’m like, all right, whatever, man, I’ll hear you out, here’s the link to my calendar. He scheduled an appointment for today, and then doesn’t call me. So you gotta show up!. Most salespeople just don’t show up. Show up over and over and over and over and over again.
And then lastly, take all of your complete database and do ongoing email marketing to them that is value-based. Something that’s not a sales pitch. It’s something of value that says, hey, here’s a YouTube video I just made, hey, here’s this, here’s that. Something of value that you can send out to your prospects so that you’re staying in front of them, because you never know. Maybe they’re not gonna buy from you this time, but you also don’t know, maybe they’re gonna have a terrible experience. And so then when they’re ready to come to the market again, you’re right there in front of ’em. It’s all about brand exposure, keeping yourself in front of people.
The short answer to this long blog is, there’s no such thing as too much followup. So, what I would recommend is taking out a piece of paper and actually write down what is gonna be your followup sequence. How many emails are you gonna send them to follow up on? How often is that gonna happen? How many text messages? How many phone calls? Actually have a plan in place for follow-up, so that you don’t just rely on, oh, gee, did I remember? ‘Cause that doesn’t get you anywhere.
Hustle, it’s worth it!