Are you good at following up? Or is it the weak point in your sales funnel?

We asked business owners this question in our Authentic Networkers Meetup group. Imagine a diverse group of business owners – each as different as you can imagine – coming together to share successes and challenges. Some are brand new in business, some have decades of experience, and others work at every stage in between.

The question of the day was this: What’s working well in your follow up process? Where can you improve?

Here’s how our local entrepreneurs weighed in:

I use emails, phone calls, and a CRM (my DayTimer organizer). An inexpensive, full-featured funnel management system. I don’t have a problem with calls, because I don’t take it personally. Better to repeat my name and allow my personality to promote me.

–          Miguel Hortiguela, Write2Press

My sales process involves 4 client face-to-face visits:

  1. Present the investment structure;
  2. Refresh and choose investments;
  3. Refresh again and remind / book investments;
  4. Ask for 3-5 referrals;
  5. Follow up with both email and telephone thank-yous.

–          Riyad Mohammed, Private Lending Specialist

Call them three times in a row. If no answer, call them again in a week. Put reminders on my phone.

–          Dil Singh, Primerica Representative

Be genuine and listen to your prospects/friends. Help them to resolve their problem with your resources. Don’t have any agenda in the back of your mind.

–          Wallace Wong, Jeunesse Representative

What’s working well for me: following up within 24-48 hours after meeting; sending out thank-you’s; text messages work best; and checking in on past clients and asking how their lives are. Areas to improve: sticking to a schedule; putting follow-ups in agenda for monthly, weekly, bi-annually follow ups; closing the loop on follow-ups.

–          Janna James, Usana Representative

I will call my new potential clients within a few days of meeting if they asked or showed interest. Sometimes email afterward if I left a voicemail. I could improve by following up on my follow ups! Especially if I don’t get an email or call back. I’d like to create more touchpoints, and add these to my CRM to maintain contact.

–          Amanda Small, #ThatInsuranceGirl

I always follow up with my current clients, but with new potential clients I only follow up a maximum of two times, so that could be improved.

–          Sinan Eroz, Dream Concepts

When I follow up with my prospects periodically, I get closer to them, and we start understanding each other and build trust in each other. My first follow up is within a week of our first meeting, and then it goes every 4 to 8 weeks afterward. I need to do more research on how to find out where their true pain lies in operating their business, even if it’s unrelated to my tax and accounting work.

–          Abdul Quddeus, MAQ CPA

Being reliable (i.e., do what I saw; call at the time I say I’m going to call, etc, to build trust) and providing knowledge, or educating my clients on what I do to ensure that I provide them with all the resources, guidance, tools & more to ensure results right for them and their needs are met. My challenge is being creative and unique with my follow-up and keeping the interest of contacts to want to build a relationship without them feeling like I’m just selling.

–          Natasha Sanicharan, Realtor

Phone calls work well, and asking for opinions. For example, I ask someone to try a mini-facial and get their feedback. I let the product sell itself. I try to be more concerned with how the person feels. The follow up isn’t just about the sale, but building relationships and trust. I can improve my being more consistent with initial follow ups with 48 hours and putting time aside to do that.

–          Dayna Calabrese, Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant

What’s working well: making sure to ask the client their preferred method of communication and offering a variety of options instead of just the usual (phone and email). For example, I have a client who uses Whatsapp exclusively. I have more successful follow-ups when I’m following the client’s lead. I struggle with knowing when to give up on a prospect when ROI is no longer there.

–          Joy Gallaiford, Best Dressed Events

Don’t stop if you get a no – but keep the door open for more follow-ups, such as “Can I follow up with you in three months?” You may have new products of interest in the future.

–          Heidi Charlton, Arbonne representative

When a relationship has begun and you’ve learned about that person’s life, be it their background, the people important to them or their goals, I always follow-up asking after the people or the goals that are important to the person first. Then we can discuss areas which I can help that person. I need a more engaging way to improve my response from clients, be it phone or email.

–          Carron Concepcion, Juice Plus representative

Working well: the written word, and a card in the mail; building it into my daily process; using a print daytimer vs. digital; referring people to other people. Areas of improvement: getting more mailing addresses, and making more calls.

–          Dan Beresford, Dan Writes

The Bottom Line

These Authentic Networkers emphasized the importance of early contact, consistent follow-up, and systems to keep track of it all. Almost everyone, when pressed for areas to improve, said that more follow up and more consistency would help them grow.

Stay in touch with your people… and don’t assume they will get back to you. They are not thinking of your business nearly as much as you are! Jim Rohn says “the fortune is in the follow-up,” and we’re inclined to believe he’s right.

What do you do to follow up in your business? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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