How to Follow up With Prospects
You get a request for your products or services and you send information within a day or so of getting the request. A week or two goes by and the prospect hasn't placed an order. What should you do ne...
You get a request for your products or services and you send information within a day or so of getting the request. A week or two goes by and the prospect hasn't placed an order. What should you do next?
Customers who request information may not have an immediate need for the product or service they inquire about. They may look over what you send and then put it aside, planning to follow up at some point in the near future.
Then 2, 3 months down the road their priorities change. Suddenly, it's time for them to really consider buying the product/service they were thinking about purchasing in the past.
If this scenario happens, who is likely to get the order? The vendor whose name is most familiar and who has stayed in touch with the prospect, will most likely be the one who gets the order.
Position your company to win those delayed sales by following up regularly for at least six months on all qualified sales leads. Make contact with your prospects at least once a month for the first six months if the prospect seems genuinely interested. A follow up call, email or letter are excellent reminders of your presence. Set up a day of the week just dedicated to follow up with real prospects. (By the way you should also set up a day to follow up with past clients).
Understanding Leads For Better Success
Identifying your prospects is one of the most important part of the sales cycle.
The prospect has an immediate need for your offer and budget. This is the most qualified lead. You will need to focus all your efforts on this ideal prospect. The prospect requests a quote or asks for someone to contact him. This happens more often than you think, but it can only happen if you are actively and continuously visible to your prospects to maintain top-of-mind-awareness.
The prospect has an immediate need for your product or service, but no defined budget. He asks for additional information. This type of prospect may require a little longer sales cycle. He will certainly shop around to see the different options available to him. You will need to convince him that you have the perfect solution at the right price. He will invest in the right solution if the need is great enough and he clearly sees value and an eventual return on his investment.
The prospect has a vendor already talked to a company and received an offer, but remains in the prospect database as he hasn't made his mind yet. The goal with these type of prospects is to be at the top of their "Vendors to Consider" list when their existing vendor is unable to satisfy their future needs.
The prospect already has already a company and is shopping around. He has already received a quote, but remains in the prospect database. The goal with these prospects is to convince them that you have the right solution at the right price. It requires some sales skills. You need to follow up constantly with the prospect and find out which his most important factor when considering the choice of a vendor.
The prospect has no immediate or foreseeable need for your products or services. In fact he clearly states that he doesn't know if he needs the service. He doesn't see the benefits of your products or services, nor does he have the budget. You should quickly remove him from your prospect database. Putting efforts into that lead and trying to convince him would be a waste of your time and money. Although this is the least desirable response, knowing that is better than being clueless. Avoid futile marketing efforts directed toward prospects that will never result into a sale.
Lead Generation Requires Resources and Expertise
Building relationships and maintaining top-of-mind-awareness with qualified prospects through your lead generation efforts is crucial to your success in a highly competitive market. It requires building and maintaining business relationships with your potential customers. It is very important to be aware that you will have to find ways to constantly stay in touch with your prospects in order for them to be reminded of your presence and benefits you have to offer them.
Author & Marketing Consultant
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