Following up with potential clients should be simple. The problem is that most people aren’t doing what’s simple. We overcomplicate it and overwork it - so the results don't show. Success is in simplicity. So let’s bring it back to a simple way to follow up and get consistent results.
Here are 2 simple steps that will make your follow ups effective and powerful:
1. Set your intentions.
When you follow up with people (meaning you pick up the phone or send out an email), if you have no intention other than to see what happens, it will likely turn into an unproductive waste of time. So, what are your intentions in following up? Make them clear. Being specific with your intentions gets you specific results. Here are some examples of intentions for a follow up:
- Determine if this person is a prospective client.
- See if they offer a service or product I might need/want.
- Find out if they have connections I could get hooked up with.
- If I can’t serve them, find someone in my network I can connect them with who can serve them.
- Look for joint venture opportunities.
- See if there’s an opportunity to trade services.
Those are a few things you can focus on. You want to create a win-win-win situation. There’s never a win or lose situation in any type of conversation.
Because you have established your intentions, your questions can be very specific. When you get on the phone with them, be sure to set the stage and be upfront. Let them know what your intentions are. It might sound something like this … ‘Hey Joe, I am just following up from this event. I really appreciated our conversation and connection of xyz. My intention on this follow up is to…’
It’s simple, effective, and can be duplicated.
2. Set an appointment.
If you’ve determined through your conversation that this person could be a potential client, resist the urge to roll into a strategy session (sales conversation) right there. Instead, schedule another session.
There are two keys to doing this well. First, tell them that’s your intention. It might sound like this, ‘Okay, great, it sounds like you want to explore some of the things I have and see if I can help you with xyz. Let’s schedule a time for a strategy session. In this strategy session we go over your xyz problem and I’ll share some opportunities. If they are a fit, we’ll get you plugged in. If not, at least we can cover your xyz problem. Sound good?’
The second key is to schedule it right then and there. Set an actual appointment. Find a time that works for both of you and book it. If you don’t, your follow ups will follow up and follow up and follow up. You lose track and something happens and it doesn't work. So, if they are a potential for business, whether as a client, joint venture, or for referrals, always schedule a second follow up - which will be a strategy session.
The tendency is to say, ‘Great, thanks so much. I will reach back out to and we will reconnect.’ Nowadays, we are so bombarded with information that when someone says “let's reconnect," 90% of the time that means sayonara, good luck, the next time we will reconnect is when we cross paths physically because we are so busy. Don’t fall into that trap - schedule right then and there. Treat that opportunity as though somebody was handing you $10,000 because that's what it could be worth to you. Treat it with care. Take time to schedule.
So if your follow-ups are not very productive, remember these two steps. Everything comes down to the communication process. Get clear on your intentions and communicate them so they are clear on the intentions. Before you get off the phone, set another appointment to have a strategy session with them. You will find the results will be incredible.
If you need any help, check out thefreedomcatalyst.com where you can schedule a strategy session or go through some of our free courses. This will help you master the process of follow ups.