Practical Strategies for Lead Follow-Up

By Ken Pikulik | Small Business

Once you’ve got a lead, how you execute lead follow-up can mean the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. Each customer interaction is unique, but there are some simple guidelines you can follow to maximize each opportunity.

Follow-up immediately
Don’t wait. If a prospect has taken the initiative to contact you, you should assume there is a pressing need or real interest. You should also assume that you are not the only person or company that they have attempted to contact so any delay could be disastrous.

Respect your prospect’s time
Time is valuable and if you want to continue your relationship with this person, you need to respect their time. Ask for a moment and be brief. Additionally, listen for cues that they may be trying to get off the phone or simply not have the time to talk at the moment. If possible, schedule a time to talk that works for your prospect to put them in the right frame of mind.

Be consistent in your communications
Confusion is the enemy. If you are trying to build a relationship with a person, let them know who you are, what you do and how you can help. Be clear in your message and reinforce your value each time you speak. If a prospect isn’t sure what you do or how you can help, they will certainly less willing to invest time or money in your product or service.

Practical Strategies for Lead Follow Up image resource lead nurturing1Practical Strategies for Lead Follow UpFrequency matters
Once you have made a call, don’t be a pest, but don’t be a stranger. There is a fine line between staying in touch and being a pest. An effective lead nurturing program is the best thing you can do to improve lead acquisition and conversion. But you need to resist the urge to follow-up repeatedly unless you have something new to offer or sufficient time has elapsed since your last conversation.

Don’t over promise
Nothing will shut down a sales opportunity faster than unfulfilled promises. This could be as easy as being on time for a meeting or promoting something in e-mail that is hard-to-believe. Fine print can’t undo the promise of a bold headline, so don’t try the old bait-and-switch to start a conversation, because if you do, it will be over almost as soon as it starts.

The goal for every organization should be to develop consistent marketing processes and a structure to create a sustainable pipeline of quality sales opportunities for your organization. These should leverage B2B Lead Generation best practices tested and implemented over time.

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