sales_follow_upThis post originally appeared on the Sales section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales.

Think about your significant other for a moment. Think about the strong relationship you’ve established built on trust, patience, and understanding. 

Now imagine if that person would call you three times on your night out, trying to figure out what your thoughts on your relationship are. Imagine opening your inbox four times a week to emails “just checking in” on what you think the next steps of your relationship are.

Still feeling the love, or just feeling plain annoyed?

While my example makes it obvious that you’re annoyed, why isn’t that same thinking obvious when we talk about our business relationships? Why is it that when we’re trying to sell a product or service, it’s suddenly okay to constantly follow up with a prospect, as if that’ll magically make them whip out their credit card? 

That’s just not how relationships work. And it’s probably risking us a sale.

To uncover the true answer, we — Breakthrough Email and Signals —  reviewed 15K emails and 1,000+ meetings from the past seven years to try and pin point how to follow up without risking the sale. We’ll be reviewing all our findings in this webinar, but for now, the following infographic highlights seven key points. Check it out:

7 Things You Need to Know About Sales Follow Up


Following Up: Things to Remember & Words of Caution

In case you had some trouble reading the last two sections, here are our final reminders for follow up — as well as some quick warnings.

Things to Remember

  1. Most salespeople create the follow up problem themselves. Don’t leave a call without commitment for the next meeting. Always leave your calls with a clear, measurable next step in your prospect’s calendar.
  2. People are busy and will likely miss an email or two. After that, they’re hoping you get the hint. Push back on them and consider breaking up with them — see a free template here.
  3. Prospects aren’t thinking about you as much as you are thinking about them. By knowing who is opening and clicking your emails, you can follow up when they’re thinking about you, too. 

Words of Caution

  1. Don’t over-fatigue prospects with call after call and email after email. When something doesn’t work, adjust your strategy.
  2. Stop wasting time following up with people who aren’t interested or qualified to buy. You are better off using your time generating new leads.
  3. Following up is a bit like dating. Ask yourself, if you were dating, would you call someone three times and not leave a voicemail? Would you email them four times just checking in? That is creepy. Stop doing it.

If you’d like to learn more about our research and hear our best follow up strategies and templates, listen in on a webinar with sales experts Bryan Kreuzberger and Michael Pici.

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