— June 10, 2018
Following up is the key to running a successful business. In the professional world, everyone is busy and just trying to keep everything afloat.
Not to mention, life also happens. It’s easy to overbook yourself, forget things, or just fall behind. If you know these things happen to you often, know that it’s the same for everyone else.
Knowing how to follow up with prospects correctly and avoid annoying them at the same time is key. You don’t want your follow-ups to run people away and lead to a missed opportunity so keep these tips in mind.
Include a Time-Sensitive Offer in Your Initial Pitch
I don’t know a single person who loves sending follow-ups. Thus, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s initial intention is to get an answer on the first try and avoid the whole follow up process altogether.
This should always be your goal – to send a thorough, specific, and valuable pitch that prompts the recipient to respond as soon as humanly possible.
To achieve this, consider including a deadline in your initial pitch to create a sense of urgency. If you’re freelance hoping to land a new client, mention that your calendar is filling up quickly and you’re offering a limited time trial discount.
That way when you follow up, you have something to reference and can communicate to the potential client that you’re concerned about them missing out on the offer.
Make It About Them (Do Your Research)
After you establish credibility in your first pitch, be sure to make most of it about the prospect and what you can do to benefit them. You have to do your research to make this happen.
Google the person you’re emailing and also check out their company and/or personal website. Stalk their social media accounts if you have to. Just find out what pain points they have so you can offer a valid solution.
As a result, your pitch include saying something along the lines of “Hey ______, are you still struggling with ____________? Per my initial request last week, I still want to help you solve ___________. I know you’re busy, but how about we set up a short call to discuss ________ depending on your availability? Just let me know if you’ve got it covered and will no longer need my help/services.”
Odds are, the person still needs help and just hasn’t had time to reply back to you yet. By communicating that you’re eager and willing to help solve their problem, it makes your follow up less of an annoyance and more of a potential solution.
Give Them Time to Respond
Like I said, people are busy and for some, it’s difficult to get through a batch of emails or voicemails in a single workday. Be sure to allow enough time for the prospect to actually read your pitch and do some light research on your business before following up.
You may even want to include when you’ll follow up again in your first pitch as a courtesy so the potential client doesn’t get thrown off guard with another email from you.
Persistence is also important. After the first pitch is sent, try to follow up after 3-5 business days for two weeks. Then, start following up weekly. Always let the prospect know that if they’re not interested in your offer, they can let you know and you’ll stop following up with them.
After a few weeks, it may be time to stop following up and that’s okay because not everyone will be interested in working with you.
It’s important to know how to follow up with prospects properly if you want to grow your business. Realize that timing is also very important when it comes to sending pitches and follow-ups. Be sure to connect with prospects either personally or online before sending your initial pitch.
Understand their needs and struggles then determine how you can help before you reach out.