Most of your sales prospects will not purchase from you after your first meeting or phone call. In general, only two percent of sales occur at the first meeting. Here’s another important fact: Most people won’t commit to purchasing from you until after you followed up at least five times.
That’s why you need to have a sales follow-up list.
Now, I am not talking about a collection of Post-It Notes or handwritten notes stuffed in a manila folder somewhere. I am talking about a real, tangible, bona fide list of people you need to follow up with.
Your follow-up list is critical to your business. In fact, it’s one of the most important documents you’ll create for your business. This is a list of people you can serve and help – and a list of people who will pay you so you can continue to serve others with your gifts.
So, how do you make a sales follow-up list? Here are some steps to get you started:
Designing your follow-up list
As corny as it sounds, I believe in designing a gorgeous follow-up list. These are my people, my tribe, those who I am meant to serve, and I want to honor them accordingly. So, I tend to use colors and nice paper. I like to have a positive energy around my follow-up list, which for me, translates to color.
You may have another way of honoring the people on your list. It’s completely individualized. What I want you to take away from this lesson is that you don’t want to haphazardly put a list together. You want to design a format that’s appealing to you.
Let’s say you’re like me and like colors. You will be much more energized to look at your follow-up list if it’s colorful and not some bland spreadsheet. On the flip side, maybe you like crisp and modern-looking documents. Again, you’ll be much more inclined to look at your follow-up list if you design it to match your personal tastes.
So, draw hearts, use that fancy fountain pen, fill in rows with color, print on resume paper – whatever works for you. Design a follow-up list that makes you excited to look at it.
Include all names on your follow-up list
Many purpose-driven entrepreneurs don’t want to “hound” their ideal clients during the sales process. Furthermore, you don’t want to pester people who you are not 100 percent sure want to work with you.
This is a self-defeating mindset – and one of the reasons why your business or coaching practice is not full.
Your follow-up list is a list of anyone who has ever expressed an interest in working with you. Anyone.
If you met someone at a networking meeting who said “Oh, I would love to hire someone like you,” then her name goes on your follow-up list. If your friend says her cousin could use your services, then your friend’s cousin goes on your follow-up list. If you had an introductory sales call with someone, that person goes on your follow-up list. Even past clients go on your follow-up list.
Ask yourself this question: Who has expressed – even in the smallest way – an interest in working with me?
Anyone who pops into your head as a response to this question should be included on your follow-up list. Don’t talk yourself out of including a name on your list. Include everyone.
Other details to include on your follow-up list
Your follow-up list is exactly that – your list. The other details you want to include are up to you. Most entrepreneurs include the sales prospect’s contact information, such as an email address or phone number.
Here are some other details to consider:
- How you met this person
- Programs she has purchased from you already
- The date you last contacted her
- How you reached out to her last (phone call, email, small gift)
Because you will probably reach out to this person multiple times, I would definitely track your contact history. How did you reach out to her? When did you last reach out to her? That way, if you want to vary your follow-up methods, you’ll know how you contacted her in the past.
Where to store your follow-up list
Here’s a mistake I have made in the past: I created this beautiful follow-up list, put in a gorgeous folder and then filed it away. And that’s where it stayed until I come across it, looking for something else.
The truth is that your follow-up list must be in front of you at all times. Otherwise, you run the risk of never looking at it once you create it.
So, stick it under your keyboard, pin it front and center on your bulletin board, place it on a clipboard next to your laptop – wherever it makes sense for you. Just make sure it is always visible.
One final tip: Designate time on your calendar every week to follow up with everyone. I have what I call “Follow Up Friday” – an hour once a month on a Friday where I follow up with my sales prospects. Block the time (actually schedule it as an appointment on your calendar) and do not book over it.
Your sales follow-up list is precious. It contains people you can serve. It’s a map for increasing your income. It’s a critical document for your business. Do not halfheartedly complete this task. Put your whole heart into designing your follow-up list. Commit to touching base with everyone you can serve. When you do this, your business will prosper.