“Follow-up is the key to sales success.”
If you’re in sales, you’ve probably heard those words so many times they’ve lost their meaning. Let’s change that: it’s time to put power back in those words.
Forget everything you think you know about the follow-up. We’re going to look at it from a fresh perspective. It’s time the follow-up stopped being a “good idea” and became a measurable action.
Does follow-up really make a difference?
If your prospect doesn’t respond, is following up really going to make a difference?
In my experience, hell yeah. I once had to follow up with an investor 48 times before I was even able to set up a meeting. That’s a lot of rejection. But I persisted, and he ended up investing.
What if I’d given up after 47 attempts? What if Brandon had only followed up 40 times? Neither of us would have closed those life-changing deals.
The results speak for themselves: If you want to become a priority to someone, the price is tireless follow-up.
How often should I follow up on warm leads?
If you’re pursuing a warm lead (prospects you’ve had some form of positive communication with), then follow up until you get a clear “yes” or “no”.
For the first month, check in once a week. After the first 30 days, check in monthly.
If you’re willing to consistently follow up on your warm leads, I guarantee that you’ll get a response. That response may be a “no”, but a clear “no” is much better than a half-assed “maybe”.
How often should I follow up on cold leads?
Cold leads (prospects you’ve never had any interaction with) are a little different. Don’t be annoying, but don’t give up too soon either.
At Close.io, we follow up a total of three times over the span of two weeks. Here’s our schedule:
Day one: Initial contact
The follow-up is only as effective as the foundation it’s built on. Make sure that your initial outreach is both informative and valuable for the prospect. If you’re new to sales, check out our guides to leaving effective voicemails and writing compelling cold emails.
Day three: First follow-up
If your prospect doesn’t respond to your initial outreach, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. They might have been too busy or distracted to respond. You can counter that by following up at a different time of day.
For example: If you sent your initial email at 9:00am and didn’t get a response, follow up with them around 3:00pm. They might have busy mornings but take a relaxed lunch break.
This follow-up message should be a restructured version of your initial message with no new information.
Day seven: Second follow-up
Like before, make sure you follow up at a different time of day.
This message should restate your call-to-action. For example, “Hey, this is Steli from Close.io again. Any chance you’re free for a five-minute call on Thursday at 2:00pm?”
Day fourteen: Third follow-up
If two weeks have passed and you haven’t received any response, it’s time to break up with your prospect.
The break-up email is the most powerful part of any follow-up campaign. It counts on the fact that people want something more when it’s taken away from them.
It starts with a powerful subject line like:
- Goodbye from Steli & the Close.io team
- It’s not you. It’s me.
- Permission to close your account?
And clearly communicates the following points:
- I’ve repeatedly tried to provide value to you but you haven’t replied
- This is the last time I’ll contact you
- If you’d like to pursue our solution, here’s my contact information
Although the break-up email is a powerful tool, there’s no guarantee that your prospects are going to respond. If they don’t, then it’s time to move on to more promising opportunities.
This doesn’t mean you close the account forever; just for the time being. If it’s a substantial account, consider revisiting it next year.
Learn More in Safari
Our book, “The Ultimate Startup Guide to Outbound Sales” is available in full on Safari. It includes tips and best practices for topics such as B2B lead generation, utilizing cold sales emails, and successful sales calls blueprints. You can also learn more about our inside sales CRM on our website.
Sales success is about relentless follow-up.
Close.io is a sales platform with built-in calling and automatic email tracking designed to reduce data entry so clients can focus on selling, instead.