8 Tips for Effective Lead Follow-Up

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Gathering leads is an essential part of business growth, but they become meaningless if you don’t follow up on them!

A lead is a person or business who is considering purchasing from your company, so your aim is to do everything you can to encourage that sale. When you follow up a lead, you are nurturing them, showing them that you are reliable and a viable solution to their problem, and should demonstrate that you truly care about addressing their challenges/goals.

When you don’t follow up effectively, you risk losing sales or receiving negative feedback from customers.

So how can you effectively follow up on leads, and make sure you turn them from a potential customer, to a customer?

Here are our tips on following up on leads and making sure that you’re consistent. Let’s explore them:

Tip 1: Categorise or Segment Leads

One of the first things you should do with your leads is find a way to organise them that best works for you and your business. You could categorise or segment them in different ways, but only you can decide what works best for you! Here are some options:

Consider sorting your leads into categories like cold, hot and warm. A cold lead is a new lead, who you should work to build a relationship with. A hot lead is someone you are close to closing your sale with, after investing time in them. A warm lead is in-between these – they have potential, but you need to put more work in with them to qualify further.

You can also segment your leads via their industry, their budget, the timeframe of their purchase from you, or where they are in the buyer journey. Having these segments helps you discover how you need to work with your leads in order to close a sale with them.

Tip 2: Once Categorised, Prioritise with Lead Scoring

Now you have categorised your leads, consider assessing their needs and prioritise lead scoring.

Lead scoring measures how good a lead is for your business and identifies the highest potential (hot) leads. With this system, you can use your bespoke qualification criteria to assess how strong a lead is likely going to be for you and how worthwhile it will be for you to pursue it. Alternatively, you can look at marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) to see where you can find the best sales opportunities in your leads. You can learn more about this here.

Tip 3: Book in Meetings

Try not to leave things open-ended with your leads, as you may risk turning warm or hot leads cold, or even worse, lose them completely. If you do, then you won’t get the results you want. Take the time to book meetings with your leads, whether in person, a video call or phone call, so that you can follow-up with them to fully understand their needs, any hesitancy they have to complete the purchase, anyone else who may need to be involved in the sales process, and so that you can fully explain to them what you can offer them.

Your leads will appreciate you taking the time to make their experience with you a personalised one, and furthermore, you will get a better understanding of what they want and expect from you, and what else they may need to complete the purchase journey. If you would like some support with this, see how we can help you with appointment setting.

Tip 4: Provide Useful Content

You want to demonstrate to your leads that you can deliver a solution to their problems, and if you can show evidence of that through case studies and testimonials, even better.. Be sure to keep your website regularly updated with your successes, as well as providing your leads and customers with helpful resources such as blogs and researched articles, downloadable guides or whitepapers and infographics and video explanations. With these resources at hand, you can send these to your leads or direct them to your website to learn more.

Tip 5: Avoid Sales Pitching

To have a successful interaction with a lead, you need to do more than simply pitch them a sales pitch. Ideally, you want to build a rapport with your client, by understanding who they are and what they need from you, as well as what you can offer them. But how can you build a rapport with someone, without them feeling like they’re being pushed into a sale?

By offering valuable advice or information for free, without any expectations that they will return any favours to you in the future, you can begin to build rapport. For example, you may talk with them and learn about their issue, then recommend them an article to read that may help them with it or even give them the details to contact someone who can help a different problem, if it’s one you can’t fix. This way, you are showing them that you value their time and understand them, rather than pushing your services onto them, before they know if you would be right for them to work with!

Tip 6: Use Different Methods to Follow Up

When you follow up with leads, you should always assess which method of communication would work best. You may choose to reach out to them using the same communication method they got in touch with you with, but if not you could try:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Social Media Messages (such as LinkedIn)
  • Text message

As a business, you will have probably already established one or two main ways of following up with your leads. However, some means of communication are more accessible to certain people for different reasons, so try to make sure you list all the ways potential customers can reach you on your website.

By offering different means of communication, you are assuring your leads that they are worthwhile to you and that you are willing to accommodate them, in order to make the best of your exchange with one another, personalising their experience. Some leads may use their computer a lot or prefer long-form communication, so may prefer emails as their form of communication. Meanwhile, other leads may use their phones a lot and prefer a shorter, more direct way of communicating, which is why texting may work best for them. Alternatively, some leads may prefer to speak directly and prefer to be phoned. However they like to communicate best, if you take the time to personalise their experience, you may find it more rewarding for both of you.

Tip 7: Know When to Walk Away

There are some leads that require a bit more attention to ensure you will get the best results possible. Alternatively, some people may want to make a purchase from you, but might not have the means to do so at this time. In these cases, let them know you will keep hold of their information and get back in touch with them in a few weeks/months to check in, so that neither of you are wasting time.

But, sometimes, no matter how much time or effort you put in, a lead simply doesn’t work out. Here are some things to ask yourself, to help decide whether it’s worth continuing to pursue a lead:

  • Have they expressed a keen interest in your product, service or solution?Have they confirmed that they have the finances and ability to decide to make a purchase?
  • Have you established a timeframe with them of when they may like to make a purchase, or when they will reach out to you with a decision?

With these questions in mind, you can try to establish how serious a lead is about making a purchase with you.

Tip 8: Securing Commitment

If you are happy with how your lead is progressing and feel that a sale may be confirmed soon, here is how you can secure commitment from them in these final stages:

  • Be present, not pushy – gently remind your lead of your presence by checking up on them occasionally, to see if you can help them or if they have made a decision regarding a sale. You want them to remember your presence, but don’t overdo it, or you could risk appearing pushy or even make them feel harassed. Let them know they can come to you on their terms!
  • Try before buying – while this may not be applicable to every business or product, getting a lead to try or buy before they go through with a sale gives them a clear idea of what they would receive with their purchase, and if it is right for them. If it isn’t right for them, you may be able to find a different service or product that is better suited for them.
  • Keep in touch – after securing the commitment and getting the sale you want from a lead, follow up with them to ensure they are happy with the service they received. By doing this, you are showing active interest in their satisfaction with your service and encouraging them to keep you in mind for any future issues you might be able to help them with!
  • Feedback – you can also ask for further feedback, such as a review. If they leave you a positive review, it shows they were happy with the service and may demonstrate that they would be happy to work with you again. It also invites new potential leads to consider your business, if they see that you are receiving praise

Lead follow-ups are an essential part of converting a lead to a customer, but you need to be conscious of the process to pull it off successfully. You don’t want your leads to feel pressured or pestered into a sale! Try to gently remind them every so often that you are there for them when they need you. By following these tips, you should find that it will be easier for them to come to you and for you to get the results you want.
Whether you are looking to uncover new leads in your market, or are trying to better manage your existing pipeline, we provide additional resources to ensure you are generating new interest and actively following up existing leads. Find out more about our Lead Generation service.

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