I am always asked about how much is too much follow up, and how does someone know how often or how soon to follow up?
It may be a “simple, not easy” answer – depending on the products/services you sell, what your customers’ buying cycle is, whether it is referral or non-referral business, the market sector, types of buyers, etc.
In general, I feel very strongly that if you believe in your product or service, and you feel strongly that you are calling on “more probable” prospective customers – until they sit down with you (or talk by phone) to give you more information as to whether they ARE a good fit for your services and you can help them as well – then I keep following up on a regular basis. “Regular” can mean weekly, monthly, annually – again it depends on what it is that you market.
Once they have talked with you and you’ve learned about their needs – they have a bit more say as to how soon they want you to follow up. Regardless, if you feel strongly that you are a good match (that you could REALLY benefit your prospective customer, then I still do follow up – until they tell me not to. Even prospects who say “NO” can come around – especially when you have not been calling on a decision maker. Things change, people change.
Remember – it takes 10-14 touches to build enough trust and understanding for an average customer to buy from anyone these days – especially in B2B selling. Every voice mail, if done well, can count for a good “touch”.
Talk the scenario through with a trusted advisor and get more ideas. Don’t “stalk” – if someone really doesn’t want to hear from you, it could be best that you don’t follow up (again, depends on a few things so this can’t be a blanket statement).
Keep refining your value proposition and that clearly helps others better understand what it is that you are offering. Contact prospects with good, new information and ideas, not just to “check in” with them. (you only check in at an airport – not on a phone call….. why do so many in selling say this?)
Talk it through, write it out – determine what is stalling this opportunity. Feel free to drop me a note – I’ll give you a minutes’ worth of feedback.