Landing the elusive sales meeting is only half the battle. The real work starts after the handshakes and business card exchanges are over - the meeting follow up.
You’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to build a rapport with your prospect. Now it’s time to take the trust you’ve developed from your meeting, turn it into a closed sale and start build a long-term business relationship. Here are some tips to help you with your sales meeting follow up effectively and prevent your sales numbers from taking a hit.
Importance of follow up in sales
The "follow up" is an important process for a successful sales strategy and can make or break continuous growth. Follow up is typically a mix of strategically timed phone calls, regular emails and now video emails.
Following up after the Meeting
The first step after a prospect meeting is to draft a personalized follow up email. Spend time reviewing your meeting notes and tailor your message specifically to your prospect and your conversation with them. Make sure you follow a few key steps as your draft your email.
- Send it within 24 hours of your meeting
- Make sure the subject line is eye catching and personalized and will cause them to click
- Offer them a piece of free content or a link to information they’ll find useful
- Summarize what you talked about and next steps
Once you’ve created a couple of great follow up emails, save your template for future emails to save yourself some time to ensure that each email follows a prescription that works.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from the prospect the first time. Have a second follow-up email queued up and ready to follow-up after no response within a few days.
Sales are not for the faint of heart—it takes persistence and the ability to not take unresponsiveness personally. As you continue to reach out, there are a few things that can help grab the attention of your prospect.
- Use your CRM to capture when and what you’ve already sent to your prospect
- Follow them (and engage with them) on social media
- Add them to any relevant nurture campaigns
- Offer some more free content or information as a show of goodwill and your genuine interest in solving their problem
- Don't rely strictly on your emails. Strategically making calls and leaving voicemails shows real interest.
- Don't be discouraged if you don't hear back immediately. Have your follow-up email at the ready.
Following up with Current Customers
Meetings and engagement don’t stop after you close the deal with a prospect. Customer engagement is more important than ever for retention, brand awareness, advocacy programs, cross-selling and upselling.
After a customer meeting, you should follow a slightly different pattern for follow-up activities.
- Summarize the follow-up email.
Much like you would for a prospect, craft a personalized, valuable follow-up email outlining your customer’s needs, what you discussed and how you can help. Don’t be afraid to use data related to business outcomes your customer has achieved because of their partnership with you.
- Note the strong points in your initial meeting.
You can bring these up later when you recap the meeting with the client.
- Put your CRM to good use.
With existing customers, it is vital for your entire organization to have visibility into the conversations you’ve had, references they’ve provided for prospects, and any marketing activities in which your customer will take part. By capturing your meeting notes in your CRM, you’ll be sure that others in your organization aren’t tapping your customer too frequently and that you’re keeping your promises to them.
- Be consistent with your follow up after meeting with your customer.
Don’t take advantage of your current relationship and the level of trust you’ve built with your customer. They will still expect you to communicate when you say you will and deliver what you’ve promised.
With both prospect and customer follow-up, the best course of action is to focus on the long-term goal. Sales cycles and customer expectations are fluid, and with careful attention to detail, you can adjust your messaging and turn your sales meeting into a sale.