It still surprises me when a salesperson asks, “How soon should I follow up with a potential customer?” Too often they aren’t sure how to react. Should they wait a bit so that they don’t appear too desperate or jump in immediately and follow up as quickly?
Let’s make this easy. There’s one rule in regard to follow up: respond as soon as possible! As I often say, timing is everything. Here’s why . . .
Customers Want Results
Today’s customers live in the information age. They can quickly and easily find plenty of information simply by pulling out their smartphones or sitting down behind their computers. When customers reach out for information, they’ve likely already exhausted the methods available to them and are ready for you to share your expertise–and that means you need to answer them quickly before they choose another method of gathering their information.
A Request for Information is a Request for Help!
If someone is requesting help in the sales process, you need to give it to them! Don’t leave your customers waiting for a day or more before you “get around” to answering their request for information. Instead, go ahead and follow up. Answering quickly will let the customer know you are reliable and trustworthy.
Take Advantage of Mindset
People buy when they‘re ready to buy, not when you’re ready to sell. When a request comes in for information, the customer is either a) ready to make a decision to buy or b) in the process of gathering information to finalize that decision. They may have just experienced a problem or pain point that you can rectify, whether it’s a living room that simply isn’t set up for entertaining or a house that is too small for a growing family. They’re in a buying-minded mood, and you want to take advantage of it! If you wait a day or so before responding, you may find that your golden lead is no longer quite so interested in what you have to offer.
Why Waste Time?
If you aren’t following up on this lead, what are you doing? Why waste time chasing down new leads (or checking Instagram) when you have an interested customer right in front of you? Pay attention to the leads you have first. Better yet, be sure to set a specific time to reconnect while you are still meeting with the customer.
Keep Following Up
Persistent, consistent contact is critical. Don’t let a lead fade away after answering their request for information; instead, get back in touch and see how they’re doing and whether or not they’ve made a decision. Worried about seeming “pushy” or “overbearing,” some salespeople fail to continue reaching out to potential customers. As a result, they miss out on sales. By creating a proactive follow-up plan, you are more likely to connect with a customer at a point that makes sense rather than leaving a bunch of random voice mail messages.
As a salesperson, your key responsibilities are to ask pertinent questions, provide relevant information, and lead the sales process from start to finish. From selling homes to selling the furniture to fill them, those responsibilities remain the same. When a customer reaches out for information, give it to them in a timely, efficient manner that will leave them thrilled with your effort.