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Simple secrets to keep leads moving through your pipeline

Follow-up can be a bit of a dirty word in sales.

But when you have a pipeline packed full with qualified opportunities, you need to be able to keep reminding them that you exist, and you have the products and solutions they’re after, without getting on their nerves. After all, 80% of sales happen on or after the 5th contact that you have with your prospect.

The term ‘salesperson’ can have a nasty stigma of pushiness, and yet that doesn’t have to be the case. There are so many ways to follow up while adding real value to your prospect, to help your leads to convert more quickly.

Always have new and useful information

Whenever you contact your prospect to check in, make sure you have something of value to offer them. It might be a buying guide, a helpful how-to blog or video, a case study or a special offer: if you can prove that you’re out to help them, they’ll trust you and you’ll have a better chance of closing the deal and getting a solid relationship set up in view of future business.

Keep track of information

And ideally, personalise your follow-up messages to include this. Use the name of their manager if they’ve told you this. If you know they have a critical meeting coming up, check with them ahead of time if they have all the information they need. Impress them by never having to ask questions more than once, and by demonstrating that you value the time and information they give you.

Let them talk

When they do reply to your messages and call you back, allow your prospect time to talk. Let them waffle about their company goals and issues, ask probing questions to draw them out and don’t interrupt. Show you’re interested in what they’re saying, because you can take away all of this information and work out what you need to do to become truly indispensable to this prospect.

Don’t assume you know what they need

It’s all too easy to pile all similar-ish prospects into a lump and treat them all the same. But they can tell when you do this, and it’s actually pretty demeaning.

Don’t try and force your prospect into a mould or make them follow a specific sales process. You never know, they might just need a bit extra time at the education stage, and then they’ll be happy to skip the product trial and go ahead with an order!

Recognise genuine objections

A genuine objection is a golden nugget. I’m not talking about the ‘I’m not interested’ excuses that we’re all too familiar with! If your prospect comes back to you with a genuine concern, it’s a buying signal and they want you to prove the worth of the product to them. You can follow up on this with helpful testimonials, blogs explaining how other companies got round the same issue, and maybe even a video guide.

Respect their time and schedule

As tempting as it is, try to avoid calling just to check in. If you must call, remember to add value! Honour your commitments by following through what you say you’re going to do, and respond fast in the timescale you promised.


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