5 Tips for Following Up with Potential Customers
As frustrating as it is to lose out on potential sales, there’s no reason to get discouraged. In fact, according to some experts, the average salesperson needs eight touches just to get a meeting with a prospect.
In other words, an abandoned purchase isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a sign that the customer just needs an extra nudge from you in the form of a follow-up call, email, or letter.
Just keep in mind that the number of touches you’ll need to make a sale varies significantly depending on your industry and other factors. Still, the principles of following up are universal. That’s why, in this post, we’ll cover five tips for following up with potential customers.
How to Follow Up With Potential Customers and Win Sales
1. Offer a Discount
As Shopify points out, the type of offer or discount you give depends on your business. For example, if you’re a luxury brand and your margins are thin, you may want to avoid deep discounts. However, an offer that encourages customer loyalty could work for you in the long run.
Alternatively, if your margins are large and you want to drive sales, you can use a discount to entice customers who’ve recently abandoned a purchase. As you can see, the type of discount or offer depends on your business goals.
2. Send a Reminder
Your customers are busy and they’re more distracted than ever before. Sometimes a customer may simply forget or become preoccupied with another task before they have a chance to complete their purchase. Depending on the nature of the sale, you can use an email, phone call, or a letter to remind your prospects to complete their purchase or offer them more information.
Many of your customers may appreciate your follow up, and you’ll make the sale as a result. Just be sure that you’re not pestering customers. A friendly reminder is reasonable, but several reminders over a short period of time quickly become a nuisance.
3. Use Direct Mail
In our increasingly digital world, it’s easy to forget about direct mail. However, you’ll likely find less competition when you go the direct mail route. Plus, this can be a highly personal and effective way to follow up.
If you decide to send direct mail to potential patrons, make sure to keep an eye on your return on investment (ROI). Relatively speaking, direct mail is much more expensive than placing a call or sending an email, so you’ll want to be sure that the extra cost is worth the return.
4. Create an Automated Nurture Campaign
79 percent of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for several years. One common way they leverage marketing automation is with lead nurturing. To use this strategy to follow up, simply create a nurture campaign specifically targeted at prospects who abandon a purchase.
That way, any time a prospect comes close to making a purchase but stops, they’ll be routed into your nurture campaign.
5. Ask for Additional Information
Often, you’ll engage with a seemingly interested client who says they’ll get back to you and they never do. This is a delicate situation because you don’t want to seem pushy, but you also don’t want too much time to pass that they forget about what your company offers.
In this scenario, assuming they haven’t gotten back to you, you’ll want to give them a little nudge. For example, if they said they needed to discuss the purchase with their boss, colleagues, or spouse, you can offer information that may be helpful to that conversation.
If possible, make the information you offer relevant to the individual prospect. Think back to your conversation with the prospect and see if you remember any questions or concerns they had. Then, send them more information about that question or concern. That way, you’re being helpful and relevant without being pushy.
Conclusion: Adapt Your Approach
Generating leads and closing sales is hard and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Depending on the potential sale amount, it might make sense for one business owner to spend a few hundred dollars chasing a prospect while another might be better off spending 20 dollars or less. Ultimately, the length and complexity of a sale will affect which tactics work best.
As you read through these five tips again, consider how specific tactics can work within your sales process. Then, when you implement a tactic, be sure to monitor its effectiveness and make tweaks when necessary.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.