Last Updated on October 30, 2020
Your online and offline marketing is working as evidenced by the phone ringing, contact forms completed, and referrals received. A critical next step in the online sales loop is follow-up. Time and money has already been spent on lead generation, so now it’s a matter of connecting with your prospect. We’ve found 8 best practices to help with followup that closes more of your online sales:
1. Follow Up Quickly on Online Sales
Regardless if you sell to consumer (B2C) or to companies (B2B), it’s all about speed. Once they show interest, consumers expect you to follow-up quickly. According to Dr. James Oldroyd in his Lead Response Management Study, follow-up should take place within 16 minutes. Wow, that’s bad news if you were hoping to curb an addiction to your Smart Phone. To some that may be good news especially if sales people are on hand to respond to phone and online sales inquiries.
2. You Never Call Me
For online sales leads, a phone number should be mandatory in your contact form. As those inquiries come in it may be tempting to send out a canned email to your new prospect. However, you’d be better served if you call them first. Think of the hundreds of emails you receive every day (or don’t receive if you have an overzealous spam filter). You’ll be amazed at the number of times you’ll actually get your prospect on the phone right out of the gate. For those you don’t reach immediately, follow-up your voicemail message with an email.
3. Make It Personal
It’s ok if you have a tried-and-true email script as part of your follow-up process. However, customize emails with details after connection has been made. Show that you have thought about them, their business, and their problem or need. Include any details about the conference or event where you met, organizations or interests you share in common, or refer to the colleague who made the referral. Making it personal sets the tone for establishing rapport.
4. Add Your Value Add
Online sales 101 requires taking the time to learn about the prospect, their company, and most importantly, their pain point. When you identify the need, you can share how you can help them solve it. Have a related article or link they may find interesting? Show goodwill and share relevant information as it demonstrates expertise and a willingness to invest in the relationship. Not sure what your value add is? We recommend in-depth interviewing and review of customer testimonials.
Want to know the last 4 best practices for online sales follow-up? Then check out our blog later in the week for the remaining tips to connecting with your prospects and close more sales.