Sales prospecting: The art of follow-up

Your prospect received your proposal several days ago, and since then your phone has remained desperately silent and your inbox empty. Now is the time to follow up! A successful follow up message is not only a reminder to your prospect, it is also a question of timing and form! Take a deep breath and follow our guide!


In the commercial prospection process, following up is often an underestimated or even neglected step. More than half of sales managers spend less than 25% of their time following up on their leads. Worse, these follow ups are generally improvised: 60% of SMEs only follow-up with prospects to whom they’ve sent quotes when they have the time. What a shame! The follow-up can however represent up to an 18% increase in your turnover! Even if 32% of follow-ups are unfruitful, it’s a significant loss of earnings for those who do not bother to pick up their phone or open their inbox!


Follow-up! … But how?


We are all regularly confronted with this situation: our inbox is full to bursting, we organise it in a rather categorical, and extremely subjective, way. Everything that is not of primary importance heads straight to the trash. It’s one of the main disadvantages of a follow-up by email. Your prospect risks not showing any interest because the email got buried amongst the others.

Personalise your follow-up emails. You can be sure that your prospect will spot an email that has been copied and pasted and will give your message as much attention as you have given to it when writing it. The follow-up mail is therefore to be used with caution!


Phone call

This is, of course, the most direct way to get an answer and therefore a very effective follow-up tool. Nevertheless, this requires being prepared and adaptable. First, you must know what day and time to call the prospect (or multiply your attempts!). Then, in order not to be surprised, prepare the answers to possible questions or oppositions that they might give. And last, but not least, keep your composure whatever happens!


Follow-up: best practices

 Choose your timing

Do your follow ups often not work well or rarely succeed? Perhaps it’s just a matter of timing. The prospect is much more receptive when they receive a follow-up shortly after reading your proposal. Don’t worry, you do not need to be clairvoyant because proposal tracking solutions exist, like Tilkee. They make it possible to know when and how often your prospect has consulted the proposal, and which elements have particularly caught their attention. Ideal in guiding you when you follow-up!


Limit the number of follow-ups

You know that there are limits to patience, whether on your side or that of the prospect. That’s why we NEVER conduct more than 7 follow-ups. Allow time for reflection and do not give the impression of an ambush, you will find yourself in a position of weakness. Favour spaced out but high-quality follow-ups.


Give a deadline

If you are forced to follow-up, your prospect did not respect the deadline, or you did not give them a deadline. Always specify a deadline, but a reasonable deadline. This will give a reference to your prospect and they will take your offer more seriously. It should also limit the number of follow ups. Fewer follow ups is time saved and you know, time …

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