Are you tired of constantly chasing and following up with leads only to get silence? *crickets*
Would you rather your leads were chasing to work with YOU (instead of you chasing to work with them)?
If so, here are some of the best ways to follow up with leads without being annoying or coming across as desperate, needy, and too salesy.
Table of contents
- 1. Get leads chasing you
- 2. Follow up with leads using email marketing
- 3. Automate your follow up emails
- 4. Have a strong call to action in your follow up emails
- 5. Avoid phone calls and text message follow ups if possible
- 6. Don’t annoy prospects after a sales call
- 7. Don’t stress out about following up with leads
- 8. Keep track of your stats
- How often do you need to keep following up with leads?
1. Get leads chasing you
The best way to follow up with leads without being annoying is to get leads to chase you, rather than you chasing them.
You can do this by making ONE simple change to your marketing strategy.
What is this change?
It’s providing your leads with educational content BEFORE asking for a sales call.
Most business owners and sales teams are chasing leads.
Chasing leads involves you reaching out to potential clients to have a sales appointment with them.
You’re constantly calling them, sending them text messages, voicemails or follow-up emails asking to “touch base” or “just checking in to see if you got my last email on xyz?”
If you’re persistent enough, these follow up emails CAN sometimes work.
But there’s a MUCH better way to get a response from your leads.
And best of all, you can completely automate this process too.
Transition to an inbound sales strategy
You can still do outbound marketing. But the key to getting leads chasing to work with you is to FIRST sell educational content, rather than a sales appointment.
Let me repeat that because it’s SO important.
When you are generating leads, you need to provide them with free educational content BEFORE you even think about asking them for a sales appointment.
You can do this by using a lead magnet.
I’ve tested every kind of lead magnet you can think of and the best lead magnet to get sales appointments in a video sales letter (VSL).
Let prospects watch a video first
You’ll find no matter what marketing strategy you’re using (cold email, LinkedIn outreach, Facebook lead ads, SEO lead generation or anything else), if you ask people if they want to watch a VIDEO first that solves a BIG painful problem they have, they will be more likely to say “YES” compared to asking them to schedule a sales call with you.
This means you’ll instantly get more leads from ANY marketing strategy that you’re already using.
If you create your video sales letter correctly, it will build up TRUST and motivate them to WANT to work with you and book an appointment to learn more.
This completely changes the dynamic of the conversation.
Instead of you chasing them for an appointment, they book an appointment in your calendar because they WANT to speak to you and learn more about your services.
That one simple tweak in your strategy will make sure that only those serious about working with you will schedule a call with you.
The video will also filter out a lot of the time wasters and people who are not a good fit.
For best results, I also recommend putting a button below the video that they can click on after the presentation is over that will direct them to book an appointment with you.
This strategy on its own will get a lot of leads booking appointments with you.
But just like in any lead generation funnel, the majority of leads are not going to book an appointment straight away.
So how do you get these leads to book an appointment and start working with you?
Easy. You follow up with them via email marketing (but not in the way you might be thinking).
2. Follow up with leads using email marketing
Often when I speak to potential new clients on the phone, they tell me they’re tired of following up on leads over and over again just to get no response.
They have tried to persistently contact their leads through various means without any success.
And every time I’ve hear this problem…
Here’s what I’ve realized:
The problem is (usually) NOT with the leads themselves…
The problem is (usually) because of the strategy being used with the leads in the first place.
The old way of following up with leads via email
Here’s what most sales teams do when generating leads:
- They run some ads (or do any other kind of automated lead generation)
- They send people to an opt-in form (and capture their name, email and sometimes phone number)
- They follow up with leads saying (more or less) the same things, again and again, to try and get an appointment
Here are the type of things they will see in the follow up emails:
- Hey [NAME], just wanted to touch base and see if you had time for a 15 minute call?
- Hi [Name], I saw you said you were interested in [your services], but you haven’t scheduled a call yet. How does tomorrow afternoon work for you?
- [Name], thanks for [consuming my free content]. When is a good time to speak?
These kinds of follow up emails do NOT build up any trust with your leads.
One or two emails reminding them to schedule a call with you here and there are okay… But if that’s ALL you’re saying when you’re following up, you won’t get anyone taking action.
Think about it…
If you keep following up with leads saying more or less the same things each time, what do you think the chances are they will convert if after the 3rd, 7th, or 15th time they still haven’t responded?
So, here’s what I recommend you do instead…
The new way of following up with leads via email
To get more high-quality appointments with leads, you just need to build up more trust.
The best type of follow up emails you can send are helpful emails that answer questions your potential clients are thinking or searching for online.
This is exactly the same content I send out in my follow up emails to leads.
And you need to do EXACTLY the same.
Each time you answer questions that your potential clients have, you build up trust.
The more trust you build up, the easier it will to get leads to move to the next step in your sales process.
Tip: both written content and video content can convert well in follow up emails, so I like to mix things up and do a bit of both.
And best of all, because these emails are providing value to leads, you’ll be following up with leads without being annoying. Your emails will actually be helpful to them.
3. Automate your follow up emails
One advantage of emailing your list regularly with helpful content is that you can automate this whole process by creating an automated follow up email sequence.
This means every new lead you get will be put into an automated email sequence that sends them helpful emails each week (or as often as you like).
This means you no longer have to worry about following up with your leads.
Your email follow up sequence will be running 100% on autopilot.
I recommend making your follow up email sequence as long as possible.
As a minimum, it should be 3 months.
For best results, it should go on forever (or at least a few years).
This is because some leads will convert in a few weeks, some in a few months and others in a few years.
As long as you keep following up with leads, prospects will reach out to work with you when the time is right for them.
4. Have a strong call to action in your follow up emails
Now that you’re sending helpful follow up emails with leads, it’s important you don’t forget to include a call to action!
What is the call to action?
A call to action is when you tell leads what they need to do next.
So my call to action in my follow up emails is to schedule a call if they want my help to implement everything they’ve been learning.
5. Avoid phone calls and text message follow ups if possible
Many sales leaders and sales websites will tell you to follow up with leads via phone calls and text messages.
But be careful!
There are some dangers with following up with leads via phone call, voicemail or text messages.
Sending constant follow up phone calls and text messages can annoy your leads… And as a result, they might decide they don’t want to work with you at all.
I’m not against the odd phone call or text message here and there, but overall, I do believe the cons far outweigh the pros.
I recommend only calling leads IF they’ve scheduled a sales call in your calendar and they actually WANT to speak to you.
6. Don’t annoy prospects after a sales call
If you’ve spoken to a potential client on a sales call and they haven’t yet converted into a client after a week or so, there’s no need to keep messaging or calling them.
Because if you have an automated email sequence (see my tip #3 above), they will continue to get helpful emails from you and remember what it is you do.
You can also have Adroll retargeting ads that show up on thousands of websites which potential clients that you’ve spoken to can see as they’re browsing the web.
Retargeting ads and follow up emails are great ways to follow up with leads without being annoying.
7. Don’t stress out about following up with leads
Once you have an automated way to follow up with leads through follow up emails and retargeting ads, let those take care of your lead generation strategy.
In the meantime while your follow up emails and retargeting ads are working in the background, you can focus on automated lead generation strategies to generate more leads for your business each momth.
Why is this important?
Sales is a bit of a numbers game. So, if you’re generating lots of warm leads each month, you’ll have a lot more new sales opportunities and you’ll be less worried about following up with the prospects that haven’t converted yet.
If you always keep your pipeline full, you won’t even have time to worry about the leads that haven’t converted yet.
You’ll be too busy speaking with NEW leads that convert, rather than worrying about older leads that haven’t converted yet.
Remember, the lead nurturing process can take a while.
So it’s a good idea to always have a predictable, constant flow of new leads in your business every month.
8. Keep track of your stats
It’s a good idea to be very analytics when it comes to your marketing and sales statistics.
I recommend keeping track of the higher level numbers each month, including:
- How many new leads did you generate?
- How many new sales appointments did you get?
- How many new clients did you win?
Do the math each month and work out your conversion rates for each step of your sales process.
Then you can test new email ideas, new content or other marketing tweaks and see if you can improve your conversion rates.
How often do you need to keep following up with leads?
Every lead will convert at different times.
Some relatively quickly (in a few days or weeks) and others (the majority) in a few months or even years.
So you need to keep following up with your leads (forever) until they are ready, able and willing to buy from you.
It does take time to build an email sequence that follows up with leads over such a long time period… But the results (higher quality sales appointments and more clients) are definitely worth it!
If you’d like to see behind the scenes of the follow up emails I use for my leads, then check out my free Masterclass training where I go through how to generate leads and convert leads into clients each month in a way that is automated, predictable and profitable.
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.