The Art of Following Up

A lot of salespeople struggle to master follow-up techniques. But I’m here to tell you, leaving a message for a prospect that says, “I’m just calling to touch base,” or “I’m just circling back with you,” is pretty lame.

The Art of Following Up

Seriously, let’s all agree to do away with these clichés. You need a real reason to follow up with someone, and there are so many ways to do it both creatively and effectively.

I hear you: “But Dew, I’m just following up with a prospect to see if they’ve made a decision; I don’t have another reason.” Yes, you do! The reason you’re calling is to set up an appointment so that you can discuss that decision. Stop it with the vague messages, and communicate your real purpose.

This is not to say you can’t be creative, have fun, or use some humor. These sorts of things make it fun for people to receive a message from you. How you handle your follow-ups can be a big part of the reason why a prospect calls you back. This is your opportunity to create some value!

Pick Your Poison

There are five easy ways you can follow up with someone:

  1. Text
  2. Call
  3. Email
  4. Send a note or gift
  5. Meet in person

Example 1: You’re hosting an event. You could email the person your invitation, then call them to personally invite them, send them the invitation in the mail, and the week of the event, text them to remind them about it. Then, when they attend your event and you see them in person, you’ll hit all five ways to be in touch with someone!

Example 2: You meet someone at a networking event. You could connect with them on LinkedIn (which is electronic), then write them a handwritten note saying, “It was great to meet you!” You could then call them a few days later to ask if they’d like to get together for a cup a coffee, then text them the day before your coffee date letting them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them. Finally, you get to see them in person. There are so many different ways that you can follow up with someone. So let’s drill down and find your why.

Keep Your Follow-Up Fun and Personable

Personalization is the name of the game here. A specific reason for reaching out to someone shows that you possess an attention to detail. It tells the prospect that they aren’t just a name on a list or a part of your sales funnel.

Giving them something concrete and specific lets them know that you understand who they are and what their company’s needs are. It makes all the difference between a passable salesperson and a great salesperson.

What if you feel like you don’t have a “good” reason to follow up? Impossible! Every day holds endless reasons; you just have to think outside the box.

Look at whatever month it is. Obvious dates such as their birthday or company anniversary are givens, but don’t overlook opportunities to connect over other holidays such as the Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day, or Thanksgiving.

You can even go further than that. National Day Calendar is a great resource for finding out which “holidays” are being celebrated on any given day. Say it’s National Pizza Day. Why not have a pizza delivered to a prospect’s office? National Cat Day? Everyone loves a good cat meme.

You can be cheeky. You can have fun with it. All of these things will help you open the lines of communication and give you a chance to follow up with someone for a specific purpose, eliminating the stale, boring static of “touching base.”

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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