How to Follow Up With Prospects (Even When You’re Insanely Busy)

Can you see yourself there?Business Owner Enjoying Following-UP

IMAGINE that every event you attend is filled to the brim with prospects – new clients, potential referral partners, and people who can’t wait to become paying customers.

You leave the event with stacks of business cards – and you look forward to following up with all those hot leads.

If you’re like most small business owners…

This is the point where the dream can quickly become a nightmare:

You return from the event and are instantly swept up in the day–to-day responsibilities of running your business.

Before you know it, a month has gone by and you haven’t followed up with anyone you’ve met.

At this point, you probably feel hesitant to reach out after so much time has passed and you start wondering…

“Will they even remember meeting me?”

“Have they already gone with another vendor?”

“Should I even bother contacting them again?”

These are valid questions that you may ask yourself.

The truth is that the longer you wait to follow up, the more likely it is that opportunities will pass you by. That’s why it’s so important to have a follow-up system in place – not just for events and conferences, but also for daily interactions with new and existing prospects and potential referral partners.

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Deploy 3 Steps to Profitable Follow Up (Automatically)

Let’s be real – you’re probably not going to get any less busy anytime soon.

But you can make it easier to follow up with prospects and customers right after you’ve met them – by automating the process through email.

1. Prepare a personalized email

Create a personalized email that can be customized for every new person you meet. Save it as a draft in your personal inbox. After meeting someone new, you can quickly customize the message and send it the same day – voila! Instant follow-up!

Be sure to include:

  • Where you met (like the name of the event)
  • One specific thing that you enjoyed learning about them
  • An offer to continue the conversation at a specific date/time

This message is also a great time to mention a free piece of content you have available (such as a checklist, guide, ebook or whitepaper… perhaps even a video) – highlight it as the best way to keep in touch with you and learn more about your business.

If you have multiple lists or email series, be sure to share the one that’s most relevant to person and their goals.

2. Build your autoresponder (automated email) series

Since you’ve invited your lead to join your email list, it’s important to have a series of pre-written emails created in your email marketing account.

This email series should include:

  • A welcome email that sets the expectations of how often they will hear from you and what type of content they can expect to receive
  • At least 1-2 value-packed emails with helpful content that is highly relevant to your new contact

An email autoresponder series lays the groundwork for staying in touch with new prospects on a long-term basis – without having to reinvent the wheel every time you meet someone new.

What’s more, an email autoresponder series can automatically place new prospects into your sales funnel, giving them the information they need to purchase your product or service – all while you’re accomplish other important business tasks.

3. Follow Up Fast, Follow Up Twice

When you have a pre-set, personalized email and an autoresponder series ready to go, it’s easy to automate the follow-up process. You won’t have to spend a ton of time to solidify your connection and make a lasting impression.

That being said, it’s still important to follow up as soon as you can – within 48 hours if possible, or at least within the first week.

But what if your follow-up falls flat?

If you don’t get a response from your personalized email, and if you weren’t able to subscribe your lead to your email list, don’t worry – and don’t be afraid to follow up again.

Just like you, the people you meet are busy. Chances are good that they saw your email and got distracted before they could respond.

Reach out again within that same week and ask to set a time to talk for 15 minutes.

Normally, you’ll hear a response like this: “Thank you so much for following up. I got your email but I was putting out fires and couldn’t respond.”

Such comments are a testament to how effective your follow up system is for your new contacts.

To streamline the process even further, you can create another pre-set email that can be quickly customized and sent out to leads you haven’t heard back from.

When following up on prospective leads, it’s important to follow up fast, automate the follow up process, and follow up again if you don’t get a response.

Remember that people are busy – they’re most likely not snubbing you.

And if more than a week has passed since you met, be sure to edit your personalized email to acknowledge that fact – remind them where you met, apologize for taking so long to get in touch, and move forward with the relationship on strong terms.

If you’re worried that you’ve missed out because too much time has passed, our 5-step, 15-minute process will help you bring the opportunity back to life.

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