Follow Up Strategies for Consultants: What Really Works

Let’s talk about follow up.

Are you following up enough with your ideal clients? Do you have a pipeline of potential leads that you’re not in touch with as often as you should be?

Follow-Up-Strategies-Consultants

80% of Sales

Eighty percent of sales and of business comes between the fifth and the twelfth contact with your ideal client.

Yet most consultants will attempt their marketing – they’ll use some tactics, they’ll make contact with their ideal clients, they might send an email or even pick up the phone and give a call – but they’ll take one, two, maybe three interactions with the client and if it doesn’t work, if they don’t hear back from that client they give up.

They don’t continue to follow up with that ideal client.

Based on so much research and data, between the fifth and the twelfth contact is where 80% of the business is made.

Every time that you speak with an ideal client, with a potential buyer, whether it’s on the phone or an in-person meeting, make sure that every single time you don’t leave that phone call or leave that meeting without booking or scheduling a next step with that client.

Consistent Growth

That means that if you’re not being consistent and following up with your ideal clients on a consistent basis, that you’re leaving a lot of money on the table, that you really are letting a lot of opportunities slip through your fingers.

It’s important that you look at right now, are you following up with your ideal clients? Are you doing it consistently?

If you’re not then you want to put a strategy and a structure and a process in place that allows you to follow up with your ideal clients on an ongoing basis, but also to look at your marketing and realize that marketing isn’t just a short term activity.

It’s a long term plan. It’s something that you start and that if you don’t see results from it right away, you don’t stop. You don’t give up. You don’t say, “Oh, this type of marketing doesn’t work,” and just jump to the next hot trendy thing.

The Right Strategy

If you have the right strategy in place – if you don’t that’s a whole different topic – but as long as you do have the right strategy in place you want to work it consistently, just because if you don’t get those results you’re looking for right away doesn’t mean that it’s not going to work.

It simply might mean that you haven’t been consistent enough with it, or you haven’t gone through all the potential followup that is required.

The Lawyer Story

I remember one of my clients who I worked with for four years in the legal sector.

Initially, he showed great interest in us working together.

He was telling me, “Michael, I’m really excited to get your help on my marketing and to bring in more leads for our law practice and I’d really love to get started with you on this.”

Right now, if you’re not consistently following up with people then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

I followed up and I didn’t hear back, so I followed up again. I still didn’t hear back. I followed up a fourth time and I heard back and he just said, “Yeah, I’m interested but really busy right now, get in touch with me again soon.”

Making It Happen

I continued to follow up. I had probably about seven different interactions with this buyer before they signed the proposal, but that turned into a four-year engagement with that client that was extremely profitable for my consulting company.

The reason I’m sharing that story with you is because that happens time and time again.

Right now, if you’re not consistently following up with people then you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

The Secret

The other idea about follow up is that there actually is a trick. There’s a tip that I can offer you that will help you to actually reduce the number of followups that you will be required to do.

Really what that means is that what I’m about to share with you will allow you to do less followup because you won’t need to do as much followup.

Now, before I tell you what this is I don’t want you to think that what I’m sharing with you means that you don’t need to follow up.

Follow up is extremely important. It’s probably one of the most important activities that you can be doing as you’re looking and working on building your consulting business, so follow up.

Reduce the Need

Here’s the trick. Here’s the strategy and the approach that you should be using that will help you to reduce the level of followup required but not remove the necessity for you to follow up.

Okay, here’s the tip…

Every time that you speak with an ideal client, with a potential buyer, whether it’s on the phone or an in-person meeting, make sure that every single time you don’t leave that phone call or leave that meeting without booking or scheduling a next step with that client.

Even if they’re not ready to sign the agreement on that specific day, don’t allow a situation to occur where you say, “Okay, let’s follow up in a couple of weeks and take it from there.”

If you leave things that loose, what will happen is you’re going to need to try and follow up with that client, to get in touch with him, to try and reschedule, you’ll end up playing telephone tag, and you’ll do emails back and forth.

Be More Efficient

The result is that you’ll waste weeks, if not months, trying to get things back on course.

The best way to fix that is to then and there with the client agree to what the next step should be.

If that next step should be that you should meet next week or that you should have a phone call a few days later or a few weeks later, whatever it needs to be, get it down on paper into both of your calendars.

Agree to that specific day and time. When you do that, you’ll find that you won’t need to do as much followup.

Move Business Faster

If you’ve done that the right way, you’ll find that you’ll actually be able to move through the sales process much more quickly because you’re going to reduce the communication time in between that so many people spend way too much time on because they’re not taking the step.

Ask yourself…

The BIG Question

Are you consistently scheduling a next step with your ideal clients and buyers when you’re meeting with them or speaking with them on the phone?

If you’re not, that’s a missed opportunity and something that I really want to encourage you to correct right away.

First of all, look at right now who you have neglected to follow up with and follow up with them right away.

Second, reduce the overall followup that’s required by scheduling a next step with every meeting and appointment that you have with your ideal clients. It will serve you really well.

Please Share This Article If You Enjoyed It:

  • Good advice – you should always be in contact with your clients/ leads or someone else will!

    • True Robert. Stay top of mind and continue to provide clients and buyers with value.

  • David Cole

    Thanks for that reminder Michael. I am making that a permanent part of my prospecting dialogue.

  • Minnie

    How do you stay in touch with past clients (assuming they don’t read / want your newsletter or subscribe to your blog). There’s only so many “hi, how are you” messages you can send…or articles they might find interesting. I almost find it more difficult/awkward to follow up with past clients than I do with potential ones.

    Thanks,
    Minnie

    • Minnie

      Hi, just following up on this because I’m really curious, and hoping you will see it. 😉 Or even that readers have some suggestions? Thanks.