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Ideas on when to follow-up

I have a list of prospects that are a few months out yet and I wonder how often I should be contacting these people. I don't want to wait too long in case something changes but I don't want to be a pest either. Where would you draw the line? - by Thomas
I just did a SalesPractice podcast interview with Craig Elias last week (it's not available at SalesPractice yet, but stay tuned). Craig is the creator of trigger event selling, and would say that you should never wait until the "few months" has passed. The prospect is a high level opportunity now, before anybody else gets in front of you in line. I agree with Craig. - by Skip Anderson
There are many ways you can stay in touch with a prospect, letters, newsletters, email, sending them industry specific articles. The key is to "drip" on people and not just call to say, "are you ready to buy". - by Jim Klein
I have a list of prospects that are a few months out yet and I wonder how often I should be contacting these people. I don't want to wait too long in case something changes but I don't want to be a pest either. Where would you draw the line?

My first question I have is "Have you 'ever' spoken to them at all? " Without that, you don't really know if they have any need for your services or a willingness even to talk with you. If you can get to the decision maker and chat you can start to build a comfort level with each other that can lead to trust, and then when the time is right, they will WANT your product for their solution. Or at least give you the opportunity to, and then it is up to you to take it from there.

I believe that salespeople predetermine too often, that someone is a potential customer, without really finding out. That wastes a lot of time, and effort that could be spend elsewhere. - by Paulette Halpern
"I believe that salespeople predetermine too often, that someone is a potential customer, without really finding out. That wastes a lot of time, and effort that could be spend elsewhere." -- Paulette

I'd subsitute "imagine" for "predetermine" and come to the same conclusion, Paulette. After finding out if today there's a need and want to and willingness to act, I'd say to reconnect every four - six weeks Thomas.

Some situations might merit asking when to reconnect. Others may merit more or less than four - six weeks.

MitchM - by MitchM
[quote=MitchM;35747Some situations might merit asking when to reconnect. Others may merit more or less than four - six weeks.
MitchM[/quote]

In every situation it is important to 'ask' how often the prospective client would be OK with a 'touch' of some kind from you. You don't want to be perceived as a pest, leaving vm messages or sending emails or letters, yet 'staying softly in their mind' does give you a better chance to get the business.

First you have to have that initial conversation, and then determine what will needs to happen. - by Paulette Halpern
Follow-up at its most effective is permission-based, and the line should be drawn when that permission is apparently withdrawn. - by Ace Coldiron
Follow-up at its most effective is permission-based, and the line should be drawn when that permission is apparently withdrawn.
Ace, please define "apparently withdrawn." - by Skip Anderson
Ace, please define "apparently withdrawn."
By "apparently withdrawn" I mean that the prospect provides evidence through behavour or conversation which would validate a conclusion by the salesperson that the prospect does not want to be contacted again, or at least not in the near future. - by Ace Coldiron
Follow-up at its most effective is permission-based, and the line should be drawn when that permission is apparently withdrawn.
Looking back, I realize that I did not give a complete answer to Thomas's question, "Where do you drawn the line?"

I take it that by "YOU", he means me the reader. I answered in the context of the "line" being one of discontinuounce, and although I provided a truthful answer, I realize that Thomas was addressing frequency and timing. However, I follow a permission-based philosophy. That said, frequency and timing would be based on the current level of my prospect's permission. It would also be effected by the availability of authentically new and pertinent information that I would want to share with the prospect. - by Ace Coldiron
Here's what I do - I send them a card right away to say one of three things - depending on the occasion:

"Congratulations, If you ever need anything - now or in the future, I am always as close as your phone."

"It was nice to meet you (OR Thank you for your time), and I want you to know that I'm always as close as your phone when you need me."

or

"Thank you, it means a lot to me that you have chosen to do business with me again, I appreciate your kindness and friendship." (Or Thank you for entrusting somebody you care about to me - it is the best compliment anyone could give me, and I want you to know that I really appreciate it.)

Make follow-up about "them" and not "you". In time, you will have all the referrals you can handle; earned the right way. - by FollowUpMaster
My advice to the original poster Thomas.

Don't waste 80% of your time chasing 'cooled down' leads that may only bring in 20% of your sales.

Crack on and find some proper prospects...I think the ones on your list are now only suspects.

If they had a need at the time you contacted them and you could't do anything with them then....what makes you think your time in worth investing in them now....that they are cold.

I know I'll get pillaried for posting this but..........I don't care! - by helisell

If they had a need at the time you contacted them and you could't do anything with them then....what makes you think your time in worth investing in them now....that they are cold.

I know I'll get pillaried for posting this but..........I don't care!
And why would you get pilloried for this?:cu

(Post contents removed by Moderator) - by rattus58
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