Follow up with clients is the secret to having more clients. Yet few entrepreneurs make the effort to follow up effectively. Studies suggest that it can up to 20 ‘touches’ or interactions with your business for a prospect to take notice. Most of us give up after two tries. You see the problem, right?
Why Follow Up is Hard
Let’s face it. Sales conversations are very hard to do. They reveal all your insecurities while your inner critic whispers the worst negative thoughts in your ear. Makes it hard to be brave. We, as humans, are hard-wired to seek and protect our need to belong to a community and to be loved. Getting rejected definitely boots you out of the achievers club. So, we avoid the pain we associate with any part of the sales process. And, when I say we, I’m including me. I’m still learning to have comfortable sales conversations myself.
What to do about that
While you’re working on your emotional intelligence and bolstering your confidence, why not hire a virtual assistant to help you with follow up?
This is a great idea for getting into action when you, personally, aren’t ready but the work has to be done. Outsourcing this project:
-ends the procrastination
-allows the follow up to get done
-gives you neutral feedback from prospects
My experience with outsourcing follow up
Big surprise, I outsourced my follow up. I wasn’t closing sales even though we had excellent conversations where I thought we clicked . It was like the perfect date until it came time for the good night kiss. No connection.
I couldn’t figure it out but really wanted to know. My friend, Jen, of Insight Advantage, wrote an article about win/loss analysis. A fancy way of saying- getting feedback.
I hired a virtual assistant who I knew had great phone presence. What does that mean? She comes across as warm, thoughtful and caring and she is very quick-thinking and capitalizes on the clues that the prospect drops during the conversation. If you’ve ever met someone who could talk with anyone, that’s the kind of VA you are looking for
I gave Carol a script as a guide. I shared my goals which were to determine what prospects thought of my services, their value and what kept them from working with me. Yep, this is a total gut-check. You have to be prepared to hear and act upon the feedback you receive. It was nerve-wrecking. I’m not gonna lie.
That’s the other reason I like working with this particular VA. She is excellent at sharing delicate news. I didn’t feel judged or upset by the feedback because we processed the meanings together. Incredibly valuable to have that second person’s thoughts, I tell you.
What I learned about outsourcing my follow up
I learned that it’s worth the money to have someone else determine why I didn’t get the job. The information I got back, like I forgot to ask for the sale or say the price, was invaluable. I also learned what prospects valued most. I thought it was my outsourcing knowledge people really like because it eliminates the unknown feeling.
Turns out I was wrong. Prospects and clients appreciate my ability to reframe the problem into something solvable and happy, encouraging nature.You know when you’ve been worrying about something for a while it makes a thinking rut, just like a rut in the ground. It takes someone else to point out another spot to try, a different way to approach it, and that’s the best part of what I do!
Tips for Outsourcing your Follow up Entrepreneur
Sounds good, right? Let me give you some tips for getting started.
1. Set a hypothesis for your follow up. Just like a science project, I want you to have a theory on why you aren’t closing the sales. The calls your VA makes will ‘test’ your theory and see if it’s valid.
2. Select prospects and clients to call. Of course, you want to get permission first. I sent an email that check in with them then asks if they will help me improve. Be sure to specify it’s a short 10 minute call. Everyone is super busy and you want saying yes to be easy-peasey.
3. Write the script and questions. Your script explains the purpose of the call again. People forget. You want to ask open ended questions and follow up with more detailed questions that call for a specific response.
4. Hire your freelancer. A virtual assistant is probably best for the role. Look for someone with appointment setting experience so they are familiar and comfortable on the phone.
5. Get the feedback. Ask your VA to summarize the results into a report for you. If you want to hear the conversations verbatim, word for word, ask your prospect in writing if the conversation can be recorded. That way, you can make your own judgements without relying on your virtual assistant.
This is an outsourcing project that will definitely impact your bottomline. You’ll be able to make adjustments and win more clients. Your confidence will soar because you know exactly the value you bring!
What you may not know is how to outsource effectively. No problem. Take my free course