Have you got the follow up blues? You want to follow up with potential clients but where do you even start? Today I’m sharing seven tips to make following up easy.
1. Tame Your Mind
Given how much I talk about systems you might be wondering why I’m starting with your mind. That’s because the biggest block I see with my clients, when following up with their potential clients, is their mind set – they talk themselves out of connecting.
“I don’t want to bug people”
“People will think I’m being spammy”
“I’m not chasing them up. If they want my services they’ll come to me”
“No-one is interested in hearing from me”.
If you’re following up in a supportive way then those thoughts simply aren’t true. The majority of people that I follow up with are happy to hear from me, even when their answer is no, or not yet. Running a business can be a lonely place so it can be lovely to hear from someone who understands that.
2. Reframe Those Thoughts
Rejection can be hard to take, especially if it is persistent. I like to look for ways to reframe any negative thoughts that are lingering.
These are three of my favourite reframes:
3. Clients Are People Too
Kindness counts. You have no idea what might be going on in that person’s life and business so please treat others with kindness and understanding. Yes it can be frustrating when you’ve been chatting with someone for weeks and you get a no.
Do what you need to in order to release that frustration – a walk around the block, swearing at your laptop screen – then wish them the best for their future.
If you’re consistently getting nos take a look at how your offers are worded. Is there something in there that is attracting the wrong kind of person?
4. Let It Go
When I first started to reach out to people about my new systems service I hit massive resistance. It took me half an hour to send one email because I was spending 25 minutes talking myself out of it, then convincing myself to send the email. Following up was not my favourite task!
Luckily I came across a journaling exercise called Old Me. New Me.
With this exercise you write down how you are feeling now about a certain topic e.g. you delayed following up with contacts. Then write down how you would like to feel. This is what I wrote . . .
Old me hesitates each time she goes to send her follow up emails.
New me is on fire! She delights in the long list of lovely contacts she has to follow up with; knowing that her service is just what her contacts need and they‘re going to be so relieved that she is there to help them get their systems sorted.
This is a simple exercise yet the results were dramatic. Over the next hour I emailed eight of my contacts and felt great about it! Whenever I feel reluctant to follow up with people I re-read the results of this exercise. It always helps to remind me that there are people who need what I offer.
5. Keep Track Of Your People
Create a simple way to keep track of your eager potential clients. I started with a spreadsheet then moved onto Asana. When you first started following up consistently a simple free tool will be enough – Trello and Evernote would work too.
6. A Trigger Is Essential
Use a trigger. When you start using a new follow up system you’re essentially starting a new habit. The key to sticking with a habit, or system, is to have a trigger to remind you to do the thing you need to.
If you have a lot of people to follow up with you might have a daily time slot in your calendar for following up. Maybe you set a reminder on your phone. Do what works for you.
7. You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ‘Em
Kenny Rogers made many a fine point in The Gambler (anyone else a fan? I love that song!) . . .
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run”
How long do you keep following up with someone when there is no reply? Twice is my general rule. If they don’t reply to two emails then we’re not on the same page. Spend your time and energy on those who are interested in what you have to offer.
Do you have any tips to make following up easy in your business? Please share them in the comments below.
If you’ve been wanting to follow up with potential clients but don’t know where to start then come and have a free 20 minute call with me. I’ll review your current approach and I’ll give you one tailored tip to turn things around.
I love creating systems that work with who you are. And I’d love to talk with you about your follow up system.
Ready to make following up an easy part of your week? Book your call here.