How to Follow-Up

Posted on 13. Feb, 2014 by in Uncategorized

I met a financial advisor for coffee the other day and listened to him discuss his challenges around following-up with prospective clients. He couldn’t seem to understand why most of his follow-up attempts were unsuccessful.  After listening intently to his concerns, this is what I offered as advice:

Trust

In today’s environment, advisors need to increasingly demonstrate trustworthiness, sincerity and clearly articulate the value they bring.  Prospects need to understand your brand promise, who you are and what you stand for. Not an easy thing to accomplish when you first meet a prospect, however the best way to start is to just listen.  As you’re listening, tune everything else out (like what you have to do when you go back to the office and whatever else is going through your mind).  Be totally present and identify if there’s a need and/or challenge that the prospect is struggling with.  You can establish powerful connections with people by just listening and learning.

As you are listening, repeat back what the prospect has said to ensure that you have understood.  This also demonstrates that you’re sincerely interested in what they’re saying.  Asking questions is another important part of this process.  The initial step of listening and asking questions is paving the road for trust to develop.

Follow-up Sooner Rather Than Later

Do your best to follow-up within a couple of days.  For every day that you wait, you lessen the impact of the follow-up.  People get busy and will easily forget the “emotion” captured from your conversation if you wait too long.  Next, you need to think about the value of information.

Think Value

By asking the right questions and listening, you will be able to better determine how you might be able to add value to the prospect’s identified issue.   Don’t provide solutions but rather concepts and give examples how you  have helped clients in similar circumstances.  Promise to give them information that is relevant to their challenge and is not geared toward closing a sale.  The value-driven information could be an article, a website, the name of an association, etc.

Script Your Follow-up Call

You need to know what you’re going to say and what the objective of the call is.   Remember, a follow-up call is not a sales call.    It’s an opportunity to explore how you might add value to help the prospect achieve their goals and dreams.  If you’ve established trust and credibility in your initial encounter, then the prospect will be much more receptive to your follow-up call.

A script will keep you on track with what you want to say instead of worrying what the prospect might be thinking.  Always lead by reminding the prospect what prompted the follow-up call.  This means going back to your initial discussion and reminding them of the “pain” or frustration they originally discussed.

Decide on the objective of the call.  Is it to set-up a meeting, permission to send them on-going information, etc.?  Be clear on this as this will help guide your conversation to ensure you reach a preferred outcome.

Thank You Card

In today’s fast-paced world, a hand-written card demonstrates that you really appreciate the prospect taking the time out of their schedule to chat with you.  This gesture also assists in keeping you top-0f-mind with the prospect.

 

 

 

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