Why You Must Follow Up With Prospects

Studies have shown it takes at least 7 exposures to your message for prospects to even "consider" your offer. Not act favorably. Merely consider. 

According to Chet Holmes in his book, "The Ultimate Sales Machine," only 3% of people are in "ready to buy now" mode. Another 6-7% are open to buying. The remaining 90% divide into 3 categories that are either not ready to buy or not interested altogether.

This is why follow-up is so important. If you’re not doing any follow-up marketing, you’re really only relying on a portion of the 3% ready to buy now — and how many of those you’ll get depend on how good of a marketer you are (that’s why cold traffic conversion rates typically average around the 1% mark).

Rather than going for the premature sale, it would behoove you to offer a free report, series of videos, newsletter, or some type of information in exchange for their name and e-mail. This is the basis of effective list building.

At hearandplay.com, it’s not unlikely for us to see a 20-40% opt-in rate to an offer for “4 free piano lesson videos” (depending on traffic source). That’s up to 13 times more than the mere 3% ready to buy now (of which I’d still only get a portion of that amount).

What’s more, I can then begin to follow up with these prospects and start building a relationship via my series of videos, blog posts, nourishment e-mails… ultimately prepping them for my eventual offer. With this strategy, it’s typical to see 15-20% conversion rates on new leads because you’re moving down the pyramid. You’re not only touching people who are open to buying (6-7%) but changing the minds of those who don’t think they’re interested (another 30%) by educating them on WHY they better be interested or what they’re losing by not being serious about the problem you solve or the benefits you deliver.

And believe it or not, a tiny few from the bottom third (not interested) will get on your list out of curiosity and when the timing is right, may even become customers (In his book “Triggers,” Joe Sugarman talks about the prospect who refused fire insurance for years only to call the rep that stayed in contact with them after seeing their neighbor’s house on fire). For the bottom thirds, sometimes it’s all about timing and by you being in the forefront of their mind, you’ll likely be among top choices when they’re ready or “on fire.” 

Another reason for follow up deals with the stages of learning. Some prospects don’t know what they need (unconscious incompetence) but are on a broad search for a general solution. They need you to educate them on what they need. Even in writing this blog, I know people aren’t necessarily searching out “automation.” Many may not even know what that means in relation to their business. But they ARE interested in working less or being more productive and if I can educate them over time about the benefits of automation and why it’s the solution to their problem, then my follow up has done its job.

Other prospects know what they need (conscious incompetence). They've become aware of potential solutions but may still be undecided or not knowledgeable enough to proceed.

More sophisticated prospects are already versed in what you offer (conscious competence and unconscious competence). In my case, these are the $10 and $20 million dollar clients that seek out my advice to optimize various parts of their companies. They're often consumers of your higher end products and services. They are looking for "specialization" (among other things) and your follow-up efforts must effectively identify and speak to this elite sect of your list.

Using Infusionsoft's follow-up sequences (and now campaign builder), there's no limit to the quantity and sophistication of future communications. Harness this strategy and watch your profits explode.

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