Lack of Follow Up Syndrome
Do you want to drastically increase your sales? But, you wonder what to do. Lack of follow up costs accounting professionals tens of thousands of dollars in lost income.
Which of these apply to you?
- Someone first expresses interest in your service, but you don’t quickly respond.
- A stack of business cards from people you met at networking events sit in a pile on your desk.
- After your initial consultation, you send a proposal. Then you wait for them to get back in touch with you.
The Sales Cycle
Although you know exactly how to solve your potential client’s problem, she needs more information first. Important decisions take time, especially when money’s involved. Your results skyrocket when you pinpoint which part of the sales cycle a potential client is in.
3 Stages to a Sales Cycle
- Awareness. She just realized a problem exists. Since its relatively new to her, she’s unsure this needs her immediate attention.
- Research. Now she’s figuring out the various options. Can she do this on her own, postpone the decision or get some help?
- Action. She’s ready to make a decision and resolve the problem.
Timing is critical. People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when you’re looking to make a sale.
Don’t Overlook the 98%
You meet someone for the first time. She’s interested, but not quite ready to make a decision. You wrap up the conversation and tell her to get in touch when she’s ready.
Studies claim only 2% of sales happen during the first contact. What makes those 2% different? Those clients have already done the research and clearly know what they want.Studies claim only 2% of sales happen during the first contact. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
The remaining 98% of the people you initially meet require more information. The type of information you offer depends on where they are in the sales cycle. So, how does that work?
Consider yourself a trusted advisor. Consistently focus on educating your connections about the available options without pressure to buy from you. It’s a matter of give before you get. With this strategy, you establish credibility and gain trust.
Consistently invest in relationships. Some of these people will turn into clients. Others become referral partners. A portion of these connections eventually fade away.
According to the Association of Sales Executives, 81 percent of all sales occur on the fifth to twelfth contact. Your lack of follow up may be costing you more than you realize.
Don’t simply abandon a connection after the first meeting. It’s like expecting your soul mate to say “I do” to marriage after the first date. Depending on the urgency, some things require time and patience.
Why Potential Clients Say No
You logically understand the importance of staying in touch. The fear of rejection; however, gets in the way. The possibility of being shut down with a blunt “no” leads to procrastination.
Potential clients say no for a variety of reasons.
- It is easier to slack off and do nothing. Carl Jung, a noted Swiss psychiatrist, says, “Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” This also applies to sales. Researching different accounting solutions, then comparing the various options, requires time and energy. It’s easier to over-think things, postpone a decision or deny the problem exists.
- Don’t have the time. People are too busy to do the research. For example, when a client is busily working, she hesitates to add anything else onto their calendar. Your accounting service will free up her time, but she doesn’t recognize this benefit. As a trusted advisor, educate her about the various ways your accounting services reduce her workload.
- Currently involved in many things. Entrepreneurs devote an extraordinary amount of time to their business and their community. As a result, she’s pulled in many different directions. When someone’s stretched too thin, it’s hard to gain her attention.
- Concerned about the costs. She falsely assumes your service ought to cost less. Now you need to determine whether she’s looking for the cheapest solution or the best solution. The price issue appears when she doesn’t recognize the full value of your service. In this instance, she doesn’t realize how the benefits outweigh the cost. For example, your monthly fee is $500. She needs to believe the benefit of working with you is greater than your fee. You can easily solve this by taking the time to discover her unanswered questions.
- A limited budget. Limited cash flow prevents her from hiring you. Fortunately, a solution exists. Offer a variety of packages with different price points.
- Low priority. Time and money are the two primary commodities. The problem you solve lacks urgency. So she opts for a quick temporary fix to buy her some time.
- Doesn’t trust your expertise. Your potential client needs assurance that you will deliver the results you promise. Gaining trust doesn’t need to be a long, drawn out process. Social proof, sharing information and developing a relationship can quickly build trust and credibility.
Lack of Follow Up Causes a Warm Connection to Disappear
Consider your own decision making process. How often do you say “yes” immediately after an initial meeting? Do you rely on your gut or do you thoroughly think things through?Your #accounting firm's success relies on your follow up. It's the prime reason why potential clients move on and don't engage your firm's services. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
People require information and trust before they say yes. Yet 80 percent of the time lack of follow up causes a warm connection to turn cold.
Here’s what accounting professionals tell me:
- “I don’t have enough time to follow up.”
- “I don’t want to be annoying or bothersome.”
- “Chasing people feels pushy. That’s not my style.”
- “I only follow up when my budget it tight and I need the money.”
Create Your Follow Up System
Unfortunately, these thoughts limit your potential. Instead of believing you’re intruding on someone, realize your potential clients are interested in your solution.
Follow these three core steps to create a follow-up system:
- Systematize. Winging it is not a system. If you want measurable, consistent results, then develop a simple follow up system. Create a couple of well-defined steps you’re willing to follow. For example, at network meetings don’t grab someone’s business card with a promise to get together with them. Get out your phones to schedule a coffee date right then and there.
- Fine-tune. Become aware of how you work. Then continuously improve your follow up process. By the way, no one wants a generic mass email or group text. People prefer personalized communication. List three ways you can customize your stay in touch system.
- Automate. Create systems and processes which take advantage of technology. It’s possible to automate your entire follow-up system without it appearing canned.
Consider this advanced move. Include a call to action in your follow up system to keep your connections engaged. Conclude each conversation with a next step.
Keep the Connection AliveKnow your numbers. How many times do you need to meet with a potential new client before engaging your #accounting firm's services? Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
Your success relies on your follow up. Don’t say no to 98% of the people who aren’t ready to say yes after the first conversation. Remember, 81% of sales require five to twelve meetings with a potential client. It’s your responsibility to keep the connection alive.
Does lack of follow affect your firm’s growth? Follow these recommendations for your accounting practice to grow while keeping your passion alive. Discover how to increase your revenues and attract clients who happily pay your fees. Right NOW claim your FREE RESOURCE to separate your fees from time.