How To Follow Up – Top 9 Rules
Following up is vital to our success as a coach.
This detailed video teaches you the Top 9 Rules for following up success.
It will not teach you what they are but more importantly, I will go over why they work, what we say, why we say it with many examples of phrases you can use in your own follow up messages.
The information is here to save you time, save you mistakes, make you better, quicker so you can sort through your leads to find the serious and GET CLIENTS then GET PAID!
How To Follow Up – Top 9 Rules
I’m Jeffrey St Laurent with SellingCoaching.com and today we’re going to teach you how to follow up with the top nine rules.
Following up is an art. And it’s a must if we want to get clients. We follow up after we get leads. It’s from an event that we did, it was on the phone, or it’s in person. It’s from a referral, it’s from a website inquiry. Whenever we get those leads, it’s imperative that we follow-up.
Before we get into the nine rules you want to understand the main objective of following up, and that’s very simple. We want to understand two things; their need and the timing of that need. So whenever we’re going through this, a lot of it’s going to be engaging by saying “Hey what your motivation for wanting to talk to me?” Learning a little bit more about that and then: “why now?” Why is that so important for you right now?
Once we understand that point then our job is to just transition it and ask them if they’d consider working with a coach? Have they considered one of our products or services and kind of making that transition and maybe asking them to buy.
Main objective of following up; do we have a potential client or not? And can we transition them to get paid? Remember we’re in business to get paid so we can help people. You’re going to stay broke if you don’t find that transition or follow-up.
So let’s get into the nine rules, so we start to understand this and do this effectively. The first rule is very simple.
Rule 1: Follow-Up
And you might laugh like “what do you mean you got to follow-up?” A lot of people I talked, to clients I’ve met, and I’ve worked with and people I worked with in the past, they just don’t follow-up. And I don’t know if they’re forgetting to follow up, they’ve got too much going on, or a lot of the times I find they don’t really know what to say.
I’m going to be teaching you that stuff, but bottom line is you’ve got to follow-up, and even if it’s not graceful or whatever it is, just get out there and in a simple “Hey, thanks so much. It was great meeting you. It was good having you at the event. I’m so glad you found my website” or “so glad so-and-so referred you to me, I love to learn a little bit more of what you’re looking for.”
Ask them questions. The cool part about sales is that it’s just coaching, it’s asking questions and listening, but it’s just a different sense that we’re not just a coach with no agenda, is we have an agenda. We want to find out do they have a need and the timing of that need so we can potentially work with them. That’s the only difference. So follow up. That’s the first rule, ‘cause if you don’t follow-up you’re never going to get a client, and you’re never going to get paid.
Rule 2: Follow-up Again!
I know I’m getting really deep here. Seriously though, one or two follow-ups, you might as well not follow at all, because most people don’t respond. They’re too busy. Even if they’re interested, you’ll find that people need consistent follow-ups. So after you’ve followed up that first time, a lot of people will give up; “Oh, they never got back to me, you know I called them and left a message”, or “I sent an him email”, or “I messaged them on Facebook and you know they just never got back to me”, or some people forget that they did that. And you never wrote it down anywhere.
Follow-up again in one week etc.. So you’ve got to follow-up again. That’s the second rule. People need sometimes a minimum of seven follow-ups before they even respond sometimes.
Now you have to understand that the more time it takes and the more follow-ups it takes, it might be corresponding to maybe a lack of interest, or maybe their timing for their need isn’t right now. So while that’s what it might mean, it doesn’t rule out though that you have a potential client, or someone that could buy your products and services. You just want to pay attention to that stuff. Typically people who are very interested will get back to you with one or two responses, one or two follow-ups. So just be aware of that. But once you follow-up, second rule is follow-up again.
Rule 3: Speed Of Response
Speed of response means when do we follow-up? Right now! The only time we have is it’s now. The coach I worked with as my mentor coach said: “it’s now o’clock.”
The reason why we follow-up right now or as soon as or as close to as possible when that inquiry comes in or when we did the event, or when the referral happened is because timing is everything. If you wait hours or even a day, sometimes you might as will not follow up at all. Because when someone has the need to make change in their life, or go forward, or really inspired through what you delivered to them through your event, they say: “Wow! I want to do something about this. And I want to talk to them, I need to learn more about what they offer.”
That is right now. So you better get on that stuff. Because what’s going to happen is I’m going to go to your event and I’m going to be like, “Oh my God! They are the best thing in the world, and I connect with who they are and their message”, and I might be thinking: “Wow, this person can really assist me.”
So I write you an email, or I raise my hand at the event, or send you a text at the event or get your email and say “Hey, great. You know, great job” and a lot of these inquiries might not even be saying “Hey, I want to hire you”, you know you’re rarely ever going to get that, but they’re going to be coming in the form of Hey, how is it going?” And “You did a great job”, “What you do is really great”.
They’re never going to come up and just say that stuff. But when I come to that event, after I’m done, I go home. And guess what’s at home for me? Life, kids, spouse, work, crap just BS that just overwhelms me. And guess what? I go back into that hole that I was in before I came to your event, before I listened you on the phone, and guess what? I get overwhelmed. And so if you don’t get back to me ASAP, I may get to that point where I’m too helpless, or where I’m not going to move forward again.
So that’s why speed of response is so so important. So if you’re in a situation where you can’t get back to them right away, don’t think it’s a bad thing, don’t not follow-up, I’d rather have you follow-up you know, a week later than never follow-up at all. Just understand, when it comes to sales, timing is everything.
Think about when you’re looking to buy something, when the time is right you’re ready to go. And when you’re ready to go you could go into any store, or talk to any person and if it feels right you’re going to buy. So you don’t want them looking somewhere else, so when that inquiry comes in, you get on that right now.
Rule 4: Find The Best Method
Now-a-days there’s so many ways to contact people. There is obviously there’s email, there’s texting, there’s phone, there’s Facebook messaging, there’s regular connecting on Facebook, there’s LinkedIn, there’s Twitter, there’s Instagram, there’s just so many different ways to connect with people.
So we want to find, what is the best method? Because you might prefer text, you might prefer email, but what do they prefer? So initially when it comes in, find out where is this inquiry coming in from? And then you can respond via that method.
So if someone comes to you from, let’s say, a Facebook message, well, you can respond via Facebook message. What I like to do is sooner than later depending on who the person is or how it came in from is first… if the lead’s coming to me, I like to get them over to email as soon as possible. That’s just my preferred method of communication and that keeps myself organized as I keep everything in my inbox,
So if possible, I like to ask someone; “Hey, would you mind emailing me?” And I always ask them does email work well for you? If it does, here’s my email address. Email me there. Or what’s your email address? And I’ll email you and we can resume the conversation there. I like to get that person over to my preferred method as soon as possible. So this way I’m in that zone.
But I’ve also had times where people don’t necessarily like email, or do email, and so I always ask, I want to find out as soon as possible if it seems to be an issue, and what I mean by that is if they don’t seem to be very responsive, because I want to find out what is your preferred method of communication.
Do you prefer text? Do you prefer email? And go from there, either way, the whole objective and why we want to do that is because we want to have the ease of back-and-forth interaction in communication. You know, if I’m trying to do email but you’re great on text, it just like we never going to connect that way and time’s going to go by… and why is that bad?
Because of the timing of their need. The more time that goes by the less likely are they are to buy. So we’re going to really think about what is the best method? And then boom! Hit up with that and move the communication forward.
Rule 5: Seek Buying Signs
What are buying signs? Buying signs are the signals from the potential customer where they’re saying either literally, or kind of secretively, that they want to work with you, they want to hire you; they want to buy your products and services.
A lot of the times they’ll say this on the phone, they’ll write it, it’s very literal. They’ll say; “hey I want to buy your book, I want to hire you as a coach, I’m considering hiring you as a coach.” Those are buying signs.
Some are not so literal, in the sense they’ll say: “I’m looking forward to reading your book.” Or “I’m looking forward to potentially working with you as a coach.” Even though they’re not necessarily saying I’m going to hire you or I’m going to buy your book… I’m looking forward to reading it, says they’re considering it.
Those are the easier ones to see. The buying signs that aren’t so easy to see are when someone responds and they might just say like; hey, great job at the event. I really enjoyed listening to your material. You’re fantastic at what you do. And then they might say something about themselves – I’m going through the struggle right now, I’m going to blah blah blah blah blah, and you really helped me.
Well, they didn’t say anything about working with your coach, did they? They didn’t say anything about maybe buying one of your products or services or something that you offered to help them with that situation that you spoke to them on… but they’re saying: Hey, I really enjoyed what you taught. I’m really enjoying the message that you sent, and I’m going through this and it really helps me.
Well, that’s a buying signal. That’s them basically saying “I have a need, and you have something that has help me out”. Well, wouldn’t it be smart to think that you could help them out further and a lot more successfully if you could work with them as their coach or they would buy one of your products and services in addition to what they’ve already heard.
So that’s what we got to be keen on understanding and being aware of these buying signals because these buying signals are things that basically allow us to ask them; hey, listen I noticed that you said this and it seems as if you’re considering working with me as a coach. Would you be interested in a complimentary session?
See, these buying signs are clues, to clues as to when to potentially transition this follow-up from where we are to; hey, would you consider working with me? Would you consider buying my book? So it’s very very important that we find them and if they’re literal, great, let’s go with it. If they say; hey, I can’t wait to read your book, or I’m considering buying your book, or I want to buy your book, great.
I’m going to call them up immediately, or I’m going to email them right back, Ideally I’m going to call them if they have a number, but if I don’t, I’m going to email them right back, and I’m going to say; awesome. I’m excited to get this going. What’s the best contact number? Let’s create a conversation so we can move this forward, or here’s a link to purchase my book.
Whatever the case is, if they’re saying; hey, I’m considering hiring you, working with you as my coach, great. I’m going to email them back right away. I’m going to call them up right away. If I have that number, I’m going to say; “Awesome. Listen, the first step is usually we set up a complimentary session, you get a feel for working with me, and we can decide to go from there.”
See how I’m moving it forward? If the buying sign is literal, I’m moving it right forward. If it’s not so literal, where in the example I gave before, I’m going right back to them and say; hey, listen I noticed you’re going thru X, Y, and Z. And then I’m going to ask them questions like; hey, listen you how important is it that you achieve that right now? What are you currently doing to be moving forward in that arena? I know you attended my event, what were the top things that you got from the event that will help you moving forward? Why is now the right time for you to work on that?
As I get these answers back via this method of communication, I’m going to engage, I’m going to say well, yeah, the needs are pretty big and the timing really feels very current or now, that’s when I’m going to do that same transition I just talked about. I say; hey listen, have you ever considered working with a coach? Hey, have you considered buying or taking a look at my products or services? You know my book assists people with exactly what you’re going through. Is this something you consider buying? I’d love to send you a signed copy.
See how I’m transitioning it? So that’s why seeking these buying signals are so so very important, because it allows us to understand if we‘re going to move it to the next level or not.
Rule 6: Get The Answer
What does that mean? Get the answer means we’re looking for a yes or a no. Once we start engaging with them in dialogue, on the phone, through email, it could be one time it could be multiple correspondences, we’re looking for them to decide yes or no, are they interested in taking that next step?
Whatever the next step is. So weather they are potentially considering working with you as a coach, one of your products or services, whatever it is… at some point, as I said in the last rule is we’re gaging that timing of their need, we’re gaging that interest, and then we’ve got to see those buying signals and then transition and ask them” are you considering this? Would you consider this? How would you feel about moving forward and doing something like this?
Now we’ve got to get an answer from them. The last thing you want is; ah, maybe I’ll think about it. I don’t know, I got a lot going on in my life right now. We want to get into a yes or a no. And oftentimes if I get this with the client I’ll say; listen, it doesn’t matter to me what you’re looking for, if it’s a no that’s perfectly fine. If you not interested in a complimentary session, if you’re not interested in working with me as a coach, if you’re not interested in buying the book, I’m okay with that. I’m just here to find out because you expressed an interest.
I want to get them to a yes or no. The worst thing is when you’re in the middle, because you don’t really know what to do, or what’s going to go on. You know if they say: I need to think about it… okay, well, you could follow up with them. But I’d rather get a yes or a no.
If it’s a yes for you right now… great. Let’s get you the product or service, let’s get you on to a complimentary session, you know let’s move you forward. If it’s a no, I perfectly understand that. You know, and if something changes in the future, we can stay connected and go from there.
So yes or a no gives you like a signal of, huh, okay, I don’t need to follow up with them anymore right now, or you know what? Yes, let’s move forward and let’s do something. So get the answer. We’re not pushing them for the answer, we’re just simply asking. When they have expressed that interest and once we’ve kind of broached that transition to a potential; hey, would you consider this? Is this something you’d be interested in?
Anything wishy-washy isn’t what we’re looking for. Look to clarify what exactly they are looking for. If it’s a yes, let’s move it forward. If it’s no, thanks so much, great to meet you, listen, let’s stay in touch via email. If something changes you know where to find me. That’s what, getting the answers is all about. It can save you a lot of time and energy, and keep you forward, moving forward on the next lead to qualify them.
Rule 7: End With A Plan
So you’re talking with the person on the phone, you’re engaging with them via email. At some point it’s going to come to an end where they’re either going to say yes, I want to move forward and do something or buy something, great, create a plan – what’s the next step?
They say they’re going to work with you potentially as a coach. Great, what’s the next step? You’re going to say; great, here’s what we do next. We schedule a complimentary session. Usually they’re about an hour, begin that process. If they want to buy your book or the product or service that you sell, great, what’s the next step? You’ve got to create a plan.
If it’s a no, then what’s the next plan? The next plan is, it’s fantastic. It was great meeting with you, it was great talking with you, listen, we’ll stay in touch, and we can follow up in the future if something changes. Create a plan.
If it’s “I need to think about it”, which you will get and people will need to think about it sometimes, it’s like I said, it’s not ideal but if it’s a “think about it”, say: “if you don’t mind my asking, what is it that you need to think about?” “What is it that you need to think over to help you to a decision?”
Maybe you can talk with them about a little bit more and work some things out. But either way, if they need to think about it you’ve got to set a plan and say something like; okay, great. You think about it… how much time do you think you need in order to come to a decision about whether you want to do this or not?
Ask some question that defines what timeframe they need. “When would you like me to follow up with you?” Again, I’m only going to follow up with someone if they seem like they’re genuinely and seriously interested in that, and I gage that through the conversations that we create.
“What type of timeframe are you looking for?” They say: Oh, I just need a couple weeks. I say: “Great, what do you anticipate to change in the next few weeks that will allow you to come to a decision?”
See how I’m always asking people these questions? I’m getting inside their mind to find out what’s really going, what’s going to happen and change in a couple weeks that’s going to be so different that you could decide then versus right now?
Either way I’m coming up with a plan, I’m going to say: “fantastic. So you’re saying that you’ll get back to me on Friday blah blah blah, and I give them a date. Great, listen if I don’t hear back from you by then would it be okay with it if I followed up with you again?” I’m getting permission. So this is the plan.
It’s a plan of follow-up ‘cause the worst thing about following up is you hang up the phone or the kind of email communication ends and then you’re waiting there. And then you don’t know what do and it’s like the next day comes and, a day seems like an eternity especially when you think someone is interested, or they are going to get back to you. And then you’re sitting there and you’re waiting.
You don’t want to feel like: “do I follow-up? Do I wait another day? Do I wait till Friday? Do I wait till the week? Or just email them again? Okay then what do I do? What are the rules for that?”
There’s no rules to that. That’s the problem. It’s a guessing game. And odds are nothing’s ever going to come of it because you don’t qualify to say; yeah, just follow up with me. And then they’re going to join the witness protection program, and they’re going to disappear. When you create a plan you get permission. Permission is; “hey listen, if I don’t hear from you next Friday would you mind if I called you back…would that work for you?”
Or “it sounds like you need a week to think about it. Sounds like a lot’s going on right now, when will be a great time to follow up on this?” or “when will you want to set up a complimentary session?” Fantastic. Here’s what works for me next week, or you’re out of town next week, or, you don’t have your schedule in front of you right now. Whatever scenario it is, great, fantastic, when can we follow-up? Tomorrow? Fantastic. Would I follow up with you, or do you want me to follow up with you or are you going to follow up with me?
I’m nailing down all these details, we’ve got to get really specific and I’m going through a bunch of scenarios right now, of things we could say or potentially do, the whole point is I’m going to nail it down so I’m just going to write it in my calendar. If someone says a couple weeks or next week or tomorrow, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go to my calendar, I’m going to write it in there as a follow-up with so-and-so, and I’m going to close my book and I’m going to forget about that person. And when that date comes up and that time comes up, it’s in my book, it’s in my calendar, great, I’m going to follow up with that person today.
Because we created a plan… all the questions I would have had in between, I don’t. And then I follow-up with them! The coolest part is, it’s two weeks later or whatever period later, I follow up with that person and guess what? I say, hey listen, you know what? You know it’s been a couple weeks since our last conversation, I’m following up with you per your request, you said that you’d get back to me and if I hadn’t heard from you, you said it’d be okay if I followed up with you. So, here I am!
Isn’t that cool? They said it, and you feel great about it. You know exactly when to do it. So always set a plan when you’re near the end of the follow-up.
Rule 8: Add Them To Your Database
No matter what the outcome is… if it’s yes, I want to move forward to do something or buy something, whether they hire you, whether they say no and they go on their merry way, or whether they need to think about it… whatever the result is of the follow-up… you want to add that contact your database.
One of my videos titled: The Number One Objective To Our Business is building a database. So through this communication, you’ve gotten a lead, you’ve had some interaction with that person, no matter what the result you want to put that person’s name, ideally phone number, and email into our database and what that does is that we send out at a minimum, weekly emails to these people, they also get it through social media if that’s how they’re connected to what we do, and that’s kind of like what we call an ongoing follow-up.
That’s where they kind of get you know, on an ongoing basis. What are we doing? What’s going on? Events that we’re offering, free education that we’re putting out there, that’s that ongoing follow-up. So no matter what happens as a result of this initial follow-up we put them on our database and then they get that ongoing follow-up because remember, timing is everything.
So when someone says no, they rarely actually say those words no, but when it’s more of I need to think about it, it’s more of a not now. Not now because right now, the timing’s not right. It doesn’t mean the time will never be right for that person but more than likely it’s not right at this point. And so maybe later on it will be.
For some of those people that will be the case, that’s why our database is so important. That’s why those weekly consistent emails are so important, is it keeps us in front of these people that we create connections with. I’ve had people that I’ve gotten business from, that have hired me as their coach five years later, seven years later and those are real numbers!
I remember years ago I sold a computer chip on Craigslist from an old computer of mine, and I added a guy to my database and then I think it was literally like five years later after just sending out my emails for every weak for five years and then he just, all of a sudden one day emailed me and said; hey, listen you know what? I’m going through X, Y, and Z and I’ve been getting your emails forever and then I thought about you know what? May be I’ll talk to Jeff and maybe work with him as my coach.
They hired me and I worked with him for over a year, so that’s the value of that ongoing follow-up by adding these people to you database.
Rule 9: Ask For A Referral
No matter what the outcome, whether they buy your product or service whether they need to think about it or whether it’s a no, not now, we want to say: “Listen, while I have you on the phone, or listen while I have you, who do you know?” And you always ask that as an open ended question ‘cause when you say: “do you know anyone?” What do most people think? No, I don’t know anybody.
“Who do you know that might benefit from my product or service? Who do you know that might benefit from the things that we’ve spoken about?” Obviously you’d be more specific but who do you know? Who you know? And then follow up with that request. So if they say: Oh, you know, I might know some people, or let me think about that a little bit. I might qualify and say, “do you really think you might know some people, or is that maybe just something you know you don’t quite know what to say right now?” And I don’t know where I’d go with that, but I always asked those people those questions or I send them an email afterwards.
I could write: “Thanks so much for the interaction, thanks so much for whatever, great talking to you, great getting to know you a little bit, hey listen, who do you know that might benefit?” Or especially if I got an event coming up I could ask them if they know someone who would like to attend.
I could say: “you know I’m actually looking for two new coaching clients right now, people like yourself who are motivated to create some change in their world, who do you know that might be in a position like that?”
It’s so vital that we do this stuff because just by asking that one question you don’t know what we can get for new leads from that and potential clients from that. So always always always ask for the referral. Even if you forget to, go back to that person – maybe it’s a week, maybe it’s just two months later, so what? Email them again, call them again and say hey, you know, we spoke a few months earlier, but you know what? I was wondering, who you might know?
“It seems like you’re well-connected, it seems like you’re an entrepreneur, it seems like you’re a businesswoman or a businessman and you are well connected.” “Listen, I’m curious, who might you know that’s looking for a positive change in their life? Who might you know that might want to come to a workshop that I’m hosting next week on X Y and Z?” That’s how we get out there and potentially get those leads and get those clients to follow up with.
Now that we know the nine rules to following up, go out there and do it. Create those lists, follow-up with those people, and follow-up again and you know what? It’s not going to be perfect, it never is and even with all these rules at the end of the day just do what you need to do. Get something out there.
Use this as a guideline to get you moving and to make everything a lot more effective, ‘cause the more effective we become at follow-up, the more we’re able to do one thing… and that’s clarifying who’s really serious and who’s really curious. It’s called sorting. We’re sorting out these leads and as we looking to get clients and now that we’ve sorted out the serious from the curious, we take those serious and say; hey listen, how important is it that you do this right now?
Remember, need and timing… and then make that transition and hopefully from there we can get paid. When you do this on a regular basis, when you’re good at it – meaning you’re working and honing this skill, because these are selling skills, it’s very very vital to your success, but you’re consistent with it, the best thing is as you’re going to find the serious people, you’re going to get business and that’s what this is about. This is about getting business, getting paid so we can share our gifts with these people and help them and move them forward.
So if you’re ready to take that leap, always remember Selling Coaching is the absolute best way to fast-track your business from a part-time hobby to a full-time career. Now get out there, GET LEADS, GET CLIENTS and GET PAID.