Your follow up marketing should remind them that you exist until they feel compelled to reply ... CC user sukitwo on deviantart

More than 81 percent of all sales happen on or after the 5th contact, but very few salespeople follow up with a prospect more than once or twice – bummer. Here’s how to increase your follow-ups and improve conversions.

Stagger Your Followups and Schedule Them

You should follow up with leads quickly, but realize that 95 to 97 percent of the leads that you get won’t buy from you immediately. Out of 100 leads, there might only be 40 people who will ever buy from you.

But, those 40 won’t buy immediately. So, even if you have a 30 percent closing ratio, you’re going to close 12 leads immediately, maximum.

What happens to the rest? Most salespeople forget about them, assuming that they’ve “gone cold.”

But, if you stagger your follow ups, then you’ll have a better chance of selling all 40. Good lead management software is a must for staggering follow up emails and phone calls.

Too little contact and you will never make the sale. Too much, however, and you’ll make your leads upset.

You can contact a lead up to 3 times on the first day, ease off to 2 contacts on the third day, and then stagger you follow ups so that you’re contacting the prospect once every 2 or 3 days after than, up to a maximum of 6 total contacts before you shuffle the lead off to the marketing department.

Invest In A Good Autoresponder

A good autoresponder is going to make your follow up process much easier. An autoresponder is an automated email system that sends out your emails without you having to compose a separate email for each prospect.

When you can mass email the same (or similar) message to all prospects, you’re effectively scaling your contact power – reaching more leads with fewer resources (time) spent.

One salesperson can be multiplied to do the work of 10 or even 100.

Professional service providers, like Get Response, MailChimp, and Aweber set the standard for how autoresponders should work.

These service providers provide autoresponder services, newsletter functionality (so you can compose emails and do a mass email “blast”), and advanced analytics so you can measure the effectiveness of what you’re doing.

Follow Up On Contacts Immediately

You’ve probably heard the old saying: “delays is the death of a sale.” It’s true. If you wait to follow up with a lead, odds are you’re not going to get the sale. Your best response rate is going to come within 2 minutes of a lead contacting you for information.

Within an hour, the response rate will drop dramatically and, after an hour, you’re going to want to send the lead to the marketing department to start a drip campaign over the next several days so that you can “warm” the lead up again.

Create Follow Ups In Advance

Creating follow ups manually will kill your productivity. That’s why most autoresponder services have built in “canned” message options. Automated follow ups basically automate the sales process.

A “canned”, or automated, message is one that you create in advance and then send out when certain actions are “triggered” by the user. For example, if the user signs up to your email list, that could trigger the first email to be sent to them. Then, if they open that email, you can have another email sent to them in several days.

Donald Christopher has worked in the software industry for most of his working life. He enjoys sharing his insights online and providing useful tips and advice. You can find other articles written by him on numerous B2B sites.