The Importance of Following Up

Let me ask you this: If you just met with a really hot prospect, how long would you wait before you followed up? A day? A couple of days? A week?

Here’s my experience with a couple of real estate agents a while ago:

My wife and I were selling our home and interviewed some real estate agents to represent us. I got a couple of referrals from some good friends in our neighborhood, reached out to them, and told them we wanted to meet.

I think I’d call that a hot lead, wouldn’t you?

So one night we met the first agents – a husband and wife team – who had been selling real estate in our neighborhood for years, and claimed to be the Number One agents in this area (it’s odd that the other two agents we met with also claimed to be the Number One agents as well, but that’s a discussion for another article).

We spent a couple of hours with this team, really like them, liked their recent experience and success on the next block over, and loved their strategy. We told them that we’d be meeting with another agent referral the next night but that we would get back with them the day after that.

O.K., so now comes the test: When would you, if you were them, get back with us?

The right answer is 9 A.M. the very next morning. If I were them, I would have sent a quick email saying it was so nice meeting my wife and me, that I really liked the house, and that I was confident I could sell our home using the strategy I had outlined. I’d say if there was anything I could do, just reach out to me, and that I look forward to speaking with them (me) very soon.

No brainer, right? Well, we got….nothing.

Okay. So the next night we had the other agents over – a team of two “Number One” selling agents in our area. We liked their pitch also, and we were impressed by how much they wanted to list our house for. In fact, when they left, we were leaning towards hiring them. We told them about the other couple we met, and told them we’d have an answer for them in the morning…

Now, how long do you think it took for them to follow up with us?

Believe it or not, they didn’t reach back out to us for over a week!

A week! I’m still stunned because, as we told them we’d have a definite answer by the very next morning. Did we get a follow up email? No. Did we get a follow up phone call? No. Here we are a HOT lead, and they didn’t even follow up?!

What’s wrong with these sales people?

In the meantime, the first couple emailed us the next day asking what happened with our other meeting and expressed their strong desire to work with us. When we told them about how the other team wanted to list our house for more money, they immediately cautioned against that and told us they wanted to meet with us again – that day even – to explain their strategy again. They redeemed themselves and ended up getting our business.

So here’s the lesson for all you sales reps and business owners out there – don’t wait days or weeks to follow up prospects! Especially the hot ones! A simple email that thanks them for their time, acknowledges how much you learned and how excited you are to help them will go A LONG WAY to earning you their business.  Especially since not many other sales reps have this kind of urgency.

If you need some follow up strategies that really work, along with some word for word emails and voicemails, then invest in my new book: Power Phone Scripts: 500 Phrases, Questions, and Word-for-Word Scripts to Open and Close More Sales.

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