The (Lack of) Fortune is in the (Lack of) Follow-up

Consulting projects are “considered purchases”, so the (lack of) follow-up is often the determining factor in the purchase decision. The larger the project, the more consideration buyers give (and the more you should give as a consultant– do you really want this project?).

If you’re making a “considered purchase” — a home, a car, hiring a coach or a business consultant — you want to make sure you’re making the right choice, which usually involves multiple conversations. When you’re trying to buy something, it’s frustrating when people don’t follow up with you.

(That reminds me, I need to call someone back. I’m trying to hire him and he did leave me a voicemail that I haven’t returned, because I was traveling, but it’s interesting that he didn’t call me to follow-up.)

The same thing applies when you interact with your prospects.

If you only need one conversation for clients to sign on with you, you better make sure you’re having that conversation, but it’s only one thing to remember and execute.

If you need more than one conversation, your follow up rate has a huge impact on your business.

win rate by follow up rate

This table shows how the number of conversations required and the follow up rate influences the win rate. This is not the “win rate”, it’s just the % of deals you’re still in the running for because you follow up. You can see that even if you only need 3 conversations, anything less than 100% follow up has a huge impact on your sales effectiveness.

Now let’s layer on a healthy 75% win rate…

The exponential nature the follow-up issue is huge.

Now consider that most CRMs require you to remember to follow up… When I used those systems, I was pretty diligent about setting follow up tasks. (I like to think I was somewhere in the 80-90% range, but that may be optimistic.) But sometimes I’d have too many tabs open and get logged out of my CRM. Sometimes I’d take a call on the road and really, really mean to remember to circle back but then I didn’t. Sometimes a scheduled meeting would get postponed and I wasn’t perfect about following up.

I let so many opportunities go by because I didn’t follow up well. (This is why Mimiran’s default is to keep talking to people until you decide otherwise, it’s a “fail safe” system, because no one “disappears into the abyss”, worst-case you are overdue to talk to someone.)

In addition to the benefits of Flawless Follow-up, it’s also helpful if you have strong positioning, so you make the right offer to the right people, requiring fewer conversations to see if you have the right fit.

Combine these approaches, and you get closer to the 1 conversation/100% follow-up sweet spot. You might not get all the way there, but you do have control over your follow-up rate, and you may have more control than you think about the number of conversations you need, which not only helps your win rate, but saves you time and energy.

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