3 Subtle and Effective Tactics for Following up (Without Being Annoying)

March 10, 2022

Many times as sellers of products or providers of services, we encounter situations where we may need to follow up with a prospect or even a repeat customer.

This especially occurs when the customer or prospect did not outrightly say no to buying from us but also hasn’t said yes or agrees to buy but hasn’t, even after the time he/she gave has passed. It puts us in a position to want to nudge the customer towards buying. After all, we want to be optimistic.

The challenge is how to do this without coming off as desperate because selling that is dosed with even an ounce of desperation is not palatable to a customer and I can assure you your prospect can smell it from a mile away.

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As much as you want to follow up to make a sale, avoid being desperate in the process.

You might want to read that again.

So the question is how do you follow up on prospects without coming off as desperate (and annoying)?

1) Show them more options.

This works better if, during the course of choosing the specific product in question, the prospect showed slight reservation about its functionality, look, feel – something related to the item itself but you were able to convince the prospect to choose that product anyway.

Many times they take time to re-evaluate the decision. They want to go ahead with the purchase because you gave them good reasons but the reservation is still lingering in their minds and so they just refuse to make payment… immediately.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Giving them (few) more choices similar to what they need will enable them to have more room to choose which may be the step that will help in closing that sale in time.

2) Follow up on something discussed during negotiation that is unrelated to the transaction at hand.

Let me explain with an example.

During the course of discussing the sale of a blender, the prospect hinted that her son’s birthday party is next week. At the end of the discussion, she informed you that she will make payment for it that day- but nothing came- even for the next 4 days… nothing.

You probably have sent her a reminder a day after the discussion and maybe 3 days after, still no response (and you can see that she read your messages.)

This could be frustrating, right?

The next time you want to follow up, don’t talk about the transaction, ask about the birthday party instead. Let her know you wish her son good wishes – just a simple happy birthday message to her for the son.

Photo by Teona Swift from Pexels

What this does is it makes the prospect see you as concerned, beyond just making a sale. Most times they respond to such messages and then open up the transaction discussion again – some will simply just go ahead and make the payment.

You need to put in mind that your follow-ups must be genuine. Learn to listen to the personal things your customers or prospects say during negotiation that you can follow up with aside from just making sales. It could be weddings, birthdays, ill-health, or any situation that will put you in good light as someone who cares, not just about profit.

Customers love being seen as humans not just money spinners.

3) Ask the ‘The answer spinner’ question.

Okay, I call this The answer spinner question because I have never used it without getting a response or answer. Check out this question below

“Hello ma, are you offended in any way? Am asking because I noticed you did not respond to my last 2 messages. Did anything annoy you during the course of our discussion?”

OMG! It works like a charm!

They always respond to refute my assumption of them being angry by telling me the real reason for their silence.

Of course, I know I did not offend them, but I need to know why they kept silent after a seemingly pleasant sales discussion.

For some, it’s because they are yet to get the funds to pay for the transaction, some have been busy, some totally forgot while some are simply not ready to make the purchase but I always got a response when I asked the question.

This helps in deciding if I should look forward to a sale soon or channel my energy away from that prospect.

This is my number one and most used subtle but effective tactic for following up.

Please note that if a customer or prospect asks you to stop following up, do stop!

These tactics work for me but I will like to know in the comment section other subtle but effective tactics you know or use.

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