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What is the Key to Effective Follow Up?

In today’s short sales tip I am going to give you the “key to effective follow up.” There is only one key. It is really, really simple. The key to effective follow up is next action steps.  Follow up will either kill your schedule or make your schedule. It is either going to accelerate your […]


In today’s short sales tip I am going to give you the “key to effective follow up.” There is only one key. It is really, really simple. The key to effective follow up is next action steps.  Follow up will either kill your schedule or make your schedule. It is either going to accelerate your sales, or it is going to kill your sales. Either you are going to get bogged down with all these people who are not interested, or you are going to be able to zero in on people who are interested in buying from you.

Here’s how you do it. You have a system in place to track next action steps. Our company offers a free CRM database to each of our sales partners. In that database, they can add tasks to every prospect. So when you have a prospect in your pipeline, you always need to have a next action step. Here is what I mean by that statement.

You walk into a business and pitch them. When you walk out of that business you need to first stop and do two things:

  1. Record the notes from that visit. Include the business name, phone number, email address, business owner’s name or the person you talked with, etc. Take 30 seconds and put that in your database and include as much information as you can as you will not remember each prospect after you have been prospecting for several weeks.
  2. Ask yourself, “What is my next action step, if any?” You might walk out of there and say there is no next action step.  In other words, they were not interested and you don’t intend to follow up.  You might say, “In two months their contract is up so I am going to walk back in.”  Whatever the next action step is put it in your CRM or calendar.  The business owner wasn’t here so I need to come back on Thursday afternoon.  Put that in your schedule. Put that on your task list. Create a next action step. Every single prospect in your pipeline should have a next action step in your schedule or task list.  If you are going to leave a prospect in your pipeline, don’t say, “Well, I think I am going to follow up on them…” What do you mean? What are you going to do? Are you going to call them?  Are you going to come out and visit them again? When are you going to do that?

Put the next task in your schedule for prospects and follow up.  If you follow this simple rule, your sales will increase, your time management will get better and you will make decisions about who to follow up with at the moment you make initial contact rather than days later as you comb through your prospect list trying to remember who warrants a second visit. Hope you enjoyed this short sales tip!

Have a great day in the field!

James Shepherd

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