A follow-up system is going to be vital to building your business. You’ll need a follow-up system with your prospects regardless of type. In other words, this includes both people interested in your product as well as distributor recruits. Not all people are ready to buy at first contact; in fact, oftentimes, most people are not ready to buy immediately. So you have to put some effort into preselling and warming the prospect for later conversions.
When to use automated follow-ups
One of the benefits of our modern world is the ability to employ technology in the service of the business. The email has been around in widespread public use for a couple of decades, but despite the explosive growth in technology is remains a mainstay of communication. Email auto-responders are great sales tools and are easy to use. You can set up a low-cost email auto-responder at many companies, such as:
- Get Response
- Constant Contact
Check out multiple email auto-responders and find one that best fits your business and pricing needs. The most modern auto-responders also include the ability to send text messages – which can be a helpful way to keep you in the minds of your prospects, provided it is done the right way. One service that is highly recommended is called ClickFunnels; it allows you to build drag & drop lead pages for your websites and easily incorporate email auto-responders and automated text messages.
You can have prospects join your email lists by signing up at “landing pages” which are web pages that include a simple email sign-up form. They are very popular with email marketers because they work very well. Once someone opts into your landing page, the email auto-responder kicks into action automatically. You can give clients and prospects a link to your landing page where they can sign up on their own, or you can collect email addresses from prospects you meet in person and manually add them to your lists.
A prospect is warmest at the beginning, but you still don’t want to hard sell. Send friendly and informative emails that add value without asking for a sale. You can provide your contact information at the end of each email while encouraging prospects to ask questions, along with links to your sales pages if you are trying to move product.
Landing pages and email auto-responders are very effective tools to use with online promotion on social media and with online advertising. Prospects are very used to this setup, so you’re not going to have to explain it to anyone. You can tie a Facebook page to your Facebook ad which goes to the landing page, helping you show the user that you have an established online presence which will help you build trust.
In many cases, it helps to give away a freebie of some kind in exchange for the prospects email address. You can write a small booklet explaining your products if you are using this technique to find buyers for the products. If you are trying to recruit distributors, then you can use an eBook written about the company explaining the benefits of becoming a distributor. It doesn’t matter who your target is – be sure to include your contact information inside the eBook including your phone number, email address, Facebook page, and other information.
The landing page will become a central part of your automated follow-up system. You should link to it any chance you get, from your YouTube videos, blog posts, and your Facebook page.
Automated responders can also be used to set up webinars – this is a very effective marketing technique. You can use webinars in every aspect of your business, so you follow the same procedure outlined above, adding people to your email list while giving away some sort of free gift, and then you register them for a webinar. In general, webinars should be used for selling big-ticket items, but you can use them to sell anything from about $195 up depending on the level of attendance. Webinars are a great way to recruit new distributors.
Your automated responder, regardless of the end goal, should send a welcome email immediately when someone signs up and opts into the email list. Often people call email autoresponders “newsletters” in order to make them seem less threatening and intrusive to prospects.
After this, you should stagger your emails, gradually widening the time in between emails. Send the second email about two days later, and add one day in between each send. Your warmest prospects are going to convert sooner rather than later, and putting much effort into chasing down the one remaining prospect that might convert isn’t the best use of energy, but the beauty of this setup is that it’s automatic, so the only effort you have to put in is once – at the front end. That is when you write your emails. After the first month, you might want to drop off the frequency to once a month out to about one year in total.
You will want to use your emails to develop trust with your prospects. You want to get them to see you as an authority figure, so be sure to dispense useful, free advice in your emails. In the beginning, put a mild pitch at the end of each email, but after about 2-3 emails you can occasionally do a hard sell. After a hard sell, send an email which is strictly informative about your niche without doing any selling or product pitch at all. Then gradually repeat the process.
If you are selling multiple products, you can have distinct email lists for each product and pitch them separately. You will also have an email list for prospective distributors. Most services allow you to move a prospect from one email list to another, so after a prospect purchases, you can move them to a separate list that only includes customers that have purchased. Perhaps you can offer them a big ticket item on this list since you know they are warm to purchasing. You can also pitch the idea of becoming a distributor to clients who make product purchases and send them to a landing page that is designed for that purpose so that they can sign up and join your distributor prospects email list.
When you have a prospect’s email, it’s a potential gold mine since you are in personal contact with them. Use this to the fullest potential.
Text messages should be used sparingly, but if you are going to be having a large upcoming event, such as a product demonstration in person or a webinar, you can use text messages to alert people about it and send them where they need to go for more info. When recruiting distributors, automated text messages can be a useful tool, to prompt people to contact you so they can discuss the program.
Do you like engaging with people directly? Manual follow-ups are a definite tool you should use when following up with prospects. A network or multi-level marking business is based on networking with people. This is best done in person. However, before we go on – every MLM marketer these days should have an automated system in place. It will run on autopilot and can be finding warm prospects for you 24/7, often from around the world. In today’s world there is no reason to limit yourself to those people that you contact directly, in person, and locally. You may even be able to create a massive network across multiple countries.
That said, manual follow-ups still have their place. Relationship building is a central part of network marketing and doing it on the telephone and in person is still by far the best way to do it. For many people, manually following up can be difficult. The best advice when manually following up is to treat this as if you are contacting a trusted friend. You want to be relaxed, natural, and basically just be yourself.
One thing that helps manual follow-ups operate more smoothly is to use the same process each and every single time. Yes, the specific pitch might be different, but if you follow the same overall process so that it becomes second nature, you can avoid appearing stiff or pushy, two things that while not related will drive prospects away.
The first rule of using manual follow-ups in the modern world is to get your prospects in your automated follow-up stream as a backup. That said, when you can, use a manual follow-up do it.
It’s important to avoid letting the prospect get in touch with you, although you should always provide them with contact information in case they want to contact you with questions. However, remember that while your prospects may be on your mind, as the seller, you’re generally not going to be the top priority for most people. They are busy with their own lives, and although they may be interested in your products or in becoming a distributor, they are also going to work each day, taking care of the kids, paying bills, and so on. You are probably #5 or #10 on their list. So it’s up to you to reach out and make contact at appropriate intervals, rather than sitting back and waiting for the prospect to get in touch with you.
Always be courteous, polite, and professional when trying to follow-up. It’s better to follow-up sooner rather than later. Remember that you need to strike when the iron is hot. People may lose interest if too much time goes by. Try to pin a prospect down to a specific time for a phone call or meeting within the next 2-5 days. The sooner, the better, the following day or within 48 hours is far better than five days down the road. Let the prospect select the time for the follow-up so that you demonstrate you are concerned about their needs and that you’re entirely flexible.
Avoiding anything that reeks of the hard sell during manual follow-up is critical. You don’t want to appear needy. While you may be excited about closing a specific prospect, you have to remember that there are more where they came from. If you come across as desperate or needy, the prospect will be turned off and view you as an annoyance. If you are just getting started and you need to earn money fast, it’s going to be tougher to avoid looking needy, but you must do it for your long-term success. Also, be nuanced about persuading someone into a sale, rather than pressuring with a hard sell.
Sometimes people are ready to buy but hesitant, and they want validation for specific concerns. Be on this lookout for this and be ready to mirror their concerns, while providing the solutions that they seek. Every time in marketing you should always be ready to frame a product or service in terms of how it’s going to solve the prospect’s problems. This will help validate their desire to purchase and get them to move off the fence.
If you are recruiting distributors, one easy way to get into the right mindset is to remember that you’re giving them an opportunity. You’re offering them a chance to join a team that will help them generate their own at home business income and provide them with more freedom and liberty. So you don’t need to hard sell them. The opportunity will sell itself; all you have to do is make sure they are informed as to what the benefits are.
Don’t be afraid to use your upline for assistance and coaching. If you have a difficult prospect, you can bring the upline in to help close the deal, whether they participate directly or if you simply get coaching from them. In either case, get yourself in a learning state of mind so that you won’t need outside help next time.
One of the ideas I learned from internet marketing is that you have to actually ASK the prospect to close the deal. Online, this is done by giving them a purchase link or button at the right moment. When doing a manual follow-up, you need to do this as well. Don’t be afraid to ask the prospect to close on the sale. You don’t start out with this – warm them up first.
Timing is critical with follow-up. People will begin losing interest and doubts will creep in. Oftentimes they will start speaking with others, who not really knowing anything will discourage your prospects. If they find out that it is multi-level marketing, they may act on their stereotypes rather than on real information. These are some of the reasons it’s important to follow-up quickly.
Don’t be hesitant about continuing with a second follow-up meeting or phone call. Use the same techniques you used for the first follow-up. So you pin them down to a specific time while letting them sort out their own schedule. Never looked forced. If they refused to set a second follow-up, then let a day or two go by for a cooling off period and try and contact them again.
Knowing when to stop following up
Be aware of signals that your prospect simply isn’t interested. There are several things to look for, and if you’ve ever dated anyone, you should be looking for the same signals. If you place a call with someone and it keeps going to voicemail, but they never call you back, that might be a signal to back off. Use common sense. You wouldn’t call someone 10 times a day to ask them on a date (at least we hope not), apply the same rule when trying to convert prospects. Since this is business and not personal, you should set a rule that you follow where you’ll simply leave prospects alone.
A good rule is two calls maximum that isn’t returned. In order to make sure that the prospect simply isn’t missing your attempts to contact them, send them an email as well as your final communication. Let them know that you tried calling them and you’re sorry that you weren’t able to connect and invite them to contact you if they are still interested. If recruiting distributors, you might ask if they know someone else who would be interested in this money-making opportunity they are choosing to pass by. But be friendly about it and make sure you don’t come across as snarky or pushy.
If you’ve set up an in-person meeting, and the prospect fails to show, this can be disconcerting. The reality is that some people who’ve lost interest will simply stop contacting you without explanation. It’s important to avoid pressuring people, but if they don’t show you should try to contract with a combination phone call and email. Sometimes people do forget, or something comes up, and they don’t have the time to let you know they aren’t showing, so you have to give people a little bit of a benefit of the doubt. But if they don’t return your phone call and email, then let that prospect go.
Remember the world is full of prospects – so there is no point wasting energy continually trying to corner one particular prospect. Someone who has lost interest isn’t worth wasting your time on when you can move on to a better prospect that will convert.