The Fortune Really Is In The Follow-Up

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There’s a common saying: “the fortune is in the follow-up.” Unfortunately, many REALTORS® simply do not follow-up. Hopefully, this will help.

Let’s start at the beginning.

You need leads.

Leads are not easy to come by. They are your bread and butter. But, when you get a lead, you likely don’t follow-up beyond one, two or maybe three attempts because you’re not comfortable with the idea of calling or emailing, and being perceived as “pushy.” You feel this way because that’s how you believe you will feel if someone consistently followed up with you.  Just because you feel this way, doesn’t mean others will. Especially, if they are likely to sell, buy or invest in real estate in the near future.

According to the marketing firm Marketing Donut:

  • 44% of sales personnel give up after one “no”
  • 22% of salespeople give up after two “nos”
  • 14% of salespeople give up after three “nos”
  • 12% of salespeople give up after four “nos”

Thus, 92 per cent of salespeople give up after hearing “no,” “not yet,” or “not now” up to four times. Which means, eight per cent of sales personnel are making 80 per cent of the sales.

Click here for more great follow-up stats.

So, the moral of the story is this: consistent follow-up will help set you apart from your competition and yield greater success. All you need is a consistent and successful follow-up strategy.

A follow-up strategy is not difficult to put together. There are only so many ways you can connect with someone: a phone call, email, handwritten card, face-to-face visit and now, through social media. By combining multiple platforms, your follow-up strategy can be very effective in keeping you top of mind with your clients and customers.

Before we break this down, let me just remind you all to adhere to your federal, provincial or state privacy and anti-spam legislation. Please make sure you’re on the right side of these rules and policies where it relates to business emails and phone calls.

To start, let’s understand the various ways we can reach out to and connect with our leads.

  • An automated monthly email drip campaign provides 12 touch points.
  • An automated, scheduled email for major religious holidays and events might account for six of those emails.
  • Your social media postings are at least twice a week – so let’s call that eight times per month, or 36 for the year (a low and conservative number).
  • Everyone has a birthday and if you’re working with a couple, that’s two birthday cards for the year.
  • A face-to-face breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee meeting is a minimum of two per year.
  • Quick “pop-bys” might be once every quarter, or four per year.

By my count, we’re at a possible 60 touch points, not including those phone calls that are linked to some of those targeted emails and holidays, or special event cards that you’ve sent because any of those special events calls for a two-way conversation.

Now, let’s add another five quick phone calls to that count of 60, and that’s a total of 65 touches for the year.

That sounds like a lot of work, but 18 of these touch points are automated and your 36 social media postings are generic and sent to everyone. So, 54 of the 65 (or 83 per cent) of your touch points are basically sweat-free.

Before you put some of these tactics into action, identify the needs of each lead and set a plan in motion to stay connected to them. Some of these “active” leads require more in-person or live chats because these leads are likely to act sooner than later. The “passive” leads may only need a phone call every few months and in these cases, the emails and social media touches may suffice.

Now, the most important factor in any successful follow-up strategy is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. A CRM is the cornerstone of many successful Realtors. A CRM keeps you organized, ensuring your follow-up system is efficient and effective. Too many of us fail at the follow-up because we simply “don’t know what to do” with the leads. A CRM tool will help you manage some of those touch points and keep you organized. Aside from the generic social media postings and monthly e-newsletters, you’ll use your CRM to track targeted email or social media posts that are specific to a niche market segment, along with specific touch points such as face-to-face meetings, phone calls, targeted online activity, handwritten cards and gifts.  Visit the RE/MAX Launchpad Marketplace to see our CRM partners and choose the one that meets your needs.

An example of a follow up strategy might look something like this:

  1. A lead comes in and you reply within five minutes. According to Gabe Larsen from insidesales.com, if you respond in less than five minutes you’re 100 times more likely to reach them and 21 times more likely to get them into your pipeline.
  2. After the first call, send a “thank you” email immediately, remind them of your action plan, and set the tone for your upcoming market updates via email or social media. Let them know when you’ll likely be calling back to do a “quick touch-base call.
  3. Add the lead into your CRM and populate as many of the fields as you can: birthdays, anniversaries, special events, kids, etc.
  4. Add the lead to your social media platforms.
  5. In your CRM, set up their email drip campaign that is relevant to their needs (first-time buyer, seller, empty nester, investor, etc.)  This may vary based on your CRM’s capabilities.
  6. In your CRM, set the lead up to receive your monthly e-newsletter.
  7. In your CRM, create follow-up reminders that notify you when your next follow-up will be and what you’ll be doing: a phone call, face-to-face coffee or lunch meeting, a quick pop-in, email, handwritten card, etc.
  8. Follow the plan set out in your CRM!

The above example is a simple framework of a follow-up strategy and will be modified to address the individual needs of each lead. I always look forward to the follow-up phone calls or meetings because any two-way conversation with a lead is a way to reinforce your value when you speak with them. Remember to ask relevant questions, really listen to what they’re saying to identify their needs and finally, always make sure you provide them with an action plan of what you’re going to do next so they know what to expect.

This is how to create a successful follow-up strategy, and, as the saying goes, the fortune really is in the follow-up.

The blog post above was written by John Manucdoc!

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John Manucdoc

Learning and Development Specialist

RE/MAX INTEGRA, Ontario-Atlantic Region

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