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Here are seven steps I recommend to design an effective (and not annoying) follow-up strategy.


Most salespeople are pretty good at selling. But as any salesperson knows, the odds of someone picking up a phone, answering your email just as soon as you hit send, or signing a contract at a networking event are virtually nonexistent.

That’s where selling becomes following-up, something that salespeople are less good at. They might try to include their pitch in a check-in message. They might follow up with the exact same message over and over (and over). Or they might just not follow up at all.

Regardless of the specific snag, there are a lot of pitfalls reps can fall prey to in the art of the follow-up.

Check-in messaging should be tailored to how a rep originally came across the person and how much they got to know about them during that encounter.

With this caveat in mind, here are seven steps I recommend to design an effective (and not annoying) follow-up strategy.

  1. Do Your Research

    Google the person, check out their company and/or personal website, and review their social media accounts. Find out what you can about who they are and the issues their company is tackling.

  2. Don’t Sell

    The email, voicemail, or conversation should be about them, not you, your company, or your product/service. Once they are a qualified prospect, you will have plenty of opportunities to help them get to know your company, and if they are interested — trust me — they have already been online reading about you and what others say about you.

  3. Add Value

    Find resources that will be interesting to your prospect, and share them.

  4. Be Personal

    Don’t send the same message to everyone. Tailor the message to each individual based on your meeting, your research, and their need.

  5. Be Persistent

    Give them plenty of opportunities to respond. People are busy. It’s your job to stay in front of them and reach them.

  6. Stay Connected

    Show them you are paying attention. Keep up with them and their company, and if they’re featured in the news or release a major announcement, send a note with an appropriate comment. Stay connected on social media. Like, comment, and share their posts.

  7. Assume the Best

    Even if they don’t buy from you, if you do a good job on the above, they may refer you to someone they know, or come back when they do have a need.

About the author

Alice Heiman

Alice Heiman

Alice developed her expertise in sales while at Miller Heiman, Inc before striking out…

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