I was asked a question on a Twitter chat I was a part of that said “A few of us are clearly uncomfortable with the idea of seeming like a nuisance. Have you received a negative response to multiple follow-ups?”
Following up with someone after they’ve expressed interest in you is not being a nuisance or annoying or bothersome. Unless you are emailing them every day with “Just checking in.”
If you have an email that sounds like “Hey Pete, I was thinking about your project a little bit more and came across this article that talks specifically about that one thing. Here’s the link if you have a few minutes to check it out. If not, the big takeaways were…Hope you find it useful. Best, Jason”
For whatever reason, most people, as service-based businesses, get all messed up in the head the closer someone gets to becoming a client.
Anytime they see an email address, they ask “can we add them to our email list?”
Yet, as it gets closer and closer to the sale, they start to shy away from it.
It’s very much a mindset that you put yourself into. One that at the beginning of starting my business, once I realized that it was just business and that if they thought me sending them an email that’s helpful is annoying, then we ultimately weren’t a good fit to work together.
Imagine you walk into a store, let’s say a car dealership. As you walk in you immediately go towards the car that you are interested in. You open the door, sit in the driver’s seat to see how it feels. You hop into the back to see how much legroom there is. And you come to the point where you want to get some more information.
So you seek out a salesperson. She comes over and you ask some questions about options, colors, if they have it in stock and she answers all of your questions and then takes you on a test drive.
As you walk back into the dealership you realize that you are completely alone. Even the salesperson, who was right behind you coming through the door is gone.
Now what? You’re ready to sit down and go over financing.
You are literally standing there ready to buy and wondering what’s next.
Now I ask you “what’s annoying now?”
That’s what it can seem like for your leads. They opt-in to your lead magnet or fill out your contact form, maybe have a few back and forth emails with you, and even get on the phone with you and get to the proposal stage.
After you hang up on the call, it’s radio silence from you. The lead is wondering what happened? Seemed like things were working out, but they may be wondering what’s next. Even with the proposal in hand, they may have some questions still. In fact, there’s a good chance they do.
Here’s the thing, people, humans, are embarrassed to ask questions. They don’t want to look as if they don’t know something and even more so, during a negotiation period where they have your proposal in hand, they certainly don’t want to appear that they are at a disadvantage.
You can leave it up to them to reach out, that’s all well and fine. But what if they have a question, that your very next email in your follow-up sequence answers it?
How would that make the lead feel?
They probably feel like you fully understand them. That you can help them with their project and where they want to go.
What if they had some questions about your process, further than what you explained on your site?
Now your second follow-up email explains in further detail what it is like working with you?
Now they are feeling pretty great I would assume. They get their questions answered and you are exhibiting that you’ve been doing this for a while and understand, yet anticipate what the lead is thinking.
They are in your sales pipeline. They are on your list. If you are “annoying” them, they can click that link at the bottom of the emails and unsubscribe.
But I’ve never had that happen once because they’ve obviously taken some time to want to learn more about what I can do for them. If we had a call, then it’s even more apparent that they want more from me.
At that point, I’m really trying to add more value to help them make a better buying decision.
At the very least, if you feel that you are bugging someone, remember this. There’s the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email going from your ConvertKit account, your MailChimp account, your Aweber account, whatever platform you use.
So if you have a sequence setup, you don’t even have to worry about the sending, it’s done for you.
Above all else, if a lead responds negatively to you providing them a follow-up sequence that’s helpful, answers questions, and positions you as an expert in your field, then are they going to respect your experience and expertise during the project? I’d bet not. Better to find that out now, rather than later.
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