Customer Follow-Up is a fundamental part of your business’ sales cycle. Imagine that you set up a face to face meeting with the most valued prospect of your accounting firm. And come back really happy knowing that you have traversed 80% of the journey of converting this prospect into customer.
This was because the prospect was really happy with:
- your sound knowledge in the field of accounting and taxation,
- understanding of his pain areas and
- implicit communication from the prospect of visualizing you as his future trusted advisor.
However, having a successful meeting with your prospect does not necessarily mean that such a prospect will take services from your accounting firm.
Many accounting firms commit the mistake of not following up properly with their prospects. As a result, they tend to lose the opportunity of winning clients for their firms.
80% of the sales require at least 5 follow-up calls but 44% of the sales people give up after the first follow-up call itself.
This means that it is extremely important to have a well planned follow-up strategy for your accounting firm in order to get clients on board.
So, following up customers is the most important part of the sales process.
Hence to undertake a proper customer follow up system, here are some of the tips that you can follow.
1. Classify Your Prospects
The first and the foremost thing that you need to do as a part of customer follow up process is to filter your prospects.
As an accounting firm, you need to identify the prospects who are worth your time and effort. And the ones who can give you the kind of business you are seeking to undertake.
Thus, before deciding the way in which you would follow up your most valued prospects, it is first necessary to identify the parameters on the basis of which you will decide whether a prospect is:
- High Profile
- Medium Profile and
- Low Profile
High Profile prospects are the ones you would follow-up the most. This is simply because they meet all the parameters of a quality client and hence are a perfect fit for your accounting firm.
Thus, you would want to invest maximum time, respond quickly and take all the necessary actions in order to build a long term relationship with such a prospect.
Medium Profile prospect on the other hand is not a perfect fit but certainly the one who has the potential to give you business. You might not invest too much time or follow up with such a prospect frequently since you know that such a prospect would take longer than the high profile prospect to convert.
So, your follow-up strategy in case of such prospect could be sending company newsletters, emails etc.
Finally, low profile prospects are the ones whom you think have potential to a certain extent. But, such prospects certainly cannot become your most valued clients. Since you do not want to lose such prospects as they might refer business to you in the future, you might get in touch with them once in a year. And the best way to connect with prospects is to send the regular company emails or newsletters.
2. Follow Up The Way Your Prospect Wants
Once you have classified your prospects, the next step is to determine the ideal way to reach out to your most valued prospects.
As per a study, 57% of your prospects get motivated to seal a deal from a business entity that is not pushy for sales and does not annoy them with frequent follow up calls, emails, messages, etc.
Thus, you need to understand that your valued prospects have more pressing issues to deal with at their end. Spamming their inboxes with follow-up mails or calling them at hours when they are busy with important tasks related to their business makes you a desperate salesperson in their eyes.
This eventually makes them lose interest in you and discourages them to get you on board as their trusted advisor.
Thus, the best way to follow up is to ask your valued prospects for their preferred time and mode of follow-up in the sales meeting itself. T
his not only puts the impression that you value your prospect’s time and understand his need, but also helps in building trust in you as an accounting firm.
3. Have A Reason To Follow Up
It’s great that your sales meeting went well and your prospect was highly convinced to take your accounting services. But it is not possible for your prospect to make a final and binding decision in the first meeting itself.
Thus, you need to leave a bait that gives you a concrete reason to get back to your prospect and buy an opportunity to follow-up. However, simply giving a reminder to your prospect a few days after the sales meeting with regards to his decision to get you on board certainly seems pushy.
Therefore, there are various baits that you can offer to follow-up the next time. This might include a meeting with a senior consultant from your accounting firm or a free audit.
4. Do Not Delay In Following Up
As per a statistic, 64% of the companies admit that they do not have a well planned follow up strategy in place. This is what makes the majority of accounting firms as well to lose out on the opportunity of converting the high profile prospects into valued customers.
The time gap between a sales meeting and the first follow-up call should be minimal. Usually, accounting firms procrastinate in following up their valued prospects. This certainly increases the odds of other accounting firms to get business from such a prospect.
You must note that it is extremely important for your prospect to remember you and give you priority over competitor accounting firms. Thus, it is important to get in touch with your sales prospect within few hours of the sales meeting.
This can be undertaken by sending an acknowledgement email thanking your prospect for his valuable time and describing the next set of actions that you will undertake. These actions might include sending industry research reports or a free audit report.
5. Make Every Follow Up Call Valuable
It is certainly a bad idea to follow-up your most valued prospects with the intent of reminding them of their decision to get you on board as a trusted advisor. This creates the impression of you being pushy about sales and annoys your prospect, thus discouraging him to avail your services.
Ensure that each follow-up call, email, message etc is the one that creates value for your prospect. It must either cater to solving a pain point of your prospect, some industry news or event that can impact his business or a free check-up of his financial position etc.
This not only allows the prospect to confide in you as an entity but also makes him think that you understand his business needs. Further, he believes that you as an accounting firm would give him the best solution regarding the problems underlying his business.
Thus, as an accounting firm, it is very important to formulate an organized customer follow-up strategy. This is because not having a well planned process of nurturing the prospect can lead to losing the opportunity of winning high profile clients for your accounting firm.
Remember, the prospective client does not make a buying decision at the first instance itself. Therefore, giving up on customer follow-up or making a delay in doing so can make you lose business to competitor accounting firms.