Aidi's — Art of Following Up
To start this topic, I would like to make reference to this article by the CEO of Close.com — Steli Efti (https://close.com/resources/followup/). In his book, he lays down some guidelines on how to followup people, customers or even talent effectively — I think every African founder should read this book. Highly recommended.
I would be picking few points from his book to establish my own personal views in this write-up with the assumption that you have a good product, you know your target market and they are people who can and are willing to pay for your product.
In his book, Steli highlighted one of the most common problems a lot of startup founders face which is;
"Having A wrong Philosophy towards Following-up customers"
This can further be broken down into the following points;
- Hopeless Optimism
If you’ve spoken to a customer which you know you can create incredible value for and the deal will benefit you as well. They seem to agree but then, they tell you, “we’ll look into this next quarter and you settle with this response and do nothing, then you are wrong!
Most people tend to look at the fact that they didn’t say no and tell themselves, “They’re going to sign the deal later. I Just need to wait.”
According to Steli, This is called hopeless optimism and it’s a disease some early-stage African founders, marketers, and execs have. But according to his book, rather than wait for a response, follow up closely till you get a clear Yes or No but do it using some of the steps mentioned in Steli’s Book.
2. Thinking Silence is Rejection
If a customer or a prospect is not responding to your emails or messages — Don’t Assume for him or her. The truth is, You are not the centre of their universe and they might not be responding for a variety of reasons
According to Steli, Most people assume because they did not get an immediate or initial response to their message this means that the customer isn’t interested in their product or service — This isn’t true all the time and it is a myth.
Most times, prospects or customers might not be in the right frame of mind at that time to respond to your message for a number of reasons that are infinite while some might just need a little nudge from you to show that you have a clear value to offer them.
So my final thoughts on this;
If you truly want to hit those great margins then stop that mindset of hopeless optimism and rejection, rather quit sitting around waiting for prospects to reach out and respond to your initial message,
Rather jump right in to do a follow-up to that prospect or customer till you get a Yes or No
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NB: To get more thoughts on growth from me. Visit my blog on medium @gbolademmanuel or follow me on twitter @gbolademmanuel