As an LO, if you want to improve your closing ratio, you need a strong follow-up strategy. But once you have a strategy in place, you’ll never be done — meaning, I’m still making adjustments to my follow-up protocol all the time. Over time, I’ve found that some methods don’t get the same results, and some language stops being effective. So, with following-up being a daily part of the job, I wanted to share a few ideas to help improve your strategy and get the responses you’re looking for. Here are some of the things that work best:
One of the best ways to get the response you’re looking for is to follow-up sooner rather than later. You want the subject to still be on the recipient’s mind. Knowing how long to wait, though, requires some balance and experimentation — you don’t want to appear desperate or insistent, but you also don’t want to hold off for so long that the subject becomes less important to your prospect, either. Use your best judgement, but too soon is always better than too late. A prompt follow-up shows your prospects that A) it’s a priority for you, and B) that you’re invested. Both make a strong impression and can help move the relationship forward.
Make it Short and Sweet
The most effective follow-up messages are concise… short and sweet. A 3-paragraph email or a 3-minute voice message isn’t going to have the impact you’re looking for. Instead, shoot for 3 sentences in an email or text, or a 30-second voice message. You want your message to be as lean as possible while still communicating all of the information you need to convey. A short message will be read or listened to right away, while a longer message may get set aside for later.
If you want something from your prospect, you have to ask for it. Be clear and direct —what is it you want the prospect to do? And when do you want them to do it? You have to provide incentive and motivation if you want your call or message returned. Let the recipient know why you’re reaching out, and what you want them to do. Get specific, and make it as easy as possible for the recipient to act.
Maybe the worst thing you can do is make your follow-up message sound generic and impersonal. You want to personalize the message as much as possible. Use their names, and reference details from past conversations — this shows that you’ve been paying attention and, again, that they are a priority for you. Do you have anything of value to share? You should. Creating some value is the best way to motivate someone to reply.
Don’t Give Up Too Soon
It almost always takes more than one message to close a deal. Don’t give up just because you haven’t heard back from someone after your first (or second) follow-up. Design a follow-up strategy so that you have a plan for how often to reach out, and when. This will help you find the right balance between being persistent and being pushy.
Improving your follow-up messages will be a big benefit to your business; and these tips will certainly help. I also wrote earlier this year about improving email efficacy, here. That article is a good companion piece to this one.
Good luck and let me know how any of these tips may have helped you!
If you’re a loan officer, sales manager, or branch manager considering new opportunities, don’t hesitate to get in touch.