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Turning a Lead into a Sale: How to Optimize Follow-Ups

January 28, 2011
By Janice McDuffee - TMC Copy Editor


After making an initial sale contact and dropping a few product ideas into prospective clients’ thoughts, the next critical steps in your follow-up can make or break your efforts in turning a lead into a sale. 

The follow-up call, email, letter or face-to-face meeting is the time to rehash the objectives previously laid out while your products are still fresh in their minds—Home Business Magazine suggests the first follow-up be no later than a week from initial contact.


There are several tactics you can use to optimize your sales calls by standing out from your competitors, and increasing efficiency in your overall sales process. 

Have something ready to initiate the call that will differentiate you from the rest. Personalize the contact by addressing the prospects by their names and refer to their specific interests relevant to their business needs.

Be sure to streamline the information you present to be specific enough to continually maintain the prospect’s interest. Try your best to compact the information into thorough, but brief increments that could possibly be stretched out into multiple follow-ups. Although the details may vary from meeting to meeting, the prospect should know exactly what it is you do and what makes your company exceptional every time.

If you’re emailing the potential client, utilize what technology has to offer and include multimedia—whether that be a video or a distinctive image. Imagery can also be extremely effective when used in a face-to-face meeting by leaving a hardcopy package with the prospect after you leave that will hopefully leave an impression.

KineticCast mentions in its six methods to improve a follow-up: “Sometimes using new technologies as the medium for follow-ups can immediately distinguish you from your competitors. Some programs simplify the process on your end and give you information on a lead’s interest level that you may not have otherwise had access to.”

When speaking with your prospects, take an authoritative position as the all encompassing expert on the field of their interest. Provide outside information about other companies by referring them to articles, websites and videos. Doing so will make a potential client have confidence in you and your company’s abilities, and are more likely to follow you into the next steps, whether that be another follow up with a demo, or a proposal to initiate the sale.

Afraid of confronting the follow-up? Read more from TMCnet about how to overcome the anxiety of repeated contact.


Janice McDuffee has worked in marketing, editing and freelance writing for companies including SheKnows and HBM Inc. after receiving her master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny



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