You have met with the prospect and presented your case for doing business. When it is time to circle back and follow up, some investment professionals have the gift of business patter. They are genuinely excited to speak to clients and colleagues, and share something new every time they call. While it comes natural for some, the rest of us can only aspire to meet every interaction as an opportunity to inspire, educate or entertain. Here are five tricks for great follow-up calls:
- Be clear on your objective. Getting a prospect closer to becoming a client is a multi-step process. So is building the relationship. These are dual tasks for the call.
- After pleasantries, find the right moment to share a substantive update. Regardless of who initiated the call, you have ideas to share. “Who has questions for my answers?” Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State used to alert the assembled White House press corps that their questions would elicit his talking points. Jotting a few fresh insights by the phone means that you’ll always be prepared to lead the business discussion.
- “How are you doing?” is an open-ended question. This is an opening to convey excitement, optimism and opportunity. Of course a good balance of listening and speaking is essential to the success of any prospect call.
- Replay the advantages of your experience, investment approach and client service. Remind your prospects that you can help them. “We can do you some good,” one professional says, and establishes the time frame for the next conversation.
- Callers enjoy hearing these words as you conclude a call: “Keep in touch.” These words affirm your sincerity with, letting them know you value the conversation and the relationship.
Mastering the follow-up call gets you closer to YES. Preparation and focus are a good proxy for the gift of gab. A well-orchestrated follow-up call gives you the chance to do what voice mail and email cannot do nearly as well: connect!