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Stop following up and close more sales

I have always been a huge proponent of email as a marketing tool. Social media is necessary and fine, but email is more personal and intimate. It is almost analogous to an acquaintance and a boy or girlfriend. With an acquaintance, you are a bit more guarded than with a close friend. Email is no different and it is a powerful medium; and, if used right, it could be a pipeline into more direct sales for you. Here is one successful, non-sales strategy that has worked for me. It’s a no pressure means to follow up on a lead without sounding like the irritating salesperson.

Here is the scenario. A prospect contacts you and is interested in a family vacation that is fairly active, yet needs to meet the needs of travelers from 3 to 80. You present several options including some escorted tours, some FIT, and a cruise. The prospect says, “Fantastic, let me think about it and I will get back to you.” And they are gone forever—maybe not!

Following up on a lead is one of my weakest points. I go through my day and will either work on fresher leads, or the mundane office work that comes along with owning any agency. But then I tried a simple tactic that really helped to improve my close ratio.

Rather than “following up,” I just give them some more information. It is not being a pest, it is not being a “nudge.” It is not even being “salesy.”

Remember that prospect that said they’d get back to you? What do you think their reaction might be if a week later (assuming you have not heard from them) they get an email from you with a link to a story about a new activity that opened up in a destination that they had considered? Of course it could be anything—a new ship, a new destination, or some hard news about the destination.

You do not re-pitch them. You do not remind them that they “owe” you a return call. You simply say, “I saw this and thought you might be interested.” End of the story.

At worst, your email will be ignored (no big loss); more likely than not you will receive a thank-you email which is a win because the communication has now been re-opened and you are now top of mind for travel. Often, these emails will lead to a sale when they realize they owe you a return call. The best case is that they immediately make a commitment to use you for their upcoming travel needs. All without a pitch!

This also will work with automated marketing emails. I will often send out an email highlighting specific trips and then re-email only the folks that clicked on a specific trip to give them more information. The fact that they opened it indicates some level of interest. Why not give them more to chew on and help them on their way?

That’s it. It really is that simple and if you devote perhaps an hour a week to this type of follow up, your sales likely will increase! Try it and see… and then report back! What about you? Have any tips? Leave a comment!

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