How many times do you follow up with a prospect? Do you feel uncomfortable and assume they’re not interested when they don’t pick up your call?
There are a few core principles that you must follow in a building company’s sales process when you’re following up.
One of the main problems we see with builders when they follow up is that the prospects are very difficult to contact.
When you call them, you end up getting their voicemail, because fewer and fewer people answer their phone now if they’re not familiar with the number calling them.
Getting emails into people’s inboxes can also be very difficult. It’s easy for your email to go unseen by the recipient.
And the worst thing that can then happen is that builders tell themselves people aren’t responding because they are not interested. Maybe they’ve decided not to build, or they’ve decided to go with another builder. Or maybe the prospect just didn’t like them, or they were using them as a price check.
We tell ourselves these lies because we’re trying to avoid rejection. This is why a lot of the time we simply avoid following up with people. We don’t want them to reject us, so we let them slip through our fingers.
The Simple Follow-Up Strategy You Need To Use
The best way to avoid missing out on these great opportunities that you’re generating is by following what we call the 3X3 strategy. Follow this process for every new lead that hits your database with a phone number.
The 3X3 strategy is all about making three attempts to contact a prospect using three different channels. In total, that equals nine attempts to contact a person by phone, email, and SMS.
When you use the 3X3 strategy, speed is absolutely critical because success in sales is literally measured in seconds, not minutes. And definitely not hours or days. So, the moment you get an enquiry with a phone number, you’ve got to make that outbound call instantly.
A lot of builders will tell themselves that they don’t want to appear desperate, and they’ll leave an enquiry there for a day or so. But all that does is demonstrate to the prospect that the builders don’t care about them. And meanwhile, the competition has jumped straight on the phone and is now speaking to the prospect and has started building rapport.
This is how a lot of the myths about poor-quality leads come about. Because by the time these builders do reach out, the lead is already talking to another builder who has demonstrated more professionalism and care in their service. At this point, the lead might say, “Oh, I’m not interested at the moment. Maybe in a couple of months,” or “I’m just looking.”
If you hear this, then most likely they are brushing you off because they’ve already built rapport with the professional builder who called them back instantly.
This is something that applies to every business, even ours. As an example, we have a great member who still remembers how he followed us for over a year on Facebook before he was confident enough to reach out.
But when he finally did reach out, the thing that still sticks in his mind all these years later is that we contacted him within seconds. So not only were we successful in reaching this builder because we contacted him straight away, particularly when the subject was so fresh in his mind, but we also managed to leave him with a lasting impression.
The 3X3 Strategy In Practice
The first thing you should do when someone submits their phone number is give them a call. Even if they’ve already booked a consultation, or a meeting with you in a few days or a week’s time - it doesn’t matter. You still want to make that call instantly, to confirm their booking.
This is really important. And if you call and you get their voicemail, don’t worry about that. It happens all the time. But what you don’t want to do is leave a message. You should hang up, and then instantly call back again.
When you do this, you will significantly increase the number of conversations that you have with people. It has become a default process for all of us with mobile phones that when we get an incoming call, and we don’t recognise the number, we just let it go to voicemail.
But bang, when that number calls back, you find yourself thinking, oh, this is important. And in a lot of cases, the call will get answered.
When you call back the second time and there’s still no answer, then that’s when you should leave a message. And it’s very important that your message is concise and to the point.
We’d recommend following a script like this:
Hey (prospect’s name), it’s (your name) from (your building company). I’m calling you today in regard to (reference their last action). No need to give me a call back as I’ll be heading into client meetings for the rest of the morning/afternoon. What I will do for you though, is send over a quick text message/email containing a link to my personal calendar so you can book a time that’s convenient for you and I will call you back then. Talk soon.
Once you’ve left the message, instantly send an SMS stating that you’ve just tried to call them and have left a voicemail. This is because some people might only play their messages at the end of the day. SMS has an enormous cut-through, which is why it is your second channel.
After you send the SMS, also send an email. So now, you’ve hit them with three different channels instantly. That is going to really get the attention of someone who is serious about designing a new home.
The next day, repeat the entire process. Don’t wait a week before you contact them again. If you do wait an entire week, they’ll have forgotten who you are. They’ll probably also have developed a relationship with the professional builder who managed to connect with them, and then they’ll tell you that they’re not quite ready, or they were just looking. And you’ll start believing the lead is poor quality. It’s not. Someone else is eating your lunch.
If you called them in the morning, maybe try in the afternoon or early evening the following day. But try the exact same process all over again.
Call, and if you get voicemail, hang up and instantly call back. If you still get voicemail, leave a concise message and then send them an SMS instantly. Finally, send them an email as well. That is strike two.
You’ve now made six outreaches to this person. If they’re seriously looking for a builder, and they have the concern that most consumers have about communication, they’re going to be quite intrigued by the level of communication you’re demonstrating.
If this still doesn’t get a response from your prospect, then on day three, repeat the process again. Don’t put it off for another week because you feel awkward or pushy. You’re a professional, they have reached out to you, and now you are investing your precious time attempting to help them. If anything, they should feel awkward for ignoring you, not the other
Go all in on day three; however, use a different tactic this time - what we call the goodbye message. If you get their voicemail, hang up and then instantly redial. And if you still get their voicemail, leave a breakup message. It’s very important on strike three, that you make it very, very clear to this prospect that you will not be calling anymore. You’re going to do it professionally and politely, and with the assumption that they’ve changed their mind and decided not to proceed. You’re sorry to hear that, but you’re not going to waste any more of their time, and you really do wish them all the best.
For example, you could say:
Hey (prospect’s name), it’s (your name) from (your company). I’ve tried getting in touch with you a few times now via phone, email, and SMS to learn a little more about your new project. You’re obviously busy, and I don’t want to pester you any more than I already have, so I’ll mark your enquiry as closed on our end. Take care (prospect’s name), and I wish you the best of luck with your project.
What this does is create a sense of FOMO, or fear of missing out, in this prospect. And you will find that 20% of people will now reach out to you. They’ll either call you back or reply to the SMS, or they’ll reply to the email that you sent on strike three. Because all these messages will make it very clear that this is the last time you will be reaching out to them.
They came to you and asked for help, and you’ve been professional and responded. But after nine attempts, they still haven’t responded to you. It’s time to move on and focus on someone who does want your help. This is the most powerful message you can leave.
When people don’t respond to you in strikes one and two, don’t get disheartened. Instead, look at it like you are simply paving the way for strike three, which has the highest chance of a response from that prospect. This third attempt allows you to identify the 20% who are serious about moving forward. If 100% responded, you’d be inundated with phone calls, and speaking to a lot of the wrong people. This is a great qualifying process that helps you identify the best people.
If you don’t get a response, mark this opportunity as lost. Move on. You can pick this opportunity up in a few months with your targeted prospecting strategy, but right now, you don’t need to waste any more time on them.
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