If you have seen me present before, you most likely have been involved in a little audience participation. I will ask the crowd, “How many of you follow up with your leads at least once 100% of the time?” Most people raise their hand.

“OK, 100% of the time at least twice?” Hands start dropping. “And how many of you follow up with 100% of your leads, 100% of the time at least 3 times?” By now, we only have a few people left with their hands up (and suspiciously those are from the agents sitting next to their managers).

I can’t stress the importance of persistence in your follow-up program. I think it is one of the easiest ways to produce more sales from the leads and prospects you already have.

But as LeVar Burton would say, “You don’t have take my word for it.” (Now you will be walking around singing, Take a look, it’s in a book…. You’re welcome.)

There are studies that back this up. The National Association of Sales Executives conducted a survey that revealed 80% of sales are made between the 5th and the 12th contact. Does that ring true for you? Think about how many points of contact you make before it results in a contract.

Now, contrast that to a recent shop conducted online with 261 new home communities. The shopper submitted their full contact information including a phone number and they actually asked a question (sounds like a hot lead to me). The results, less than 3% followed up more than once via phone and/or more than twice via email.

This can be your opportunity to jump in there and be the one that follows up and gets the sale. We haven’t even talked about the fact that roughly half of agents don’t follow up at all!

So, if you “mind the gap” between what it takes to move a lead to an appointment or a prospect to a contract, I don’t believe you will have to worry about business in 2012.

Take a moment and think through your follow-up strategy. What do you have in place that will ensure you make at least 5 contacts with a lead or prospect?

Remember, it’s not about writing an email that is so magical it convinces them to move forward. It’s not about the phone call you make where you say exactly what they needed to hear. It’s about doing what the other 97% of agents won’t do.

When you think about it, persistence really does pay!

And if you are looking for a more mature quote than LeVar Burton – how about this classic quote from the 1840’s

‘Tis a lesson you should heed, 
Try, try again. 
If at first you don’t succeed, 
Try, try again. – Thomas H. Palmer  – Teacher’s Manual (1840)

(saying ‘Tis really does make you feel smarter doesn’t it!)

Photo by Mike Knell

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