How To Follow Up Leads and Convert Them into Buyers

Leads. Follow up. Sales. More money.

As a sales rep, you want to have all of them. If possible, at the same time. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible. In fact, if you read this article from start to finish, you’ll see the possibility.

However, make sure you’ve perfected your follow up system.

Do you know the reason why 8% of sales people get 80% of the sales, while a whopping 80% of sales reps continue to struggle?

The answer is obvious: Follow up.

Follow up isn’t an option. It’s a necessity.

Imagine how many new prospects you would have turned into paying customers, if only you were strategic and kept in touch.

Follow up is critical if you want to convert new leads into buyers. After all, recent study by Marketing Donut found that, “only 2% of sales occur at a first meeting.

Only 2 percent of sales occur at the first meeting - Fileboard

Not fair, right?

Most sales reps are good at acquiring new leads, but when it comes to converting them into buyers, they give up. They complain. Worse, they look for shortcuts.

Listen up: The value of a lead can only be measured when they convert. If your leads don’t convert, you’re losing more money.

Seriously, you have to follow up on your new leads. Beyond turning them into buyers, these people are human beings. They’ve got blood running through their veins. They want to interact with you, and get to know you closely.

If you’re ready to make more money from your new leads, here are 5 smart ways to follow up like a pro


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1. Create friendly follow up triggers

Triggers are simple systems you set up to inform your prospects that you truly appreciate them.

But before then, you need to decide on your follow up goal. You need to be smart about this, so that when you achieve it, you’ll know.

What do you want to achieve through your follow up?

Depending on your field and product/service, you may want to build rapport with new leads first. You want them to see you as a friend and a solution provider, and not a salesperson.

At different stages of the customer buying cycle, your friendly trigger will seamlessly convey prospects into a new phase – while providing immense value.

The customer buying cycle - Fileboard

You can allow your prospects to choose their follow up sequence. However, this sequence is applicable to most businesses:

i). Send a “welcome email” after the prospect subscribes to your email list, places a call, or comes in person.

On this email, you welcome new prospects and thank them specially for coming aboard. Don’t forget to attach the free kit (video series, ebook, report, etc) which they requested on the welcome email.

ii). Send a follow up email 24 hours. This time, you ask a simple question to your new prospects, like, “what are you struggling with right now?”

A study by Inside Sales shows that 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.

Depending on the prospect’s preference, you may send an SMS or call the prospect.

iii). If your SMS, call, or email didn’t produce results (maybe the prospect was absent), you should give your client a break. Then follow up the next day, and inquire when the meeting or discuss is most suitable.

2. Assume responsibility

Getting people to buy a particular product or subscribe to a service shouldn’t be tricky. Be transparent. And use it to quickly build trust with new leads.

This is so vital, especially in today’s business world where competition is always getting stronger as the days go by. You’ve got to take responsibility.

Assume responsibility to make contact. If you expect your new prospects to call, SMS, or email you, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

People are not looking to buy your product, but the strong reason behind it. In other words, the “why?”

For one, when you take it upon yourself to bring satisfaction to your prospects – they’ll feel obliged to buy from you.

As the sales rep, it’s your responsibility to maintain the relationship with prospects and customers alike.

Note: Prospects will not buy if they’re not appreciated.

Remember that companies that nurture their leads have 9% more sales reps making quota, than companies that ignore their leads.Do not give up after one follow up communication.

Why you should not give up after the 1 follow up - Fileboard

It’s your responsibility to keep at it. If a lead doesn’t convert into a buyer this month, you can’t tell what would happen in the next 30 days.

3. Invite new leads to networking events

Sometimes, the tiny tweak you need to build that strong rapport with new leads and prospects it to stop talking about your product. Don’t get to a point where you’re only concerned about converting leads into buyers.

How to convert prospects into customers - Fileboard

In this 21st century, the prospect is very knowledgeable. I can assure you that before you met them, they must have read a lot of helpful information online. Google is there to provide all the answers they need.

However, if you change your mindset, and invite them to a networking event, they’ll appreciate you with their lives. Why?

The reason is because when they attend a business event of any sort, you’ve given them the the opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, gain a deeper insight about the industry. A greater opportunity to attract prospects to their own business, too.

And if you happen to be speaking at the event, it’s a great opportunity to reinforce the benefits of your product/service once more.

C.J. Hayden also suggests you, “host a networking breakfast or brown bag lunch and invite several prospects.”

Before the networking event comes to a close, I can assure you that several of your new prospects will gladly become buyers. You can’t contain the joy, will you?

4. Build confidence by offering free and valuable advice

Confidence is a key driver of sales.

Offering value in every follow up builds trust. And when trust is established, confidence follows. Without confidence, the new prospects whom you hope will convert someday will never resolve to buy.

On the other hand, helping your prospects, and standing by them all the way builds your confidence. By the time you’re ready to ask for the sale, you’ll not cower.

Help your customers at every opportunity - Fileboard

As a sales rep, do all you can to bring your prospects to a realm where they don’t see you as a salesperson, who wants their hard earned money.

In reality, you’re not after anybody’s money, but to help them succeed in their chosen fields. Your product is an avenue to actualize this goal of helping your prospects and customers.

Your advice doesn’t have to be sales oriented all the time. Give away free valuable advice and resources.

Giving away invaluable content for free has been Neil Patel’s greatest marketing and follow up strategy. Consequently, he has co-founded 5 multimillion dollar SaaS businesses, with his partner Hiteh.

Why not follow the same path?

Ideally, spend most of your time resolving the client’s problems, challenges, and meeting their core needs. Closing sales is good, but when you’re building relationships, banish that thought. You’ll get back to it.

At every opportunity you’ve to communicate with your prospects, offering additional advice on how the prospect can be a lot happier will go along way.

Sales Rep Nico Papas has a simple and proven strategy for capturing his prospect’s attention. Whenever he sends email and notices that some of his prospects opened the email, but didn’t click the accompanying link, he will fire up a quick note to:

  • Let the recipient know that he’s aware of their potential interest
  • Volunteer himself as a helpful resource.

By being strategic, Nico Papas has grown his email open rates, resulting in a 50% reply rate. You should learn from Nico. I trust you will!

In addition to offering a free advice, you should recommend free and paid publications, video trainings (both the ones your company produced and resources from other companies), eBooks, interactive infographics, and so forth.

All of these would help to nurture the relationship that you’ve initiated with your friendly follow up triggers (see no #1).

5. Refer them a prospect for their own business

How many sales reps do this?

Can you go all out to help your prospect succeed?

Let me remind you why prospects subscribed to your email list or called at your business in the first place:

  • They want answers to their questions
  • They want to attract more clients/customers
  • They want to increase sales
  • They want to retain buyers
  • They want to improve their brands
  • They want to become more productive
  • They want to help their customers
  • …And so on

When you’re a sales rep, one of the challenges you might face is that of looking out for the good of your prospects. These set of people are not customers yet, but you deemed it fit to send new prospects or leads their way.

What a great relief!

At such moments when your prospect discovers that you actually referred a potential buyer to their own business, they’ll embrace you.

All objections will be lifted. Nothing can successfully stand in the way of conversion any longer.

You’ve made your mark. Your new prospects don’t have any reason not to trust you.

According to Pragmatic Marketing, “your prospects will appreciate you for considering their own business. They’ll send you handwritten thank you notes.”

To make your journey more blissful, find out what’s at the heart of your prospects and start from there. Ed Gandia, the founding partner of International Freelancers Academy does this too well.

Before he launches any product to help freelancers, he first shows them how to get high paying clients.

At one time, he sent out an email to new prospects who signed up to his newsletter – alerting them on 3 copywriting gigs.

Whether you’re a freelance or sales rep, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you look out for what your prospect wants and help them out.

For example, If your prospects want to become more productive, as a sales rep, step out and do something to help. A quick tip or tool could be helpful.


There you’ve it. The 5 proven steps on how to follow up new leads and convert them into buyers.

Asking prospects to buy when they’re not ready or motivated sucks. It would be difficult to convert new prospects who have bugging questions.

Instead of working hard to get them to buy your product/service, work smarter to bring them happiness.

Abandon yourself in issues that will bring your prospect joy. When you follow up (e.g., send email, send SMS, make a call), let this drive you.

Of course, you may not know their internal questions, but you’ll be appreciated if you refer a prospect to them, or show them ways to get new leads.

It’s your turn. Which other strategy do you use to follow up new leads, and convert them into buyers?