SEO Leads – How Many Times Should you Follow Up with A Prospect?

I landed a $7,500 web build today with ongoing $2,500 a month SEO, and the reason the client decided to go with me was quite interesting. He said “Everyone else I spoke to called me back repeatedly – one agency called me back every day, sometimes up to 5 times a day. After I spoke with you, you followed up with a polite email a week later, and that was it”. One thing I struggled with when I first started my business was when, or how often to follow up with a potential lead. Should I call them tomorrow? Is it too soon to follow up with an email? Is 3 email follow ups too many? Have they read my email? Are they ignoring me? Are they not interested? Was my quote too high? Will I sound desperate?
All of this sort of nonsense can really cloud your thoughts, and in my case it certainly did. Whilst there’s no magic answer – here are a few things I’ve learned.
  1.  Desperation will fuck you big time. One thing I know is that when you’re desperate for the job, it can be hard to hide, and people can tell. That can kill your chances. Dont sound desperate or needy for money – ever.
  2. Quote hard. By this your’re positioning yourself favorably so you’ve got some cash in the bank. When money gets low you start getting desperate for work, which revisits point 1.
  3. Be comfortable with your follow up efforts. I’ll follow up twice (maybe 3 times, but after that I’m not going to waste anymore time with it) One thing I do know is that some people (for whatever reason) have a hard time saying “No thanks” and will often not reply at all. That pisses me off, but what can you do?
  4. Be okay to hear “no”. It might suck, but there’ll be another offer tomorrow morning so it doesn’t matter.
  5. Don’t be pushy. I’ve had people ask me how to pay and get started after speaking on the phone for 4 minutes. I never take their money and always push them through the presentation first to avoid any issues later on.
  6. People get busy or shit gets in the way. I’ve had jobs where I’ve thought “Shit, I’ve lost that one” only to have the prospect come back a week later and say “John sorry mate, had some family issues, my dog died, there was a terrible flood, a tornado etc and got sidetracked – lets go ahead”
  7. Follow the process. I rarely ever get myself into a position these days where I’m “wondering” if someone wants to go ahead, and this is exactly what I cover in the training.
  • Step 1. Phone run sheet
  • Step 2. Pitch via the presentation and close.

I do understand however that sometimes things aren’t that straight forward, especially when there are multiple decision makers etc – but always follow the process, be honest, transparent and offer massive value that is clearly evident during those first few engagements. The rest should take care of itself without having to follow up a hundred times or come across as being needy.

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