The classic follow-up approach is communicating by phone. However, what most people tend to find is if you send an email at the same time or immediately following when leaving a voicemail, it can help raise responses.
Think about it, when someone receives a voicemail message from you, it is much easier for them to reply with a one or two-word response as opposed to finding a convenient time to pick up the phone and call you back.
Sending an email with a basic recap of what was said in the voicemail can be helpful because it makes replying much more convenient and simpler. Your prospect can simply reply they are not interested, are interested but on vacation, or are interested but cannot call back right away. There is a lot of valuable intelligence you can receive from this process as well.
One of the major benefits of following up with an email is most people customize their email response. When someone is on leave for an extended period of time, they typically update their email to reflect their change in schedule. Often, they will leave a standard message detailing when they are expected back, and sometimes, they will even mention where they are going.
A lot of times, when you send an email to someone that is out of the office, you will get a standard response stating their absence, and they will leave the contact information of another.
When you obtain this information, you receive additional valuable intelligence of other people that might be on their team, like a manager. If you believe in account-based management (ABM), you realize most decisions are made by committees as opposed to an individual person, so this additional information can only help.
If you are selling B2B -- especially to small and medium-sized businesses -- and they are active on LinkedIn, that can be another channel to stem communication. However, it is important to note with LinkedIn, there must be hundreds or thousands of people that have an account but only check it once in a blue moon.
The Bottom Line
The benefit of leaving a voicemail (assuming they are in the office) is that most people check their messages at least once a day.
As previously stated, it is certainly proactive to leave an email along with your voicemail because it gives your prospect an easy way to respond. Most people typically check their emails at least once or twice a day and often receive direct notifications on their computers and/or cell phones.
On LinkedIn, there could be several people where you send them a message through LinkedIn, but they do not see it for several weeks.
At the end of the day, it is really all about understanding your buyer persona and customizing and personalizing as you go. Recognize, at some point, there is a difference between people being busy and people who are just not interested. A lot of people are hounded by cold calls and email blasts all day long, so if you are not customizing your message and offering something of value, it is unrealistic to expect them to invest time in giving you a personalized response.
How does your company follow up on connection attempts? Let us know in the space for comments below.
To learn more about following up with prospects, download our guide “3 Revenue Growth Opportunities You Business May Be Missing.”