7 Essential Tips For Making The Perfect Follow-Up Call

follow-up call

When making phone calls, especially in business, you don’t always get the answers you need immediately. Sometimes you need to conduct additional cold calling or a ‘follow-up call’ to secure the deal and develop a deeper connection with the person on the other side. However, when you don’t know what to do, these sales calls can go a bit south, and you don’t get what you aim for.

That’s why we’re here to help by providing you and other sales professionals with the top seven best practices for ensuring a perfect follow-up call so you end up feeling like you achieved your goal in the end. Here they are:


Prepare for the call

Preparing for a sales follow-up call is more than just a good thing to do; it’s absolutely vital. Why? Because having clarity on what was discussed previously can make a huge difference in how your next conversation pans out.

Firstly, revisiting old emails, notes, contact information, or previous cold calls gives insight into what the other person is looking for. It allows for continuity in the discussion. Everyone appreciates when you remember past interactions, making the conversation feel more like a progression rather than starting from scratch.

Second, it’s crucial to know the purpose of your follow-up. Is it to clarify something, share updates, or perhaps push toward finalising a deal? When you’re clear on your intent, the conversation stays focused and doesn’t drift aimlessly.

Also, some foresight can help you tackle tricky questions or concerns. Preparing in advance ensures you come across as informed and reliable.

At its core, preparation is more than just about collecting information; it’s a gesture that shows you respect the person on the other end. By taking the time to prep, you’re valuing their time and increasing the chances of a productive call through higher customer satisfaction.


Choose the best time

Timing, as they say, is everything, especially when it comes to making an effective follow-up call. The right timing can go a long way and mean the difference between a productive conversation and an inconvenient interruption.

Imagine being in the middle of a crucial meeting, and your phone rings or you’re finally taking a lunch break, and someone decides that’s the perfect time to call. Not the best experience, right? That’s why picking the right moment to dial can elevate the success rate of your conversation.

Firstly, always consider the recipient’s timezone if they’re located elsewhere. It’s a small detail, but it communicates thoughtfulness. Secondly, unless previously agreed upon, avoid the common “no-call” times: early mornings, lunch hours, and late evenings. Most people are either gearing up for their day, taking a breather, or winding down during these periods.

Also, if the nature of your follow-up is in response to a previous communication, consider the time frame you mentioned initially. If you promised to call back in two days, make sure to stick to that.

Lastly, always be prepared to reschedule. Everyone has busy days or unforeseen commitments. Showing flexibility displays your respect for their time and ensures they have the right mindset to converse when you do connect.


Build a connection

As you prep for that follow-up call, here’s something to keep in mind: It’s not just about checking off a task. It’s about creating a sincere relationship and good impression; trust me, that’s transformative for any chat.

Ever had one of those calls where the person jumps straight to the point? It feels kind of off, right? Now imagine if they remembered a tiny snippet from your last talk: “Hey, last time you were gearing up for that beach vacation. How’d it go?” Suddenly, you’re not just talking shop; there’s a real, human connection.

It’s always a good idea to kick off your call to potential clients with a touch of personal interest. Maybe they hinted at a busy week or a fun outing. Bringing that up can lay down a relaxed vibe for the chat.

It’s also a big win to really tune in. Being present, showing you get it, and giving thoughtful replies can turn a simple call into something genuinely memorable.

And one more thing: keep it real. Being genuine has its own kind of magic. A heartfelt question or relatable response to a pain point can deepen your building bond.


State the purpose

Let’s face it; no one likes to be left in the dark, especially on a call, where the other person seems to circle around a topic without ever really touching down on it. That’s why stating the purpose of a follow-up call is paramount. This sort of customer service is the compass that guides the conversation in the right direction.

From the get-go, clarity is king. When you begin the call, it’s beneficial for both parties to understand the reason behind it. Whether you’re providing an update, seeking clarification, or closing on a decision, pinpointing the purpose helps set the tone and expectations.

Stating the purpose or value proposition isn’t about being blunt or too direct; it’s about respecting the other person’s time. It ensures that both of you are on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and potential time-wasters.

In practice, it could be as simple as starting with: “Hi, I’m calling today to discuss the feedback you provided last week” or “I wanted to touch base regarding the proposal we sent.” This direct approach streamlines the conversation and instils confidence in the person you speak to.


Actively listen

When diving into follow-up calls, a golden rule can often be overlooked: it’s not always about what you bring to the table but how well you take in what’s served. In simpler terms? It’s all about the art of listening to their pain points.

Have you ever been on a call where you pour out your thoughts, and the response feels a bit flat? We’ve all been there, and it’s not the most reassuring feeling. That’s why honing your listening skills can truly elevate the conversation.

Here’s the deal: Genuinely tune in when someone shares their side. Avoid that tempting drift into your next talking point. Instead, immerse yourself in their words, the emotion they’re conveying, and the nuances in between.

Acknowledge what prospective clients are saying. Responses like, “I see what you mean” or “That’s a good point” can bridge any communication gaps. And if something’s not crystal clear? Don’t hesitate to ask for more details. A simple “Can you expand on that?” shows your genuine engagement.

During your next follow-up call, remember that listening is more than just a passive act. It’s an active endeavour, laying the foundation for a rich, two-way conversation that leaves both parties feeling valued and understood.


Ask for questions

In the thick of follow-up calls, we sometimes forget this little thing: giving room for additional questions. Giving updates is key, but we must also let the other person pitch in.

Not everyone’s comfortable putting their questions out there, especially if it feels like the chat’s a bit one-sided. That’s why we’ve got to clarify that we’re not just okay with questions; we’re all ears.

Dropping a quick “Anything you want to ask about what we went over?” can change the whole vibe and increase customer satisfaction. It’s a green light that says, “Hey, I’m listening.” It doesn’t just clear up any hazy points; it turns the talk into more of a back-and-forth.

And here’s the best part: it’s not just about getting things straight. It’s about showing them you value what they think. The chat isn’t just you giving them information—it’s a shared conversation.

Plus, their questions? They are an absolute gold mine. They clue you into what they’re thinking, what’s bugging them, or what piques their interest. And that’s pure gold for steering where things go next.


Establish next steps

In the realm of follow-up calls, it’s more than just revisiting past conversations. It’s crucial to think ahead and ask, “What comes next?” Pinpointing the next steps ensures the call is productive and propels the conversation forward.

Highlighting a clear path forward demonstrates proactivity. A subtle nod says, “I’m committed to this and want to see progress.” It provides clarity and direction, ensuring no one leaves the call with lingering questions about the purpose or outcomes.

A practical approach? Start by summarising the primary takeaways from the call. This quick recap reinforces mutual understanding and creates a foundation for outlining the next steps. Then, clearly define what actions or engagements should follow. This could be scheduling another meeting, assigning tasks, or awaiting further details.

However, don’t just dictate the next steps. Engaging the other party by seeking their input or confirmation is a good idea. This collaborative gesture ensures that the proposed actions resonate with both sides and fosters a sense of shared responsibility.

Integrating the next steps into your follow-up calls bridges the gap between the present conversation and future actions. It’s about ensuring clarity and continuity as the discussion progresses and can significantly impact the outcome for you or your sales reps.


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