How to follow up without annoying people – VAFU Part 1

A Professional WINS business with frequent, value-adding follow-up.
An Amateur LOSES business because of a lack of value-adding follow up.

Which one are you?

Check out these statistics – they’re VERY important for EVERY entrepreneur.

  • 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2. (InsideSales)
  • It takes 8 cold calls to reach a prospect. 72% of all sales calls aren’t answered. (Baylor University)
  • 92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes. (MarketingDonut)
  • 80% of sales are made by 20% of salespeople. The winners sell to the prospects the losers give up on. (Bill Corbin on LinkedIn)
  • Only 2% of sales happen at the first meeting. (MarketingDonut)
  • 83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months. (MarketingDonut)
  • 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you’ve got a 25% chance to hear back. (YesWare)
  • What do buyers want from sales pros? 69% say, “Listen to my needs.” 61% say, “Don’t be pushy” and “give me relevant information.” 51% want salespeople to respond in a timely manner. (Hubspot)
  • Successful door-to-door reps canvass a neighborhood 3x and talk with 90% of the residents.
  • Average salespeople slack off the first two months of a quarter, then scramble in month three. Their third-month efforts get a lower success rate. (Gong)
  • Video is key. 70% of prospects watch a video to help them decide. (So, send customized videos.) (ThinkWithGoogle)
  • 96% of salespeople quit after four attempts, but 60% of sales happen after the 5th attempt. (Zig Ziglar)
  • 90% of buyers are willing to engage salespeople earlier in the buying process. [CSO Insights]
  • Personalized emails increase click-through rates by 14% and conversions by 10%. [Aberdeen Research]
  • Subject lines that include the recipient’s first name improve unique open rates by 29.3% across all industries [MarketingSherpa]
  • Reps that incorporate social media into their sales process exceed quota 23% more often. []
  • Subject lines with three to four words get more responses than shorter and longer ones.
  • The Boomerang team also found messages written at a third-grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.
  • The more you write, the less likely you are to get a response. Only one in three messages that are longer than 2500 words receive a reply. However, you shouldn’t be too brief: A 25-word email is roughly as effective as a 2000-word one. What’s the sweet spot? Between 50 and 125 words — or around the length of this paragraph.
  • Don’t just provide information — request some, too. Emails that contain one to three questions are 50% likelier to get replies than emails without any questions.

Conclusion – following up is essential to growing your business in business…yet so many of us don’t do it, and I’ve always wondered why…haven’t you?

Now after being a local professional and salesperson for over 15 years, and after working with over 2000 local professionals, here are the categories of thoughts that you and I really have that prevent us from following up efficiently, effectively, and frequently.

  • I don’t know (insert limiting belief)
    • I don’t know what to say
    • I don’t know this person well
  • I don’t have (insert resource)
    • I don’t have time”
    • I don’t have a CRM
    • I don’t have a good email tool
    • I don’t have a good script
  • I feel (insert negative thought)
    • I feel awkward
    • I don’t want to sound stupid
    • I don’t feel it today
    • I don’t feel like it will work
    • I feel they don’t want me calling
  • They (Insert blame)
    • They don’t pick up and respond to my calls, texts, emails
    • My family needed me
    • My clients needed me
    • The market isn’t good right now

Can you relate to some of these thoughts? I know I do.
And as a result, I created a bunch of follow up strategies and tactics that are

  • Simple to execute
  • Easy to do
  • Value Adding to the recipient of the follow-up

But first…

Let’s go over the fundamentals of follow up

Use all the mediums to CONNECT with the person

  • Face to Face
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Text
  • Video Text
  • Facebook DM
  • LinkedIn DM
  • Instagram DM

…and then find their preferred mode of communication

Follow Up Frequently

  • 5-10 people per day
  • Talk to everyone 2-4 times per year

Add value every time.

  • Interview and feature them
  • Give them your local weekly email newsletter
  • Connect them with people
  • Connect them with products and services
  • Educate them

Ask magical questions that lead to real estate conversations

  • Do you have any questions about the market?
  • Have you had any thoughts of buying/selling/investing/moving?
    • Do you know someone who is thinking about buying/selling/investing/moving?
    • Do you know anybody that tried to sell in the past and it just didn’t work out?
    • At what price would you sell your home?
  • What does your dream home look like?
  • Where do you live?
    • How long have you lived there?
    • Where are you moving to next?

6 Simple & Easy Value-Adding Follow Up (VAFU) Campaigns

The “Thank You” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • Show appreciation and gratitude to your interviewees, friends, fans, followers
  • To make people feel good

What does success look like?

  • You start a conversation with the person.
  • You get them to respond. 
  • You start dialogue back and forth
  • You make them feel good
  • You keep the door open for more conversation in the future

Who are you targeting with this campaign?

  • People you interviewed
  • Businesses who use the website by uploading deals, sales, specials, and events
  • People who liked, commented, and shared your interview or any social media posts
  • Past Clients
  • Friends, Family
  • People who have referred you business
  • People who you work with, and refer business too
  • Someone who has given you amazing service

Example scripts to start conversations

  • Hi NAME, I just want to say THANK YOU for participating in this local initiative, being interviewed, and helping others get to know you!
  • Hi NAME, I just want to say THANK YOU for taking the time to help everyone in the community get to know your and your business!
  • Hi NAME, I just want to say THANK YOU for offering amazing incentives for local consumers to try you out, as well as rewards for your customers to write a review and educate others about your business!

How can you send your messages out?

  • Text, Whatsapp (best)
  • Social Media DM
  • Email
  • Hand Written Note

What do you do after they respond?

  • Ask them if they want to be interviewed and featured
  • Ask them if they want to subscribe to the neighborhood newsletter
  • Ask them a magical question

The “Have You Shared Your Interview” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • To make sure your interviewee gets maximum exposure for the interview you did of them

What does success look like?

  • You get the person you interviewed to share the interview on their social media either by
    • Making a post
    • Sharing your post

Who are you targeting?

  • The people you interviewed who have NOT shared the interview yet

How do you check to see if they have shared it?

  • Insert the URL of your interview into Facebook’s search, and filter by posts
  • Insert the name of the business you interviewed into Facebook’s search, and filter by posts

Sample Templates to send

How can you send this follow up message

  • Email
  • Social Media DM

What does the process look like

  • Step 1 – Check to see if the person you interviewed shared the interview
    • If yes, follow up with the “Check out the results of our interview” Campaign
    • If not, proceed to Step 2
  • Step 2 – Send an Email to the person you interviewed, letting them know you posted it, and let them know the benefits if they post it

What can you do when they respond

  • Ensure they shared the interview
  • Let them know you will follow up with the analytics of the interview after
  • Ask for referrals to do more interviews
  • Ask them if they have uploaded deals, sales, specials, events
  • Ask them who they want to be connected with

The “Check out the results of our interview” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • Make the interviewee happy about the results you both got when you conducted and promoted the interview

What does success look like

  • The person responds with something like
    • Wow
    • Thank you
    • How can I help you

Who are you targeting

  • The people you interviewed who promoted the interview
  • The interviews you completed that have more than 100 page views

Sample Follow Up Template


Just wanted to follow up and give you an update on the results of your interview! They’re awesome, and it got you tons of brand exposure and engagement.

Here are the results

  • Facebook Video Views = (insert number)
  • YouTube Video Views = (insert number)
  • Parkbench Blog Views = (insert number)
  • Est. Brand Impressions on Social Media = (insert Parkbench Blog Views / .01)

Your friendly local realtor,


How can you send this message

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Text
  • Social Media DM

When they respond

  • Ask them if they know anyone else who you can interview
  • Ask them to write a review about you and their experience with you online
  • Ask them who they want to be connected with
  • Find out if and when they are moving
  • Ask them magical questions

The “Do you want to subscribe to The Weekly Neighborhood Newsletter” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • Help locals stay up to date with what’s going on around them

What does success look like

  • You get people to say YES to wanting the email newsletter
  • You get their email so you can subscribe them to your Parkbench Website

Who are you targeting

  • Everyone (literally)
    • Everyone in your database who lives, works, and/or plays in-and-around your Parkbench Area
    • Caution: do not pre-judge people and assume they will not want to get the newsletter. You never know. Offer it to them.

How this follow up works

  • Let the person know you’re the ambassador for a new local website for AREANAME
  • Let them know about the type of information that’s on the website
  • Let them know about the weekly email newsletter
  • Ask if they want to get the weekly email newsletter and stay up to date with what’s going on in AREANAME

Sample Scripts, Word Tracks

  • Hey NAME, I don’t know if you know this yet, but I’m the ambassador for a new website for AREA NAME, and this website keeps people up to date with recent news, upcoming events, hot new deals, new properties for sale, and I interview people and feature them on it, to help people get to know each other, as I know that increases the safety of everyone who lives and works in the community. There’s a weekly email newsletter that summarizes everything going on…would you like to be on the list?

How can you send this message

  • Face to Face (best)
  • Call (2nd best)
  • Text
  • Social Media DM
  • Email

What to do after they respond

  • If they say Yes
    • What email do you want me to send it too?
      • Then you’re going to subscribe them to the neighborhood website, on their behalf, by typing their name and email into the right side bar subscription box that’s on every website (when you’re not logged in)
  • If they say No
    • Ok. That’s fine.
      • So what neighborhoods would you want a comprehensive weekly email newsletter for?
      • And do you know anyone who might want to receive a weekly email newsletter about AREA NAME, so they can stay up to date with what’s going on in AREA NAME?

The “Hey, How’s it going” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • Show people that you care about them
  • Give people attention
  • Make people feel good
  • Learn how to add value to people in your database
  • Stay Top Of Mind

What does success look like

  • The person responds
  • You start a conversation with the person
  • You get them to open up about their life
  • You learn more about what people do, what they need, what they like
  • You get updated contact information about them for your CRM
  • You find out if and when a person is moving

Who are you targeting

  • Everyone that you have not talked to in more than 3 months

Sample Script

  • Hi FIRST, How are you? What’s New? It’s been a while, I was just thinking…I just want to say hi 🙂

How can you send this message

  • Text
  • Social Media DM
  • Call

Best Practices

  • Don’t make your first text about business. Focus on engagement. Expressing love. Getting to know them. Getting updates on their life. 
  • START to Video Text
  • Use emojis and bitmojis

After they Respond, What do you say and do

  • Get them to talk about
    • What’s new in their life
    • How are they spending their time
    • What new projects are they working on
    • What are their needs & challenges
    • What are their goals in career/health/life
    • Who do they want to be connected with
    • AFTER they tell you things that are good, give them words of affirmation for what’s going on in their life
  • Get them to ask you about YOU (don’t push it)
    • AFTER they ask you how you’re doing
      • Give them results in your business that you’re proud of
      • Give them client results that you’re proud of
      • Give them shocking and/or useful real estate marketing information
  • THROUGHOUT the conversation find opportunities to naturally ask magical questions

The “Do you know anyone who would want to be interviewed and featured” Campaign

The purpose of this campaign

  • Help people provide value to the people in their database

What does success look like

  • You get referrals for more people to interview and feature

Who are you targeting

  • All the people you interviewed
  • People who declined to be interviewed

Sample Script

  • “Hey NAME, as you may know, I’m the ambassador for the AREANAME website, and we’re looking for cool local business owners and professionals to interview and feature on the website for free. Who do you think I should interview? Who do you know that deserves to be interviewed and featured? Let’s help them get more brand exposure for what they do!”

How can you send this message

  • Text (best)
  • Social media DM
  • Email

Best Practices

  • Be direct
  • Ask the question right away

After they respond

  • Get the names, numbers, emails of their referrals
  • Ask them magical questions

Marketing Materials To Help You Follow Up

Local Leader Business Cards

  • These will help you book interviews

Leave Behind Flyers For Homeowners and Business Owners

  • They are visual aids when talking to people
  • These flyers help them retain the information you talk about in person

Window Stickers

  • These are free billboards that businesses will put on their doors and windows to promote the website

How to get them

  • Contact [email protected]
  • We will design them for you fore free
  • You can then go to your preferred printer to get them printed

Other Follow Up Resources