How to Follow Up With Business Prospects

Once you have made contact with business prospects, it's important to follow up. If you are in sales or provide a service, clients are money. Following up with business prospects is a key component of your success. There are a number of acceptable ways in which you can follow up with prospective clients. Different methods work with different situations. The important thing to remember is to follow up in a couple of days. If this period falls on a weekend, be sure to follow up the following Monday.


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    Keep all the business cards you have collected and any leads in a safe place. You may have to follow up more than once with prospective clients.
    • Create a database to hold all your lead information. The database should contain the business name, the contact's title and full name, the phone number, the mailing address, and an email address. This makes it easy to follow up with business prospects.
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    Make an effort to remember new faces and names when meeting business prospects. It's always a pleasant surprise when someone recognizes you and remembers your name the next time they see you.
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    Make your initial follow up with business prospects within 24 to 48 hours of your first contact with the prospects. You can use a quick call, letter or a brief email to do so.
    • Let the business prospect know that you enjoyed talking with him during your initial point of contact. Include personal information to help the individual remember you. For example, if you meet a person at your child's little league game, be sure to mention that fact.
    • Tell the potential client that you wanted to follow up. Offer your services, go over your idea or share something useful. Most people like to feel that they are getting something for nothing.
    • Pique the individuals interest in some way. You'll want to let the person know exactly how you can help fulfill her needs later one. This can also be a good time to mention any free offers or special promotions that are available for new clients.
    • Be sure to provide business prospects with your contact information, including your full name, phone number and a business email address. This allows interested individuals a way to get in touch with you.
    • Close your conversation or email with something friendly. This is another area where you can make a personal connection. For example, you could mention that you look forward to seeing the potential client at the next little league game.
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    Leave an optimistic, professional and friendly message if you call a business prospect and the answering machine picks up. Briefly state the reason for your call, let the person know you will try to reach him again and close with an upbeat ending or well wishes.
    • Stay in touch with business prospects and past customers. The chance for a successful sale decreases dramatically after the first 72 hours after your initial contact.
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    Continue to follow up, according to your sales policy. Some companies use a standard follow-up process, making contact at 24 hours, 72 hours and 2 weeks. Also, contact your leads any time you have a new special or promotion.
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    Update your database any time you try to contact or do contact prospective clients. This can help you tailor your proposal each time you talk.


  • Make your follow-up call short, no more than a couple of minutes long.
  • When referred by another client, ask if you can use her name in your conversation before doing so.
  • Keep the follow-up email or letter brief. A couple of sentences are perfect.


  • Be respectful of requests from prospective clients. If an individual asks you not to contact him further, remove the lead from your database or move it to a special folder for dead leads.
  • Don't be too pushy, annoying or aggressive in your follow-up call, letter or email.

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Categories: Office Skills