You most likely have specific strategies for generating new prospects. But, often, there is no strategy for following up. In their book “Conquer the Chaos,” Clate Mask and Scott Martineau say 81percent of sales that close, close on or after the fifth contact. If you believe this statistic is accurate, then it is imperative you integrate a follow-up strategy into your marketing plan. Start by asking yourself these five questions:

1. Who are the different types of prospects? Are they retirees? Are they busy working professionals? Are they widows? Understanding who your prospects are helps you identify a message to communicate and the platform for delivering that message. You may have to develop a different strategy for each group.

2. What is the message the prospect is interested in hearing? Your message should resonate with the prospect. Each type of prospect has different concerns, so it is critical you address their particular issues, for example, retirement planning or cash flow, in the follow-up process.

3. What are the different ways I’m going to follow up? Examine your prospects’ communication methods to identify the best ways to follow up. Also identify the best mediums for communicating the message. Is it in an e-newsletter format? A personal phone call? Social media? Your strategy is unique to your prospects, but an example strategy could be calling every six months, sending a marketing e-mail monthly and mailing an event invitation quarterly.

4. How often do I follow up? There is a fine line between consistently following up and being aggressive. Determine the interval in which you plan to contact each prospect. Begin with a goal of following up monthly, and then make adjustments as necessary for your particular prospects.

5. How can I follow up most efficiently and effectively? A successful follow-up strategy requires a systemized and repetitive approach. Schedule periodic reminders in your calendar to follow up with each prospect or create a spreadsheet to track this information. A more sophisticated solution is to track this information in a CRM system or create automated campaigns, such as e-mail auto-responders. Having a defined and systemized approach makes the follow-up process easier and more effective.

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Kristen Luke is the principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for registered investment advisory firms. Luke works with individual advisors and firms to develop effective marketing plans and her firm provides the back office support required to implement the strategies. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.