Good old-fashioned follow-up is still one of the best ways of keeping in touch with your prospects. Often failure to follow-up is due to the fear of rejection or simply not having a good follow-up system in place.
As mentioned previously in my blog, generally 80% of sales happen between the 5th to 12th contact. This statistic was part of some research carried out by The Association of Sales Executives. To be good at follow-up you need to be methodical and often by having a good old-fashioned hand-written list of people to contact in front of you can be the best aide-memoire to ensure you know exactly where you are with each of your prospects or customers. All you need is a simple spreadsheet with space for name, phone number, how you met, comments and then some additional small columns at the end (with 8 as a minimum and a maximum of 12) to tick each time you follow-up.
After the first call always send a thank you note or e-mail, or you may prefer to text, to show your appreciation for your prospects time. A handwritten note is even more powerful as it is just that bit more personal. Don’t worry if you feel that writing notes will take-up too much of your time, there are automated systems in the marketplace which make it look as if you have personally written the note without having actually done so.
If when you speak to your prospects or customers about your product/service and the time isn’t right for them to make a buying decision, ask them if they are happy for you to call again and, if so, for them to suggest when a good time to call back would be. By doing this you will ensure that the next time you make contact with them they will be happy to receive your call as they will be expecting a call back from you.
The most important point of all is to make your prospects feel appreciated each time you make contact with them. This will reap huge dividends in the long run as the more appreciated they feel the more likely it is that they will buy your product/service for the first time or re-order from you.
Good luck with your follow-up. I hope these tips have been helpful. If you have experience of this type of system working well for you please do comment below.
If you seem to be struggling to get new business from your current contacts this post will provide you with some tips on how to effectively follow-up with past, present and prospective business contacts.
Do you find that most of your phone calls go unanswered or go straight to voice mail/answer machine resulting in no replies? Do you wonder if your e-mails are being read or, due to over-aggressive spam filters, are your e-mails winding-up in your clients’ ‘bulk’ or ‘junk’ mail folders so not read at all? Then there is also the possibility that the e-mails that do get through may never be opened or replied to or are simply be deleted. With people now receiving hundreds of e-mails per day they are becoming increasingly more and more indifferent to e-mail marketing due to the amount of spam e-mails they receive.
To be successful, in a world where everyone leads increasingly busy lives, as a business owner or sales person, you need to be a master of consistent follow-up. The most effective follow-up method for ANY business is by sending a greeting card or postcard as it is a much more personal form of communication. It is also something that not many of your competitors will be doing.
The reason that they are the perfect follow-up tool, is:
They are always well received by the recipient as cards are very rarely sent these days and are unexpected,
Receiving a simple thank you card, without agenda, is very refreshing,
They remind your contacts that you are still in business,
They are always delivered, opened and read.
You can begin to send cards and postcards to build rapport with your contacts, rather than looking for new ones, by sending them to: past customers, existing customers, potential customers and your VIP customers. By using your contact’s first name, personally signing each card with your own signature and sending a series of cards, you will be able to keep yourself at the forefront of your contacts’ minds for when they are ready to do business with you or refer someone else to you. You don’t have to labouriously sit and write every card or postcard as there are now automated systems that do this for you but still give the look of the personal touch.
The card system, which you may like to find out more about will:
Automatically print, address, stamp and post a real physical card on your behalf
Set-up a sequential follow-up campaign that would send cards at pre-selected intervals
Import all your contacts either from Outlook or Excel within minutes
Add your own pictures, logos and marketing information to your cards
Include your own personal handwriting and signature
Organise all your contacts into groups quickly and easily
Send a two leaf card for as little as £1.50 or £1.10 for a postcard, including postage, including your own marketing images
Would you be interested to find out more? If so, please contact me via e-mail and I will get straight back to you to talk you through how to put this great system in place to automate your follow-up system resulting in more business and referrals, without obligation.