Life is too short for follow up calls."
What I mean by that tag line is that your entire sales and marketing process must be scripted and planned in advance and the people you meet should know when they will hear from you, how they will hear from you and purpose of the correspondence and/or meeting.
Good ol' Woody Allen once said “80% of success is just showing up."
In today's Age of Disruption, your sales and business success is ALL ABOUT your marketing efforts showing up in the inbox, mail box, voice mail and text on a regular and consistent basis or you and your company and your features and your benefits and your patents and your new and improved gizmo will be forgotten.
While most sales professionals and business owners and marketing folks understand this at a rudimentary level, i.e., send a folder with a full-color brochure to someone that fills out a contact form then call them 12 times until they answer then push for a meeting and try to sell them something, what I have in mind is a little more elegant, sophisticated and productive.
In order to get this right you must view proper follow-up as a way of life vs. a gimmick or tactic or quick hit for a short term revenue boost. It requires forethought and planning because to do it well you must take what you do naturally or "off the cuff" (Sin # 1 of The 7 Deadly Sins of Selling) and systematize it and apply it to every constituent group in your business.
Here are some ideas on how to take your follow-up "To infinity and beyond!" (I just love Tim Allen in Buzz Lightyear.)
Employees & Staff
- In my sales management training I instruct my clients to "manage activity and pay on results." With the right inbound selling platform you can assign automated tasks and notifications to your employees to keep them focused and on point. Case in point is cold calling.
- In my prospecting training I teach sales people to develop not only a great opening line for speaking to prospects but to also deliver a storyline of sequential voicemail messages when they reach the inevitable voicemail in the majority of their calls. Your autoresponder can be set to deliver a message to your salespeople that it is time to call prospect #1,687 and leave voicemail message #3. If you can keep your people that focused over any length of time good things will happen!
Clients & Customers
- Build an auto-responder email series to deliver supplemental training to new customers. This is especially beneficial when you have a complex product or service with many subtleties or intricate features.
- Upsell or cross-promote to your customers and offer extended warranties, upgraded service packages or complimentary offerings.
- Send a survey to your customers asking them how they would rate your product, service and support. (Send an apology letter and/or gift if you've let them down.)
- Send an email asking for testimonials.
- Send an email or letter asking for referrals.
- Send handwritten notes and/or little gifts or articles about their business or industry.
- Auto-responders: You need an autoresponder to "automatically respond" to your prospects in a timely manner. Simple autoresponders such as Aweber can be setup to deliver a series of emails, free reports, links to audio or video files on your site, announcements of upcoming webinars or trade-shows and even snail mail to your prospects over a predetermined time frame.
Delivering relevant, credible, timely information on a consistent basis to people that asked for your information is a great and affordable way to stay top of mind and build trust. I have several favorite platforms for generating inbound sales, and they are more than just a email autoresponders. To see which one might be right for you and your situation, check out this Best CRM Quiz I created.
- Social Media: As soon as I meet someone I'm checking out their profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and sending them invitations to connect. Then I stay in touch. I shoot a quick note to them and I make sure to comment on a couple of posts they make sooner rather than later to help them remember me and what I do.
Referrals & Referral Sources
- Referrals are like ATMs with hopes, fears, desires and goals. Cater to and address their needs and the profits will flow forth. Craft a follow-up process that not only helps you get and stay in touch with your referrals but also with the referral source! Keep them informed of the progress you're making with the referral they sent your way. Let them both know they are appreciated and special.
Vendors & Suppliers
- These are free eyes and ears for you and your business. Treat them like trusted, valued, appreciated extensions of your company by keeping them informed and watch your vendor issues decline, their satisfaction rise and their sales - and yours - soar.
To see what kind of follow up sequences we can create together click on over to my Initial Process Assessment page and start the consultation process.