On the Nov. 16th JoelPost, I brought up low cost franchise opportunities that may make sense if you have a sales and marketing skill set. Maybe you have no experience, but are outgoing. Or, maybe you are skilled at sales and marketing, but could use a tune-up.
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Resources abound. Like Clevelander Diane Helbig, President of Seize This Day Coaching. In this article of hers, she discusses follow up techniques…
Many people tell me they just don’t have time to follow up. I submit they don’t have time not to follow up! The key to successful follow up is developing a tracking system. Decide what methods you want to use for touching the contact. This depends on results and desired outcomes.
The Sales Process:
When you are selling, your follow up can be the difference between getting the sale or not. Think about it – what is the point of making the initial contact (cold call or introductory letter) if you aren’t going to follow up with a phone call? Why bother? Do you really think the prospect is going to call you? Sometimes they do. More often than not, they don’t. You’re the salesperson. It’s up to you to show the prospect that their business is important to you. There are several ways you can stay in contact with prospects: calling, emailing, sending snippets of information you think might be of interest to them. Establish a program and stick to it. Like any habit, it gets easier once fully adopted.
When you meet someone at a networking event, luncheon, seminar, etc., ask them for their business card and follow up with them. Sometimes just a handwritten note is sufficient. Depending on who they are and the conversation you had with them, you might want to drop them a note and suggest a future meeting. Once again, you’ll have to follow up on the suggestion. Don’t wait for them to call you up. They might, but if it’s important to you to develop a relationship with them – prove it. Call them.
Have you ever run into someone you knew in the past but for some reason you had lost contact with them? Whether they are someone you want to establish a current relationship with or not, send them a handwritten note telling them how nice it was to see them. If you have no interest in pursuing a relationship, wish them well. If you do want to keep in touch, suggest a meeting. And again, follow up on the suggestion.
Some people are in constant contact with their clients so follow up may seem unnecessary. I submit that everyone should be following up with their clients on a regular basis. This can take the form of a survey, a drop-in, a note thanking them for their continued business and support, a small gift, and so on. Choose one or more methods depending on your client base, and establish the routine to make sure it happens.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated and important. By taking the time to follow up, you are telling the people you know and meet, that you value them. It’s so simple and yet can yield huge results.