We’ve all heard the phrase, “your fortune is in the follow up” which is then immediately followed by,
“yeah but I don’t want to be salesy”. Brace yourself friends, I need to tell you something straight and it might sting.
Get over yourself.
One of my great business colleagues says, “Sales is an act of love,” and if you are passionate about what you do and know that it provides great value to your ideal client then it is your obligation to follow up.
Research shows that 80% of sales are made after the 5th follow up. How many times do you follow up? Once? Twice? You are losing money if you do not have a documented and repeatable system to follow up 5 times or more, with people who have expressed interest in your products/services.
You also need to have more in your follow up than, “Are you ready to buy?” This is where the documented follow up system fits in, and should look something like this:
It’s totally appropriate to make your first follow up about checking in to see if the prospect has any questions or is ready to move ahead.
The second time you follow up reference what they mention they need to attend to before they start working with you.
The third time share something they might find valuable as it relates to their business, an article a blog post (written by you is fine or by someone else) or a tool that you think they or their clients might find useful.
The fourth time, send them a handwritten note with a $5 coffee card inside and a note that says, “I know you have been working hard, take a break today - coffee is on me.
The fifth time call them. Yes, I said call them. No need to schedule an appointment. Just pick up the phone and give them a ring. “Hi Jack, Liz Lemon here. I was just thinking of you and ratings season and wanted to wish you the best. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get that Emmy this year.”
Any of this seem salesy? Not at all.
Two tales of follow up
Tale #1 - Last year I attended a house party for a direct sales line of women’s clothing. I like this line of clothing, and was happy to receive the invite from a newer friend as I wanted to add a few pieces to my fall wardrobe. I went with a budget. Found 3 pieces that were perfect, and loved a 4th piece, but it would put me over my budget. The lovely rep made several wonderful comments about the 4th piece and how much I would like it, I agreed each time and stayed to my budget. Though told her. “Not today, however if you have another show next month check in with me and I might be ready to add the piece then.”
I got my items in a couple of weeks. They were delivered to my friend’s home and she dropped them to me. Weeks and now months have passed and I never heard from that rep again. Funny isn’t it? She knew how much I like the line, and yet she didn’t check in after I received my order to see how I liked my items (if she had, I likely would have told her to order the 4th item) and she never followed up to let me know if she had another show and if I’d like to add the item.
Where do you see opportunities like this for you in your business?
Tale #2 - I have a very trusted colleague who is a small business marketing consultant. She is a whiz when it comes to email marketing, in particular newsletters as a way to nurture your network.
She has worked with many of my clients with great success. She is my client, and we have talked loosely about her taking over my newsletter. She never pushed the point, but would email helpful suggestions when my newsletter would go out.
She is funny and straight forward and every piece of communication from her is “on brand”.
In January we had just finished reviewing her 2017 goals and objectives. That same day I sent my January newsletter. She emailed me. The subject line read, “One more goal”. When I opened the email it simply said, “To take over managing your newsletter this year.”
I laughed and replied back. Let’s do this. You’re in charge starting in March.
Nothing salesy about her at all. She kept being helpful. And knew when I was ready I’d engage.
How could you nurture relationships that could turn into business?
Oh, and do you want to see how the newsletter looks now that she’s in charge? Sign up here for my newsletter to get latest updates, favorite finds, cash flow quick tips and tools you can use in your business.