The fortune is in the follow up

The fortune is in the follow up

You meet people at an event, you swap details. You get back to your office and the ‘busy’ work takes over. Most of us don’t have assistants to delegate work to and even if we do, our client work always comes first (as it should).

But what about filling that marketing pipeline? Isn’t that just as important? Here are some questions that you need to consider:

  • How to capture prospects’ details
  • How soon to follow up
  • How to follow up
  • When to follow up a second time
  • At what point do you stop contacting a new prospect
  • How to put a reminder system in place so you don’t forget to follow up

Lets say this prospect is one of ten that you follow up with. You have found on average that one out of every ten new prospects becomes a client. Each client is worth on average $20,000 annually. That sounds like a nice sum that’s worth spending the time to follow up!

Put a system in place

So how do you manage to continually follow up without getting distracted by the ‘busy’ work? You need a system in place for the entire process. Let’s see how this might look:

1. Determine the sequence of events that occur to ensure follow up and who is responsible for each step (this occurs once).

2. Upload business card to customer relationship management system (CRM). Preferably get your assistant to do this and/or use photo recognition software to scan cards in.

3. Set reminder for follow up with contact.

4. Actually follow up with client.

5. Continue this process until desired outcome is achieved or contact no longer considered a prospect.

You’re probably thinking that this all sounds very easy. However, I can tell you from experience that unless you ‘believe’ that follow up is a core part of your business, you will never make the time to complete the above process. You will forever procrastinate and tell yourself, ‘Oh, I’ll call them tomorrow’, and guess what tomorrow never comes.

So how do you make follow up an integral part of your business? For starters, outsource the components that are getting in your way i.e. inputting contact details into your CRM, creating the reminders etc . Block out time each week to concentrate on follow ups. Most importantly pick a time of day that sits right with you to complete this, whether you’re a morning or afternoon person.

Many different ways to follow up

You don’t have to follow up by phone if that doesn’t sit right with you. You can in fact put other measures in place, such as Send Out Cards, which are printed cards sent with your own choice of design and wording. This is an automatic follow up technique which comes with a personal touch.

Sending regular newsletters to your list is another form of follow up. Regular communication keeps you front of mind with your contacts, helping to develop the ‘know, like and trust’ factor.

Another automatic follow up system is the use of ‘autoresponders’ (automatic emails) on your website. For example, someone signs up to your newsletter and/or free gift (e.g. ebook, audio, ecourse). They receive an automatic email notification that they have signed up and a link to download their gift. You can set autoresponders so that they happen at certain intervals after sign up, e.g. 3, 5, 7, 11, 15 days later, developing the relationship. It has been proven that prospects need several ‘exposures’ to your product or service before they will trust you enough to purchase. Autoresponders are a perfect, automatic way of having this occur!

The same can happen at the time of purchase online. Not only can your website automatically ‘upsell’ at the time of checkout, but reminder autoresponders can be sent, for example about the product they purchased.

There are many ways you can follow up with your contacts. If you have several (and at least some of them automatic,) you can really leverage the power of the follow up and grow your business.

P.S. Want to learn more about following up?

And do you struggle to get things done in your day? Are you super busy keeping up with all the “busy” work in your business? And what about those projects you’ve been dying to implement but can’t find the time?

 

Click to read about Bizfficiency.  The program that will help you take back control over your life, reduce feelings of overwhelm and finally set your business on a growth path.

11 comments

  1. This is so critical that in one buisness I mentored, this ONE thing tripled their revenue! It amazes me how much money is left on the table because of poor followup! Now you’ve given every entrepreneur a checklist to follow to make it easy and do-able! Thanks!

    • Adrienne

      That is awesome that this one technique created that much impact for your client. Thank you for sharing that example.

  2. Do you recommend any particular customer relationship management system (CRM)?

  3. I agree with Adryenn that this is a critical step. I have increased my follow-up using email marketing and have seen a drastic change in my business.

    Currently, I am debating whether someone handing you their business card is permission to be on your opt-in list.

    • Hi Alicia

      Thanks for sharing what email marketing has done for your business.
      The business card is a tricky one. My understanding is that a business card handed over is not in itself permission to opt in to your list, you still need to ask. However I am certainly not an expert in that arena and I do like to er on the side of caution myself.

  4. What a super important post, Alycia!

    So many business owners wonder why their marketing isn’t working and the problem is not the marketing, it is in the follow up!

    Great ideas here for any business owner to implement a client engagement system using the steps you have outlined. Easy, practical and results oriented- just my kind of system! ;)

    Thank you for sharing your numbers wisdom again with the world! You are truly a gift to the number-phobic/challenged population (aka: me)! :)

  5. Hi Alicia

    A few that I recommend depending on where your business is at:

    Highrise by 37signals – I use this one myself. Love the interface
    http://highrisehq.com/

    ZohoCRm – a free application – I find it a bit more clunky than Highrise
    http://www.zoho.com/crm/index.html

    Workamajig – awesome project management and CRM combined for creative type projects
    http://www.workamajig.com/Default.aspx

    You’ll notice these are all cloud applications. I find this easier from the prospective of working with your team to utilise your CRM to it’s best capacity.

  6. Alycia,

    First thank you for the post and the resource lead to HighRise.

    Second, I agree with you, a business card exchange is not permission to be added to a list. However, my card has the link to my free club with brief details about it and many people join my list that way.

    I have also successfully offered to add people to my list where they will also receive a list of the resources I mentioned during the event or a checklist or tool I have created – in exchange for giving me their business card with email address on it. People scramble to pass their cards in. Oh and try to have blank 3×5 cards on hand for those folks without business cards, otherwise you ened up with scrapas of paper – yikes.

    Another tip I use to keep me sane (which is why I need HighRise) is I attempt to write notes to myself on the back of a person’s card to help me remember who that person is and what in the world we spoke about. AND I think all business cards should have pics on them!

    Again, thank you for the lead!

    Blessings and Possibilities,
    Maiya Rose

    • Hi Maiya

      Thanks for your comments, great tips. Further to your business cards tip I actually photograph them and send to my VA to update Highrise. The photograph then becomes the avatar, as for me if I saw the card I could often visualise the person.

      Thanks again for contributing

      Alycia

  7. The fortune IS absolutely in the follow-up. I read recently that prospects now require EVEN more touches before buying!

    I love your suggestions for simplifying the follow-up process because it is such a stumbling block for entrepreneurs!

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