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How to Win Customers with a Simple Follow-Up Strategy

It has been a couple weeks since attending the 2011 CES show and
there were over 150,000 people that were in Vegas for the show.
We met more people across those four days than we could remember first hand.
We are not alone. It can be overwhelming attending large conferences and business events,
yet they are one of the primary ways that help small businesses find new clients and opportunities for growth.

Meeting People face To Face

If you haven’t considered doing this in your business for your niche
or target market then you may be missing out on thousands of dollars worth of sales.
However, the key is building a relationship with the people you meet at these conferences.
However, it can be hard to have long conversations with other people and you end up with a handful of
business cards and a faint memory of their business background.
It may seem a little over the top, but I know someone who I would describe as one of the best
networkers I have ever met. When I first met him, he shook my hand, asked about my business,
took my card, and had a photographer take my picture and then my card. You guessed it. This person
had a visual rolodex that combined names and faces. How powerful would that be in your line of work?
Do you think I heard from him soon after the conference? You bet. He knows the power of follow-up.

The Fortune is in the Follow-Up

Just like the person in the above example, you should prepare in advance an effective plan for
immediate follow up. This is so important, I know a business entrepreneur
who has launched a new business to help people with their follow-up systems. He has mentioned
that it takes about five (5) follow-up messages before you begin to make an impact with your
prospect or potential business partner.
I have read statistics that 1% of conference attendees do a decent job
at their follow up.

So what do you do to make follow-up a key part of your business?

Here are a few key things you can do to follow up from different situations
• Prewrite your email follow up messages
• Preprint your follow up postcards or order letterhead, envelopes, business cards and
more to be ready to go to print right away. Much of this though can be preprinted with
call to action messages and a reminder of where you met them and how you can help them.
• Have a system for delivering emails online to be careful not to spam people including
having opt out messages. This can be done using an autoresponder. (Learn more about autoresponders)
An amazing way to make a great impression is to personalize your follow-up in some way.
Take the time to do the following while you’re at the event before your memory betrays you:

• Write notes on the back of everyone’s cards and bring sticky notes to stick notes to the

glossy cards (pens fail on glossy). I don’t recommend glossy business cards because you can’t write on them.
Notes can include what you talked about, what call to action to take with them
(add them to your email list, or not, call, fax, etc.)
• Separate the contacts that have agreed to receive your email newsletters from those
that have not because you need to send them different messages
What to do when you get back to make sure your follow up gets done:
• Give all your contacts to someone else to enter into the computer for you within 24
hours of being home – set this up ahead of time (this is the #1 thing that will prevent you
from doing your follow up – guaranteed! Because you won’t take the time to enter
them). There are many ways to find someone to help you with this administrative task.
This is so important to your business, it is worth paying someone to do it if it is not your
strength.
• Call all hot or warm prospects/contacts within 72 hours or 3 business days of returning
home so that you’re name and connection is still fresh in their minds.
• Implement your follow up system – that could include weekly email newsletters, personal email
follow ups, phone calls, direct mail, facebook friend adds, LinkedIn connection, tweets
to that person etc.
While it sounds simple, it is not as easy as it sounds because of distractions.
This is why hardly any small businesses ever do effective follow up.
It might be tough at first to know exactly what to do or what to say/send
but just do something and get something out. Something is better than nothing and good
enough is good enough, don’t wait until you get it perfect.
If you want to figure out how to set your business up the right way from the start
whether you’ve already started, you’re just getting started or you simply have an idea you want
to begin a strategic marketing plan… I invite you to connect with me on a
complimentary Strategy Session.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Davida Yemi-Akanle May 14, 2011 at 3:43 am

Thanks for sharing these simple but great steps on following up. When we don’t have a follow up strategy we tend to feel that once a person says no the first time , that they are not a potential buyer… in most cases they do not know what they are saying no to… we must therefore have a process of educating them about our opportunity… which is basically what our follow up strategy is.

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