As small business owners, we worry about contacting people too much – but no one tells us how much is too much! Many of us think that a follow-up strategy is to email or call someone a week or two after the initial contact and then maybe touch base occasionally over the next few months.
If this is your follow-up strategy – whether with a new prospect or a long-time customer – then you’ve got to formalize it more and put it on auto-pilot. I’ve seen the statistic that around 80% of sales are lost because no one followed up. Is this you?
Marketing is all about fostering a relationship with people and one of the key ways to do this is by having consistent and relevant follow-up as part of your marketing strategy. Remember, you’re not following up to pester someone to purchase – you are keeping the lines of communication open and providing important information that can help the prospect or customer.
Below are 13 ways for you to make sure that ongoing follow-up is a part of your marketing strategy:
1) When someone requests information give it to them immediately.
2) When someone asks a question respond within 24 -48 hours.
3) When someone makes the first contact (i.e. downloads your free give-away), follow up with emails every few days providing helpful information, highlighting specific ideas, or providing some tips.
4) When you have a time-limited special on a service or product, make sure to remind your prospects frequently. People always buy on the last day, so send a friendly reminder email that today’s the last day to get the discount.
5) Call or send an email to a customer who has just purchased something from your website. Say “thank you” and ask them if they need any questions answered or anything clarified.
6) If you’re offering a tele-seminar, give enough advance notice and send reminder emails providing the pertinent details.
7) If someone has made an appointment, do a reminder phone call or email a day before the scheduled time.
8) If someone sends in a contact via your website form, make sure you get back to them within 48 hours.
9) If you’ve made a good contact at a seminar or networking event, send them an email or better yet, a handwritten note, expressing your desire to keep in touch. Then mark a date in your calendar in one month to follow up with a phone call or email.
10) Send “thank you’s” promptly to people – i.e. they’ve given you a referral, a great piece of information, someone’s name as a possible Joint Venture partner, etc.
11) Have a system in place that captures people’s names and contact information so that you can keep in touch.
12) Keep track of clients’ birthdays, business anniversary dates, when you started working together, and send cards (via mail or email) to mark these milestones.
13) Send out a weekly or bi-weekly ezine or newsletter to all your prospects and customers.
If you incorporate a consistent follow-up strategy into your marketing activities, it will allow people to know, like and trust you; give them information that they can use; exhibit the value and results you can provide, and of course, see your sales climb!