How often do you do some kind of marketing – attend an event, engage in social networking, send out a postcard, run a webinar, have a call with a prospect – but feel like you got little or no results? I see it happen to entrepreneurs all the time.
Loads of small business owner go to all kinds of effort implementing this marketing tactic or that. And whatever they are doing seems spot on and bound to garner lots of interest. But in the end they aren’t gaining enough clients or making enough sales.
In my experience, that’s because they’re skipping the most powerful tactic of all: GOOD FOLLOW UP.
Especially nowadays, most prospects aren’t going to make a buying decision right out of the gate. Instead they want to get to know, like and trust you first.
Plus, these days it’s harder than ever to stay top of mind with people. Because so much is competing for everyone’s time and attention, if you don’t stay visible by staying in contact, even happy customers are going to forget about you and what you offer.
By following up regularly you ensure prospects and clients will remember you, and you build a relationship with them so they want to buy from you time and again. So it’s your job to stay in touch like clockwork and make sure the first interaction is never the last.
Of course, maybe you don’t like to follow up because you don’t want to annoy people. If that’s the case…below are seven ways you can follow up without being a pest:
1) Pick up the phone.
Especially for your first follow up, but even periodically afterwards, nothing beats a phone call. It’s the most personal contact you can have without meeting in person. It makes people feel important and cared for. And it doesn’t cost anything more than a few minutes of your time.
2) Send a card.
Thank you cards, nice to meet you cards, thinking of you cards, inspirational cards, they all work. And everyone appreciates receiving one. Try to be creative or memorable. You can send holiday cards, but you’ll get noticed and remembered more by sending cards at other times of the year.
3) Write a regular ezine.
This is a must. Every business with a Website should be doing this. And by regular I mean at least once a month (though once a week is not too much). Just be sure to provide valuable information – not just sales pitches – and subscribers will look forward to reading it.
4) Be thoughtful.
Send articles on topics of interest (by you or someone else). Congratulate a client or prospect when they win an award, have a baby, or land a big client. Send a “nice to meet you” email, a great book, whatever that person would find valuable. The sky is the limit as long as it isn’t a sales pitch.
5) Hold events.
Whether your clients are local or across the globe, you can hold events throughout the year that add value to your prospects' or clients' lives or businesses. Think about hosting a client appreciation party, power breakfast seminar, fundraiser, artwalk, or conducting a free teleseminar interview, Q&A call or webinar series.
6) Connect online.
Take offline connections online by reaching out via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s another great way to stay in touch and keep conversations going that’s typically very welcome. And if you’ve got your social networking and blog linked together they’ll continually get to sample your expertise and get to know you better, too.
7) Email back.
If someone signs up for your ezine or event online, or buys a product or service, email them with more than just a confirmation. Have a series of emails preset that offer more useful information, ask for their opinion, etc. You can upsell and cross-sell too if it’s something they would truly find valuable or useful.
The key is to use a variety of tactics to stay in touch over time and not be overly pushy or "salesy". Simply offer value and be thoughtful, and people will remember you – and why they should buy from you.