Small business owners are always on the lookout for that one big marketing idea that will catapult their business into the stratosphere. What I’ve found, however, is that it isn’t just one marketing idea but many marketing ideas, implemented strategically and consistently over time that reap the best results. Here are nine of my favorite [...]Continue Reading
Posts Tagged “business networking”
I’ve made many mistakes in business as a business owner the last 20 years. There was a time in the beginning when I thought that I had all of the time in the world. But now I feel like I can’t afford the luxury of wasting precious time anymore by making costly mistakes. If you’re [...]Continue Reading
Today I was interviewed for a local magazine that happened through someone reaching out to me. I did not pitch this reporter, but rather he found me and thought that I would provide an interesting twist on his topic. He went out on a leap and emailed me. This got me thinking back to yesterday [...]Continue Reading
Part I in a Series: Marketing Planning My husband collects baseball caps and at one time had at least 50 in his closet. If I asked to borrow one, he’d look at me, shrug his shoulders and say, “Which one?” But if I asked to borrow a specific baseball cap, such as a red one, [...]Continue Reading
And as luck would have it, I was in the market for a new car and was especially looking for a Chevrolet Trailblazer. I really liked the person that I was speaking with and told them that I was in the market for a Chevy and asked if they would contact me. We exchanged business cards and I looked forward to their call.
A few days passed and I still had not heard from the salesperson. I was very anxious because I really wanted to buy a Chevy Trailblazer. So I gave them a call, leaving a voice message on their cell phone and on their office phone. And then I waited for a return call. And a few days, I still had not heard from the salesperson and so I gave up.
I decided that if they did not want my business, I would take my business elsewhere, ending up buying my Trailblazer through the car buying service located at my credit union.
I’ve had this happen to me several times, and in each case, the sales person, or business owner has lost thousands of dollars in sales from me all because they did not follow up!
I think many business owners confuse the term “marketing” with the term “selling.” Marketing is simply the process or strategies that you use to get the word out about your business and gather leads. Selling is the process of turning those leads into paying customers.
The biggest problem that I see in marketing your business is that you can be the best marketing in the world, but if you don’t convert the leads to clients you have nothing. And the most important step in converting leads to clients is simply following up with them.
There are many ways to follow up with leads or prospects, here are just three.
After you exchange information and agree to follow up, give them a call within 24 hours. Say something like, “Hey, I said I would follow up with you, and here I am! I would love to get together with you to learn more about your needs.” Don’t aim to sell them your product over the phone. Aim to set an appointment and to build a relationship. Find out about what they want before you start selling them.
If the thought of making a phone call gives you hives, then you could also follow up by email. The benefit to that of course is that you can do it at any time, and they can answer at their convenience. If you don’t hear back from them though, go back to step one.
3. Snail Mail:
Yes, snail mail still exists, and believe it or not people enjoy getting old fashioned cards and letters. If you’re just not sure about the person, or if you want to send them some additional information, sending a letter via regular mail is a good option. However, if the contact had indicated that they were interested in your product because they are looking to buy one in the near future, do not use snail mail. Give them a call first, within 24 hours is best.
The lack of following up is the biggest mistake small business owners make and it costs them thousands, if not millions. Don’t let this happen to you. Follow up with people right away. I guarantee your sales will soar!
Note: This is an excerpt from my upcoming book “How to Build Buzz for Your Biz: Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity, and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business.”-->
Have you ever had this happen to you? Several years ago, I attended a business networking function and I just happened to strike up a conversation with a person who sold cars for a local Chevrolet dealership. And as luck would have it, I was in the market for a new car and was especially [...]Continue Reading
Inspirational examples of people who are MAKING IT HAPPEN are all around us. Several StartupNation community members gathered in Northern California recently to meet up, get smarter, and get inspired by each other, and it was hosted at the TechShop, the brainstorm of an active StartupNation community member nicknamed, TechShopJim here in the StartupNation discussion forums. [...]Continue Reading
Last time I talked about growing a contact list by networking. Over the next few posts I'll talk about some specific places that are excellent networking opportunities. Today I'd like to talk about trade shows. Trade shows are an excellent resource for good sales leads. The costumers you meet are pretty much pre-selected buyers. The [...]Continue Reading
For many marketers the gold is in the list. Building a large and effective contact list is one of the more important activities your business can undertake. The more your message is heard, the more you can ultimately sell. In this post I’ll explain how networking can help you grow your list. If there’s one [...]Continue Reading
No matter what business you’re in, whether it be eBay, a restaurant, a magazine, or really any business in the world, you need to network with other entrepreneurs to help you become successful! Last night, we held our second monthly meeting for Club Entrepreneur, a rapidly expanding organization that encourages the free exchange of ideas [...]Continue Reading
Just when you think you’re a pretty darned good networker, someone comes along and shows you how to build relationships even better. In a StartupNation Key Move article, Start Your Business Globally, Glenn Coggeshell of Black Dot Coffee talks about doing business in Russia and then this little gem gets dropped on us at the [...]Continue Reading