Do you need a Swift Kick in the Butt to do your Follow Up?
How are you following up with your leads, prospects, referrals, clients, contacts and power partners? This article will help you tackle that problem quickly.
I guess I'll always keep having to talk about this but this week alone I had two new clients who didn't have a clue about what to do for follow up.
Does this sound familiar?
It's ok, if it does. I'm not here to criticize you - I'm here to help you.
So, how are you following up with your leads, prospects, referrals, clients, contacts and power partners?
First of all are all of those people even on your radar list to follow up with? That's the first step.
Here are some assumptions I'm making as I'm writing this today. I'm assuming your database is in the computer so you can easily mail merge it and mail something out easily. I'm also assuming that you actively collect and add at least 20-120 or more people to your database each week. Yes/No? If this is not the case, you should call a Marketing professional.
One thing I am not assuming is that you have a really good Follow Up Marketing Plan in place in your business. A plan that tells you what to do, how often, who to do what to, etc. that is clear and easy to follow yourself or delegate out each month. Do you?
Now, I know you know I always preach that you should be doing an email newsletter - AND OF COURSE YOU SHOULD!
That's just ONE aspect of your overall marketing plan but if you do one and do it at least twice a month (and you do it well) - it will highly increase your "Top of Mind Awareness" factor. For example, you have to read me or delete me every week, right? Well, at least I'm making you think about me one way or the other each week, aren't I?
One thing about your emails though is that the first one you send to a group of people you meet might need to be a little different than just adding them to your newsletter list.
What I'm talking about is an Initial Follow Up Letter or Email. This is what you send out by email (still using constant contact if you want but a different template) or by mail right after you meet someone.
For example it can say:
"It was great to meet you at the chamber mixer the other night. I hope you got a lot out of it, I sure did. I'm a big fan of co-promoting with other professionals who have similar target markets as me, my target market is women entrepreneurs. I have an email list of 2,200 professionals nationwide and in Canada (I do A LOT of networking!). So, if you feel like you have something of value to offer my email list or you have a list I might need to know or who might need to know about me then respond and let's chat! Make sure you follow up and tell me about what you do and how I can benefit from your services or refer you too!"
That might just be part of what you say but the point is that you offer a WIN-WIN situation don't just try to tell them about you and what you do because they don't care - think what's in it for them in your initial follow up?
Then where most small business owners make the biggest mistake of all in their follow up is that one correspondence is ALL THAT THEY DO!
Here is an Ideal Follow Up Plan that you can put into place right now:
1. Meet new people all the time and add them to your email and mail database.
2. Mail them a handwritten note and your card within 3 days of meeting.
3. Email them a personal one-on-one note or group together and send out your Initial Follow Up Email within 3 days.
4. Call them within 24 hours if they are a Hot Prospect or Hot Referral Source.
5. Call them within 48 hours if they are a Warm Prospect or Warm Referral Source.
6. Mail them your Initial Follow Up Letter and possibly a flyer about an upcoming workshop, event, one of your lead services or something of interest to them (such as an article from a newspaper that relates to what they do) within 10 days.
7. Email them your email newsletter (which should be out soon - every other week minimum remember) if they opted in of course.
8. Mail them another letter with more info and a offer or hook to take advantage of your services and/or asking for a referral with your brochure or another flyer of some sort (you don't always want to mail out your fancy or expensive brochures - in fact for many of my clients I suggest you may not even need one!) within 1 month of meeting.
9. Keep emailing them your newsletter and check your stats for bounces and undeliverable emails in case some Hot Prospects are not receiving them.
10. Call Hot Prospects weekly until you take 4-5 NO's; be persistent about it not annoying.
11. Mail quarterly after that with all the rest of your database.
Note: Of course this is a guideline, some businesses should mail much more than this, some need to do other things as well. You can consult with a Marketing professional to put together a creative, effective plan to fit your business.
So, you can't get all this done? - Delegate it!
You have no idea what to write? - Hire a Marketing professional to write this stuff for you - you only have to do it once really and then use the same template letters over and over.
So, you don' t want to pay for mailings? - Are you doing ads that aren't bringing you any business? If so, cancel those and do this instead; it will bring you a much better return on your investment. If you just don't have the money to spend on mailings then keep struggling I guess until you go out of business or suck it up and figure out how to get some money to market your business how it needs to be marketed. (Sorry to be blunt but it's true, I've seen it too many times.)
Consider this your KICK IN THE BUTT to get all of this done; and to do it now because you're missing out on a lot of new and repeat sales!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(c) Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing. Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who's helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at http://www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com