How To Grow Your Business Through Follow-Up
Follow-up is the single greatest action you can take to attract more clients, keep the ones you have and set yourself head and shoulders above the masses in the competitive business landscape. Practice these simple follow-up strategies and enjoy booming business success.
How many times has a businessperson given you information, her business card, a website to visit or brochure to read after you expressed an interest in her product or service?
How many times can you remember never hearing from that person again after she provided the information?
Did you decide to move on to another product or service provider and eventually buy from them because they made a point of following up with you after your initial meeting?
Many prospective clients have been lost because a business doesnít take the critical last step to follow-up and answer questions, let the prospect know meeting his or her needs is a priority of the business, or to simply just ask for their business.
This applies to every type of business.
Most people will not buy from you because they have questions they are not asking or because they donít understand how your product or service applies to them.
It is during the follow-up process you can answer questions the prospect has (and donít be surprised if they donít know what to ask). Through experience you will learn the common concerns and this will allow you to provide the answers they need, but may not ask for.
For example, your product may be priced 20 percent higher than the industry average and although the prospect may not mention it, you know it is in the back of his mind. During your follow-up conversation, address this matter.
You might say, ďYou may wonder why our price is slightly higher than everyone elseís and Iíd like to explain why Ö Our product is handmade with tighter stitching, reinforced backing and lasts on average four years longer than the others on the market. Because it is hand made and not mass produced, we can also tailor it to meet your specific needs.Ē
This could be all thatís required for the prospect to choose your product over any other.
Next, ask for the sale.
Did you know that large portions of sales never materialize because you simply didnít ask for the business? Decision-making isnít always easy and sometimes weíll just defer it until we have no choice.
By simply asking your prospect if she would like sign-up, or try your product for 30 days or join your direct marketing team, you will greatly increase the potential of a yes.
Some prospects will actually wait for you to prompt them for a decision and without that prompting will take no action and move on.
Follow-up is especially important with the clients and customers you already have.
It costs much more to acquire a new client than to keep an existing one and the number one reason clients move on to another product or service provider is because there is no sense of relationship with you.
Customer loyalty boils down to relationships. When your customers know you care about and appreciate them, they will be more inclined to stay with you for the long haul. They will also be more prone to refer you to others.
Maintaining strong relationships with your clients and customers can be achieved through the simple act of sending greeting cards -- birthday cards, anniversary cards, notes of appreciation, or cards with coffee or gift coupons expressing gratitude for a referral.
Today, this practice can be carried out inexpensively and with little time commitment using an automated online service called SendOutCards. You can send one or one thousand real cards through regular mail in less than two minutes without having to lick a stamp or stuff an envelope.
You can learn more about this follow-up tool at www.hbbsourcecards.com
Follow-up with existing clients may also include quarterly or yearly phone calls to check in and make sure everything is running smoothly. Youíd be surprised how many times a customer might say, ďIím so glad you called. My ďxĒ started making a thonking noise a few days ago and I donít know what it is.Ē
You might easily solve the problem with a simple instruction to take off the back cover and oil a certain part or to let the customer know itís something your technical staff can correct in less than 15 minutes for no charge.
That simple act will endear customers to you.
Using e-mail as a follow-up strategy will not pack the same power as phone calls or real cards. It lacks sincerity, demonstrates indifference and more often than not doesnít get delivered or doesnít get read because itís lost in the sea of messages that floods inboxes daily.
If you incorporate the simple follow-up strategies of making phone calls, asking for the sale and sending cards of appreciation, you will experience a surge of new customers, longer, stronger relationships with the ones you already have, and a healthier bottom line.
2007 © Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurie Hayes, founder of The HBB Source, and creator of The Complete 12-Step Guide To Starting A Home-Based Business, helps freedom seekers fast track their journey from employee to home-based entrepreneur. Get her free ezine packed with helpful resources at http://www.thehbbsource.com