One of the biggest flops in sales and marketing is when people fail to follow up with a prospect. Its sad because this is something they wont teach you in Harvard. According to the Association of Sales Executives 81% of all sales are closed in the follow-up process and in most cases on the 5 or 6 attempt!
I worked for three years in sales and email marketing. These were three valuable years where I learned lots about the science of sales and email marketing. It was during this period where I learned all about effective contacting of prospects how to follow up. I would say that around 95% of the sales that I closed were in the follow up process.
Here are some tips that may help you get more clients:
One of the greatest secret weapons that exist today in your business is: testimonials. What a great tool and so many people don’t even realize it! One of the main problems when marketing a service or a product is that people have a hard time trusting you because they know nothing about you. A testimonial is what will help break the barriers between you and your potential customers. Effective testimonials are ones that have a first and last name + location or company. The more information you share about the person giving the testimonial – the better.
Tip for getting testimonials:
If you are on LinkedIn then you can utilize the recommendations section for getting testimonials. Once you get recommendations you can then copy them from LinkedIn and paste them on your website as well. With this tactic you can search for all of the people you have consulted with in the past and ask them for a recommendation.. Also once browsing through your network on LinkedIn in general you will discover many people that you have helped in the past that will be happy to give you a recommendation.
This happens to almost everyone. You are marketing and marketing and then you feel as if nothing is moving along. You are doing everything that everyone else is doing – submitting press releases, writing articles and submitting them to article directories, posting on forums; you are active on social networks and still no results!
The option that I like to recommend is the option of telemarketing or freezing cold calling
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs that are just getting started prefer to leave out the telemarketing option. Why is that? As humans we don’t like hearing the word ‘no’. We don’t like rejection. So we prefer doing things the quiet way. What’s the quiet way? The quiet way is the marketing options we mentioned above.
Let’s face the facts: Cold calling works and companies have been doing it for years and years. The problem is that most people don’t understand the science of cold calling and that there is a system to it…that works.
Why is telemarketing so important? With telemarketing you have the option of having direct contact with your potential customer, client, prospect or who ever it may be. Take a look at some of the major corporations and see how they run telemarketing campaigns. Obviously if they are doing it must very effective for business.
Creating your cold calling campaign:
1] Take some time and create a massive data-base of contacts that are related one way or another to your industry or market. Set a goal to reach a few hundred names. (To save time you can outsource the research on elance.com)
2] Prepare a phone script. Study your lines as if you are about to appear on a Broadway show.
What should your lines be? Remember that when you are calling a prospect you have about 10-15 seconds on the phone…don’t screw it up! Therefore don’t try explaining the whole bible on one foot. What does that mean? That means don’t try explaining your whole business in 15 seconds. Then what should you say? Ask for permission to send your prospect an email or fax or both, that’s it. Direct your prospect to a third party and let the third party do the explaining for you. In this case the third party could be an email/fax, brochure, website or blog.
3] Once you’ve sent out the email or fax this sets room for the follow up. There should be enough information on the email or fax that should allow you to follow up properly.
Remember the ultimate goal: to redirect the prospect from the email/fax to your website.
What should you write in your follow up email?
1) Title: Message for Mr. Joe Shmo – Follow Up
2) Title: Marketing Proposal for Company – Follow Up
Your title needs to be very clear. You need to give your prospect a real good reason to open it.
Here is how I start off my follow up emails:
Just following up on the email I sent you yesterday in regards to……
(This way you are not coming off as someone who sounds desperate.
I finish off by adding:)
Thanks and looking forward to your response…
(-You must have some kind of call to action at the end of your email. You want the prospect to respond to you.)
(BTW: you can use these same lines on the phone)
Stay tuned to part two – The Follow Up Process!