Follow up, follow up, follow up. Yes, I know I say that all the time, but it’s an area where so many business owners fall short. I can’t tell you how important it is to the life of your business. That is if you’re interested in having clients.
There are many business owners who rock when it comes to follow-up. But that’s not the case for everyone. Some of us (yes, I am including myself) are not always as diligent with follow-up as we should be. Some, not at all.
What do you do after you meet someone at an event? Someone with whom you’ve either exchanged business cards, or someone who has given you theirs? Do you send one email and then, if you don’t hear back from them, mark them off your list as “not interested?”
What about the people you connect with … I mean REALLY connect with on social media? The ones who make it a point to tell you they they want to know more about your products or services? Do you keep in touch and make it a point to interact on a frequent basis? Do you connect with them outside of social media? Do you offer the opportunity to book a call with you to have a conversation offline?
What about those who find you on Google or are referred to you or _________ (fill in the blank!)?
And if you do follow up, do you wing it or do you have a system?
You don’t even have to answer that last question … the answer is you NEED a system. You need a system in place that guides you through the follow-up process and keeps you on task until you get a yes or a no! You can use something as robust as Infusionsoft, or something as simple as Insightly or Cloze (an awesome little CRM I’ll be blogging about on Thursday ;). Or you can use a spreadsheet … whatever. You just need a system!
Some sources will tell you it takes at least 7 “touches” to reach out to someone. Other sources say it takes 12 and sometimes even more. I lean more toward 12 or more. For those we meet at events and through networking, we (I’ll include myself again) should be sending an email within 24 hours. Then we should (this is the hard one for me!) call them … yes, pick up that awful contraption we call a phone, and call them – and leave a short message if they don’t answer. Then we need to send them an email telling them we left a message! Then another email about a week later if we haven’t heard back. Another one the week after that, then a couple of times a month, then on a regular basis to keep in touch. And … as my wonderful business coach has instructed me … we need to tell them we will continue to follow-up with them until we get either a yes or a no!How many times do you follow up before you give up?Click To Tweet
That may sound as if we are hounding them, but it’s truly not. Those who are flat out not interested will typically tell you. Many of the people we connect with are simply busy, or traveling, or have things going on in their lives that prevent them from responding to your calls and emails. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve persevered and continued to follow up – and was almost ready to stop, when someone responded and thanked me for not giving up on them! They either booked a call with me then, or asked me to touch base again in a couple of weeks or months – but to keep at it! I ran into a former client back in December at an event who asked me to follow up and schedule a call to talk about something specific. That was 6 months ago! I’ve kept in touch and was just about to give up and told her I’d touch base again in September. She responded while sitting in an airport and said she was booked up until the end of August, so please DO touch base again in September! Perseverance!
So … if you have a system and are following up like you should be. Bravo! Keep it up. If you’re not, then now is the time to start. Find a CRM or a system that works for you, and get busy following up. Push past the fear of bothering those who have expressed a real interest in your products or services and follow up. Some of my best clients have come from those I’ve pushed past my own fears and followed up. Who will your next client be?
Also published on Medium.