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Follow-up Is the Momentum Building Power Tool

Woody Allen was attributed with the quote – “eighty percent of success is showing up” but I would add that in marketing it’s all about following up.

follow-upMost marketers get that at the most basic level – you send out a mailing, someone asks for more information, and you jump on the phone and try to sell them something.

That’s not really what I’m talking about when it comes to follow-up. Follow-up is a mindset that must pervade every process and touch every constituent group in your business. Consistent communication by virtue of relevant follow-up is more of a way of life than a tactic.

Below are some ways that you can take you follow-up to the next level.

With Prospects

  • Use autoresponders to send a series of emails or snail mails to prospects over time. This is fine way to stay top of mind and continue to build trust. Several email services such as SwiftPage and Infusionsoft can change the path of emails based on the recipient’s action so you can deliver the right information.
  • Connect your prospects into your CRM software and add their social media activity. Few things allow you to start connecting faster than follow-up that’s informed. Don’t forget to connect with these same prospects in networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn

With Customers

  • Create an autoresonder email series that provides additional training for products and services purchased.
  • Follow up with additional company information in the form of an orientation package
  • Create a follow-up process that allows you to assess with your customer the results you were able to bring
  • Bring small groups of customers together to allow them to network and discuss business challenges
  • Send handwritten notes of thanks to every customer

With Referrals

  • A referred lead is a special lead. Design a follow-up process specifically for referred leads. Let them know they are special, make them a special deal or referral gift. They will remember this process when they become a referral source too.

With Referral Sources

  • Follow-up to show your appreciation to anyone that sends a referral your way. You can even created tiered responses – movie tickets for a referred lead, giant bouquet for a lead that becomes a client
  • Use the moment that a client tells you about a referral as way to follow-up and ask for a testimonial
  • Follow up with your referral sources by communicating how a referred lead turned out, if it was the right kind of referral, the results they helped their friend get because they referred them. This is what keeps the referral tap flowing and underscores your emphasis on results.

With Suppliers

  • Create a communication vehicle to keep your suppliers and vendors in the loop about what’s going on at your business. I’m amazed at how often this can turn up opportunities and referrals.

With Staff

  • Add a process that forces you to conduct all hands follow-up (training) that keeps your staff involved in the marketing strategy, tactics, message and results. This once a month or once a quarter event can be the best team building follow-up process you could ever create.
  • Set-up training auto responders that supplement your standard training routines.

So, what kinds of follow-up could you add?

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  • http://www.iangilyeat.com/ Elizabeth B.

    Agreed. Following up is critical. Email marketing solutions or CRM platforms make follow ups much easier. You can automate, personalize, and track the progress.

    I'm glad you included “staff” on your list of people you should follow up with. Some companies forget that they must also market to those on the inside of the company as well as customers.

  • jasonlittlefishwin

    Within the small businesses that I've worked with the biggest challenge with follow-up after a job/project was lack of confidence that the customer was happy. I think this came down to really poor communication of job scope and leaving too many opportunities for disagreements with customers over what was considered a “complete” job, let alone what was considered a good job in the eyes of the customer.

  • arthurbrown

    i love this info

  • http://www.SharedMarketing.com/ Michelle

    A lot of our leads do come from vendors / partners with whom we work, yet somehow, we hadn't thought of doing a vendor newsletter with them the same way we do newsletters for clients / prospects. Thanks for the great idea!

  • http://www.officedeskreviews.com/ Lloyd

    Great article!

    We usually completely lack the time, so showing up IS one big step! ? In such a context, following up becomes showing off , exhibiting and advertising). Sometimes we tend to forget that most of these techniques and strategies are just natural social behavior such as paying attention to people and being prompt and responsive in order to build a relationship, a reputation and trust. Basically, it is great if you take the time (and courage) to connect personally. As long as you are brief and keep common sense in mind, chances are you won’t look like a stalker to all these people and you’ve got efficient communication for your business.

  • http://twitter.com/dandestiny Daniel Shaw

    I loved this article, and look forward to implementing some of the ideas here into the marketing for our dental clinic. Thanks a lot John!

  • http://www.marketingprofessor.com/misc/3-strategies-for-profitable-followup-after-an-event-or-seminar/ Travis Campbell

    John-

    Very well stated. I especially appreciate your perspective that follow up is a “mindset”. I often wonder if people don't follow up simply because they have never experienced the benefits, and therefore don't believe that it actually works. I suppose having it as a part of corporate culture is a result of belief in follow up from management itself. Without that buy in, it is going to be tough.

    Thoughts?

  • http://ubermarketing.wordpress.com Akash Sharma

    Bang On target!!, If customer retention is the key for consistent business then following up is the best tool to do it.All the points mentioned above are inevitable for all these business relations.
    Plus we have to make sure that the follow up strategy is no-where near spammy and should be continued as per the customer's perspective as in we should use whatever contact channel they specify.Thanks for the great info…

  • http://budurl.com/ynfr Megan

    Good points. Several companies today simply forget about follow up. And let's face it, sales people care more about having a sale than doing follow up. But I think it's very important. A happy customer equal referrals. Referrals bring in more customers. More customers equal more profit. Also this way, you can identify and troubleshoot problem areas more personally. It's kinda like customer service. Nowadays, consumers are becoming smarter. When buying a gadget or a car, they also consider whether the product has a service center. Because it really doesn't end with just having a sale. There should be a follow-up.
    I'm not so sure if email follow is effective. Maybe it's just me, but whenever I get an email from some random company I kinda consider it spam without even bothering to open the letter. LoL. There are more ways of building follow up. I like the idea of giving them a reward. It could go further like make the consumers feel like they are part of the company. It gives them an overall customer satisfaction. After all customer satisfaction is the foundation of a solid business. To read more about this, http://sn.im/uxp4n

  • http://swiftpage.wordpress.com Annie

    With prospects you also have to be careful with the frequency of follow up. I was doing research for my company and was talking to several sales people. In one conversation I specifically mentioned that I would contact them once we were in the decision making process. This person continued to send meeting invite after meeting invite in the first few days after our conversation for him to follow up with me before i even had the chance to follow up with him as I had told him.

    Follow up is definitely a good thing but you also have to respect the prospects wishes in the best way possible if you want to make the sale.

  • http://dog-earz.com shr

    Excellent article. CRM tools and e-newsletters provide a great way of personalizing your messages. May be helpful to include 'former employees' in this list as well.

  • popculturemaiden

    Hey there! Just wanted to say that this is one well written article! Thanks for posting this. I was looking for a site that has this kind of info and I'm glad I stumbled upon this one. Gotta love the affiliate marketing business :D Keep up the great articles.

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  • http://www.BestConsultingPractices.com Will Kenny

    One of the best ways to follow up with customers is to give them something of value, no strings attached. I am thinking particularly of clipping articles and mailing them to the contact, or e-mailing a blog post that is particularly relevant to their business or industry. Being genuinely helpful, without a sales pitch, is always a good idea, at every step of the marketing process, but as you get to know your customers better, the longer you work with them, the better you can target what you send them to fit their needs and style.

    And the longer you work with a client, the more important it is to nurture the relationship, as it is so often the relationships that have gone on for years where complacency sets in, and one day the client vanishes without warning.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-T-Marshall/703029031 Kenneth T Marshall

    Follow-up's annoying little brother, persistence, can really help too. Don't take no for an answer. No just means “not now”. In 6 months, or a year, or six years something will change and if you've been attentive and patient, building a relationship wil almost always pay off in the end.

    Kenny
    http://www.cpasitesolutions.com

  • http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog ducttape

    Will – love this – and totally agree. Anything of value that comes unexpectedly is a great follow-up tool.

  • http://www.terra3communications.com Barb Reed

    You are right on, Will. Not only are you being genuinely helpful, it shows the client or prospect that you really do understand their business and challenges as well.