Studies show that in the past 12 years, the percentages for reaching decision-makers on the phone has dropped from 15% in 1998 to 4% today…it takes a consistent, thoughtful plan and system in order to reach the decision makers. Here’s one step in this strategy that will make all the difference in your sales efforts:

Follow-up

It truly amazes me how easy it is to grow a business with just a few common sense items. Even more amazing is how very FEW people actually do these simply items on a daily basis. For example, follow-up. What do I mean by follow-up? I mean re-touching someone you previous touched whether it be by phone call, email, text message, letter by mail, blog post, commenting on another’s blog post, replying via Twitter, Facebook, Big Africa, Orkut, the list continues to grow longer…

Simple. Right?

Well you would think so; however, the more businesses I encounter, the more I am less surprised now that people just simply do NOT follow-up. It’s not THAT HARD.

Example:

You call a potential client who you really want to work for. They give you a response (doesn’t matter what the response is). Just for example, say they don’t have time to talk now and ask you to follow-up with them on “Tuesday.” Now, most people would just go on about their business and this “lead” would be dead in the water. Lost into the oblivion of the multi-tasking of your mind. You may write down “Follow-up with so-and-so on Tuesday.”

But who knows if you’ll actually remember to do it…

You’ve basically got only two options at this point:

  • Leave the newly formed relationship as it is. Or, in other words, you “Forgettabout-em.”
  • No matter the response – FOLLOW-UP.

Follow-up is very nonchalant and nonabrasive. In other words, it brings NO HARM (to rephrase the quote in the movie “Remember The Titans” from “Peetey” as he is corrected by his coach [Denzel Washington] at the first team meeting, “Zero [harm], Sir”). [watch what I’m talking about here! If you don’t have time to watch the whole clip, fast forward to 1:15 in the timeline.]

Have you ever sent an email, that a person requested from you, then you never heard back from them?

Well, call them! Follow-up!

Here’s an example conversation:

You: “Hi, Mr. Wallace, this is Tim Bickers from Candeo Marketing, how are you this afternoon?”

Mr. Wallace: “Fine.”

You: “Great! Well, I just wanted to follow-up with you in regards to the email/fax/letter you asked me to send you last week with my proposal/details/liability claims/whatever in it. Did you happen to receive that?”

Mr. Wallace: Yes I did. I actually just looked over it about an hour ago.

You: Fantastic! Your business is very important to me and I wanted to take the time to make sure that it made sense and to see if you had any questions I may be able to discuss with you in more depth…

Then, set-up a meeting, phone call, send more information – whatever is needed.

However, if you don’t follow-up… Mr. Wallace may never contact you back. Scratch that, 9 1/2 times out of 10, Mr. Wallace will NEVER contact you. Especially if you just cold-called him in the first place.

Build a customer database. Track who you called, when you called and the response given. You’ll be glad you did. If you add this ONE element, your sales efforts will grow geometrically (into another dimension).