Following up with your prospects is one of the most important steps in the sales process. If your prospect does not make a decision to buy or retain your services at your first meeting following up becomes the most important step.
There are many ways to follow up with your prospects and one of my favorites is through gratitude and appreciation. Before dialing, emailing or writing a note take a moment to think about your prospect and your last meeting. Is there something you discussed in your last meeting that gave you an idea or helped you in some way? Did you learn something new about how your product or service can help a future prospect or customer? Did your prospect possibly give you a referral or a lead? These are all great examples of how you can follow up with gratitude.
Think about the last time someone expressed gratitude or appreciation towards you. Was it in person, on the phone, via email, or maybe you received an unexpected thank you card? Think about how this small act of gratitude made you feel. This is the same feeling you create with your prospects when you appreciate them. This feeling creates a stronger relationship with your prospect. By building on your relationship you are attracting your prospect to convert themselves to the sale or another referral.
Try out following up with gratitude after your next few presentations and let me know how it worked for you. If you currently do this in your follow up process leave a comment and tell me how it is working for you.
Can SendOutCards really help you and your business generate more referrals? The answer is yes! The act of sending out thank you cards, birthday cards, follow up cards, and general thinking of you cards to your network on a consistent daily basis is guaranteed to generate you more referrals, customers, and business.
As you can see from the video it’s all about creating stronger relationships with the people in your network. Sending out greeting cards is a bit old fashioned but very effective. In fact in today’s world of email, texting, and social media saying thank you or happy birthday with an actual card allows you or your business to stand out among the crowd. The more you stand you the more business you receive!
If you truly want more business and referrals you need to consider implementing this relationship marketing tool. Visit our follow up tools section to learn more about SendOutCards for your business.
Are referrals the life blood of your business? Often times when I am consulting with businesses about referral marketing strategies they tell me that referrals are the top way they receive new customers. When I follow up with more questions about how they generate referrals I am shocked to discover many of these same businesses have no referral strategy in place. The referrals they receive happen by chance and they have no system to encourage or increase referrals coming into their business.
If you are one of these companies that rely on new referral business you might consider creating strategic referral sources. Strategic referral sources or referral partners are designed to create referral relationships where you and your partnering business give referrals to each other. This may be a business in or out of your industry. Here are a few examples:
Business attorneys referring Family Attorneys or Estate Planning Attorneys
When meeting with possible referral sources it’s important to learn as much as you can to start the referral process. Here are six questions you can ask your potential referral partners to insure success:
Can you give me an example of your ideal client or customer?
Please explain your biggest challenge in your business.
Who is your best referral partner?
What makes you or your company different from your competitors?
Are you on Social Media? Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter? (make sure you connect with them)
Is there anything more you would like to tell me about you or your company that might help me give you a referral?
At this point you should have everything you need to start referring this person or business. I find the fastest way to start receiving referrals from a new referral source is to give them referrals as soon as possible. I make it a point to seek out opportunities for them as I know the more business they receive from my network the more committed they will be to referring my business.
If you start creating referral partners as strategy you are guaranteed to grow your referral business!
Christmas, Hanukkah, and the Seasonal Parties are starting to become fond memories for most of us. Many businesses are focused on the New Year and thinking about what to do different. New Year Resolutions have come up in almost every conversation I have had this week with businesses owners.
Everything from growing the business, increasing referrals, getting more involved with the community, attending more networking events, creating more systems, increasing marketing, adding more staff, and list goes on and on. The greatest thing about all these conversations is how many businesses seem to really be thinking about what they can do different. How they can really improve and grow their business this year.
For my businesses focus seems to be at the top of my list. Really identifying where I need to spend my time and making sure I hold myself accountable to where my time is spent is number one for me! I have really thought about what my highest income producing activities are for each of my businesses and where I want these businesses to go this year. By doing this exercise I have now identified actionable items and activities which I should do each day to achieve these goals. I am now in the process of listing these activities and creating daily, weekly, and monthly goals for each one.
Once this is complete I will have this document in front of me each day. It will work like a check list insuring I am doing the action items and activities on a consistent basis which will lead to my desired results.
My questions for you are what are you thinking about this week? What are you changing in your business to insure a great 2010? Are you willing to take the steps necessary for your success? Are you going to attend one more networking event each month this year? Are you going to join BNI, LeTip, or you local Chamber of Commerce? Are you going to learn more about Social Media and how to use Social Media in your business? Are you going to follow up with every lead you receive? Are you going to follow up with every person you meet? Are you going to thank the customers that buy from you each month? Are you going to create more meaningful relationships this year?
Take a moment and share with us what you are going to do to insure your success in 2010 by joining the conversation and leaving a comment!
Did I get your attention? You only have a few days left to get this task done. Are you are one of the many business owners or sales professionals who still have this task on your list? You may even have a stack of holiday cards sitting on your desk ready to go. But at some point in the past month or most likely many times you decided to put it off, wait until tomorrow, or maybe take care of writing and sending your holiday greeting cards over one of the past weekends.
And now you find yourself exactly where you don’t want to be, 15 days before the big holiday, no holiday greeting cards in the mail. You have a decision to make… Do you stop everything and send those holiday cards out or do you just forget about it?
The answer? STOP EVERYTHING AND GET IT DONE NOW! This may seem a bit crazy or even bias because you know I am a big SendOutCards user and often promote using SendOutCards on Follow Up Success. Card sending is an important step in your follow up process and holiday card sending is almost at the top.
Here are my top three reasons why you should stop everything and send out your holiday greeting cards now:
Appreciating your customers and prospects – Every single one of your customers enjoys being appreciated and the holidays is a great time to say thank you for the past business you have received. Prospects can easily be turned into customers by simply saying thank you for learning more about you and your business while wishing for them a great holiday with family and friends.
Reestablishing the business relationship – One of my goals for 2010 is to create stronger relationships with my customers and prospects. By sending holiday cards I will reestablish past relationships that I may have let slip through the cracks. This is important when you reach out to past customers or prospects in the New Year as you will have recent contact.
Top of Mind Awareness – This is the big one! Creating top of mind awareness with your customers and prospects when they are surrounded by their closest friends and family is an essential step in your follow up and referral strategy. If you are top of mind with your customer or prospect they are more likely to bring you and your business up in conversation or think about you for a potential referral.
Hopefully I have encouraged you to take action! Maybe, you have already picked up that box of holiday cards from your desk or floor and have starting filling them out. Possibly, you have too many cards to send and feel hopeless! If you are feeling hopeless SendOutCards would be the best gift to give yourself this holiday season! With my help within a few hours you can have all of your holiday cards in the mail each personalized with your message. To learn more about SendOutCards or to set up your account visit my Follow Up Tools page or contact me. I am more than happy to help you through this process!
Whether you use SendOutCards, go buy cards from the store, or use the cards you already have, just get it done! Stop everything and do this now! I promise you it’s worth the time.
Do you have great business success stories from sending cards? Please tell us all about it by leaving a comment!
There are many reasons to send greeting cards to your customers. General follow up thank you cards, birthday cards, customer appreciation cards, and of course holiday cards. All of these customer follow up greeting cards should be a standard marketing practice for any business.
One of my favorite opportunities to reach out to existing customers and create stronger relationships is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving after all is all about gratitude and what better way to show gratitude to your customers than by sending them a Thanksgiving card and letting them know how much you appreciate their business?
I truly believe in sending Thanksgiving cards to follow up with your customers and prospects. In fact I have recent memories of handwriting over 500 Thanksgiving cards to my clients not too long ago. This was a huge and exhausting task with each card containing two or three lines of personalized text. I spent well over two months completing this process! And while I was all gung-ho to send out holiday greeting cards to my clients as well… It was just not going to happen. I had all the holiday cards on my desk but could not get them completed in the two remaining weeks I had left. At the time I remember thinking there must be a better to get this done… Of course there is a better way and I discovered it about six months later. The next time I mailed Thanksgiving cards to my clients I sent 600 and did them all in about four hours instead of two months! I used an incredible system called SendOutCards and you can learn more about this process by visiting my Follow Up Tools page.
There are many reasons to send out Thanksgiving cards to your clients, prospects, and referral sources. The main one being appreciation. Everyone likes to be acknowledged and appreciated and when you do this your clients will do more business with you, prospects will start doing business with you, and your referral sources will send you even more referrals.
Now is the time! Start following up with your customers and prospects today with Thanksgiving cards!
Two very simple follow up ideas for Speakers and Presenters. Yes even Speakers and Presenters need to follow up! This week I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Encinitas Rotary group about using Social Media to follow up and engage customers. I have to admit the setting for this discussion was perfect, the room was right on the water with a wall of glass facing the ocean. The room felt like the ocean was coming right in with each incoming wave!
After the discussion I had spent some time outside listening, viewing, and enjoying the beautiful day. When I was about to leave I decided to make this short video on follow up to share with you how I will follow up with the members of this group. Here is the video:
Two simple steps:
Send an email to each person thanking them for the opportunity to speak at their meeting
Mail each person a thank you card
As a Speaker and Presenter why would I want to take these two follow up steps? I can think of many great reasons but I will focus on the basics. It’s about building upon the relationship I have started. This group just listened to me talk for an hour. To this group I would be considered an expert or go to person in social media, follow up, and referral strategies. The opportunity from speaking is to continue the relationship! If I do this effectively I will naturally receive clients, referrals, and additional speaking engagements.
Are you a speaker, presenter, or trainer? Please let me know the methods you are using to follow up with your audience by leaving a comment.
On my last post I highlighted Make A Referral Week 2009. The goal was to generate 1,000 referrals to 1,000 deserving small businesses in one week. I am happy to report the goal was met and I am excited to see Referral Week happen again with a much larger goal!
This week I had the pleasure of talking to one of my favorite people Stuart Manley from ChannelPoint, Inc., a Toronto, ON human resource company specializing in cross border HR. After talking to Stuart I thought of another friend Art Kriegsmann. Art is the CEO of H.R. SERV., Inc. based in San Diego, CA. The conversation with Stuart prompted me to refer both Stuart and Art to each other. I referred them because they both specialize in different areas and could possibly be a great referral source for one another.
The example points out one of the most overlooked referrals we can make. We all love to receive direct referrals which will lead to a new client. Sometimes our best referrals are not a direct referral but someone who can continually give us referrals over time. Creating referral partners, power partners, or fantastic referral sources should be a major part of your referral strategy.
To create a referral source think about the businesses in your network who may serve your ideal client. Possibly a company you notice working with the same clients you have. Once you identify such a company or industry reach out to them and talk about the possibility of sending referrals to one another. This strategy could make the difference of your business maintaining sales this year or possibly growing another 10, 20, or 50 percent! And for those of you who may watch the news or if you happen to still read the paper… Yes I did say you can grow your business in this economy!
If you are still reading this post I have one question for you. Can I give you a referral?
Do you have a company or client you have been trying to reach? Do you know who your ideal client or referral partner is? How can I or the readers give you a referral? Leave your referral request as a comment and let’s see if we can help each other!
Make a Referral Week 2009 is March 9-13, can your referral make a difference? We are all hearing the negative talk about our economy! Many businesses, sales people, and entrepreneurs are complaining and contributing to the negativity. But what if you can make a difference? What if you made one referral today? Could you inspire others to do the same? Can this effort have a profound impact on your business as well as those in your business network? The creators of Make a Referral Week seem to think so!
The goal for Referral Week 2009 is to generate 1000 referred leads to 1000 deserving small businesses. This seems pretty simple to me and I am hoping you will participate in this positive approach! Here are some simple steps to help you create your referral:
Over the next few days think about the people in your business network.
Listen to the conversations with your customers. What are they looking for? What do your clients need?
Simply match those customers and clients with someone in your businesses or referral network.
Visit the Make A Referral Week Counter Page and tell them who you referred!
For great referral strategies John Jantsh is hosting a live conference call on Tuesday March 10th featuring Bob Burg, author of the Go-Giver, Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now. This should be a great call teaching the strategies of referrals. Just check out Johns post Have Your Made Your Referral? to register for the call.
Will you participate? Will you help one those people in your network and give them a referral? Will your referral start a chain reaction of more referrals? We all can make a difference in turning around this economy! The question to ask yourself is are you willing to give one referral?
Being on time is a very simple thing to do and yet it is very simple not to do. Over the years I have been in many different types of networking groups for a variety of companies and projects. There is something about the message being sent out by the members that are consistently arriving late or leaving early. Business networking is very similar to dating in that first impressions make big difference. If you are consistently late at a networking event it leads people to believe you may be late to all of your meetings.
Does being late really make a difference in your business networking success? I know for me when I see this in a networking group like BNI, LeTip, or a weekly chamber of commerce group I am less likely to give the habitual late person a referral. The reason is each referral is really an extension of me and my reputation. If I refer my best client or referral source to a member who in turn is late meeting with my contact this reflects negatively on me. My personal network is far more important to me than just giving someone a referral!
If you are habitually late and want to know simple ways to change your pattern read this great article, 5 ways to stop being late by Penelope Trunk.
So the next time you are getting ready for your business networking event or BNI meeting, maybe you should skip responding to that email which just showed up in your inbox and instead arrive 10 minutes early to your meeting (on time).