Follow Up Secret: Use Gratitude When Following Up

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.

thank-you-painted-streetThere 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.

Follow Up Tools: Creating A Simple Newsletter Opt In Form For Your Website

There should be no question in your mind that email is a powerful follow up tool for your business and should be included in your follow up strategy.  Creating a list of customers, prospects, and referral sources who have asked you to market to them with email by requesting to be on your newsletter or specials list is brilliant!  In fact why not take a moment to subscribe to my Follow Up Success Newsletter now!

With your email list you have the ability to:

  • Follow up with past customers
  • Announce new product releases
  • Educate past and current customers
  • Continue to market additional products and services
  • Share success stories with your product or service
  • Maintain top of mind awareness
  • Create additional referral opportunities

Now is the time to start creating a list for your business.  There are many options available when deciding which email service to use for your list.  I use and recommend both AWeber and iContact with my websites.  These are two great companies to use and are pretty similar.  Look into each of them and decide which one will work best for you or opt into the form below and learn more about how AWeber might work for your business:


Now You Can Multiply Profits AND Automate Your Business

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AWeber just made it really easy to create great looking newsletter opt in forms for your website or blog!  Released just in the past few weeks you can now go to your AWeber account and create a new form using one of the many templates available.  Choose from many great categories like automotive, corporate, retail, money, real estate, and more.  Learn more about the AWeber options by visiting Shawn Collins Affiliate Marketing Blog.

Watch this video to learn how you can create a new form from your existing AWeber account:

You will need to set up your AWeber account to use the form generator but I promise it will be worth it!

Creating a Follow Up Strategy

alan-underkofler-house-of-bluesLast week I had the opportunity to speak at the Cool Twitter Conferences at the House of Blues in Hollywood.  My topic for my discussion was Using twitter to Attract More Clients, Increase Your Referrals, and Maintain Top of Mind Awareness With Your Customers.  It’s a big topic about using twitter one of the hottest social media sites as a follow up tool.

I started the discussion with a question…  Are you giving business to your competitors?  The answer for many businesses is YES!  Have you heard this before?  “The fortune is in the follow up” or the really overused yet clearly correct “People do business with people they Know, LIKE, and TRUST!”  These are great statements and both are true yet many businesses do not have any follow up strategy and don’t really understand how to create the “know, like, and trust” feeling with their clients and prospects.

So what is a follow up strategy?  It’s about creating a system for follow up which will be used with every new client, prospect, or referral source.  The system could look something like this:

New Customer Follow Up System:

  • Day 1  – new customer welcome email
  • Day 1  – new customer welcome card
  • Day 1 – new customer welcome tweet on twitter
  • Week 2 – follow up phone call checking to insure client is happy with purchase
  • Week 4 – follow up card “It’s been 30 days since your purchase and we want to make sure you are happy”
  • Week 4 – follow up tweet on twitter similar to the week 4 card
  • Week 8 – follow up phone call just “checking in”
  • Week 12 – follow up card Discussion additional products or services you might offer

I can keep going but you have the idea right?  The best way to increase your referrals with your customers and clients is to have a follow up strategy in place.  Of course having it in place is only the first step!  You must be committed to your strategy, you want to make sure once you start following up you keep it going!  You might want to read a previous post, Creating Great Follow UP With Your Clients in 7 Simple Steps where I went into more detail about this process.

Do you have a follow up strategy?  Please take a moment and tell us what you are doing by leaving a comment.

Follow Up Strategies: Two Days Before Christmas

This morning I had a completely different post in mind.  I was going to write about sending books to your top clients and referral sources for the New Year.  In thinking about follow up this morning I decided to write about a simple and highly effective follow up strategy for the two days before Christmas.

Take a look at your top 25 clients and referral sources for the year, print out a report or simply write them down.  Once you have them pick up the phone and call each one.  Call them and wish them a Merry Christmas.  If you are not sure if they celebrate Christmas wish them a Happy Holliday weekend.  Thank these clients and referral sources for the business and referrals from the past year.  Ask them what they are doing for the holiday.  In general you want to touch them right before the holiday.  Don’t ask for new business or referrals, just thank them and wish them a great holiday.

You may not be able to reach everyone as I am sure some have already taken the week off, so just leave a message or a voicemail.  It may seem simple because it is!  These simple touches build your relationships with your clients and referral sources.  By doing this simple task you are showing your clients and referral sources that you care about them and appreciate them.

It’s a bit difficult for me to call you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday weekend!  Please know that I appreciate you for taking the time to visit my blog and I truly appreciate the many emails and comments I receive from my posts.  I wish for you a wonderful holiday filled with great moments which create lasting memories.

Why are you collecting business cards on your desk?

Today I was sitting at my desk scouring the internet looking for the allusive driver for my laptop which I had just wiped and reloaded with Windows XP.  Between what seemed to be hundreds of downloads trying one driver after another I was frightened by a small stack of business cards which seemed to be accumulating on my desk.

You know that stack of business cards that seems to grow and grow by your stapler, next to your pen cup, at the corner of your desk, or possibly a neatly 3 inch stack under your monitor…  Depending on your networking and social activities you can easily add another inch to your stack every month!  If you are anything like I used to be, this stack moves into some type of container or drawer.  Eventually all these business cards will end up in a box to be saved forever or at least until you find the box and realize you have business cards from people you met one time at a networking event three years ago whom you have never contacted.   Unless of course you have some strange desire to sell them on ebay 20 years from now there is no point in this.

Don’t worry you can save yourself from this tragedy!  How do you do it?  First look at the cards on your desk.  Is there 25, 50, or 250 business cards?  Using 50 for an example quickly look at each one and decide if this is someone you would like to connect with to explore a more meaningful relationship.  Once this is completed pick up the phone and explain to the contact your new found mission!  At this point you might be thinking to yourself mission, what mission?  The mission is to not collect business cards, keep them on your desk for months, and then finally years later throw them away.  Why not call them and say something like “Hi Alan, we met last month and a networking event and I have decided to take a new approach on the business cards I collect.  What I would like to know is how I might help you in your business?”  Or you can say something like I discussed in my previous post “I have to talk to the person again?”.

Imagine what you can create by simply engaging the people whom you have collected all these cards!  Jordan Adler, a networking master and expert in collecting business cards talks about the value of one business card in his recent book Beach Money.  Jordan Adler discusses how he turns one little square piece of paper into thousands of dollars.  How much business could you expect from one lifetime customer?  The answer will depend on your type of business.  In the book he asked a group this same question and the answers ranged from $2,000 to $300,000.  Jordan believes when he collects 100 business cards it is his job is to turn some of them into lifelong customers.  Each time he takes action the chances of one or more of those business card contacts turning into lifelong a customer increases.  Examples of actions to take are making a quick phone call, sending a greeting card, buying each person lunch, sending a gift, sending the contact business, staying in touch, and with some contacts doing all of these things.  So what is the lifetime value of YOUR customer?  Jordan does not look at a business card as just a card.  He looks at them like $100 and $1,000 bills.  Would you ignore $100 bills stacked up 3 inches high on your desk? 

Simply commit to call 3 or 4 of these cards each day until the stack is gone.  Once you have made this connection add these people into some kind of database.  You can use Outlook, ACT!, GoldMine, salesforce.com, or even index cards.  The database you choose is not important.  What is important is that you take notes on what you talked about and add them to your database for future reference, referrals, or business opportunities.  Once these cards are in your database THROW THEM AWAY or GIVE THEM AWAY!  Just don’t leave them sitting on your desk.