Following up on prospects
“In every relationship, the work is never just in the positive actions we do for each other, but in the follow up.” – Yehuda Berg
Every few years a new marketing ‘silver bullet’ comes along promising amazing sales results for little effort. I remember when it was fax blasts: print-out all your contact’s fax numbers, get the YTS work-experience kid to spend all morning faxing your special offer to 200 people and sit back and wait for the orders to come flowing in… right?
What about Digital Marketing?
The thing is, these new digital marketing methods are no more silver bullets than the old traditional ones were. This doesn’t mean that digital marketing isn’t a brilliant tool. It captures people who have an interest in your product and identifies who out of your contacts is ready to buy, but unless you then take the next step and have a sales conversation with them you are missing the majority of your opportunities. It always comes back to the old salesperson mantra: it’s all in the follow-up.
You have to remember that digital marketing doesn’t get rid of the need to sell, it just gives you the opportunity to have better sales conversations. If your digital marketing strategy has done its job then you already know that a prospect has an interest in your company, and you’ll potentially have good idea of what they are looking to buy too. However, this person will happily sit in the shadows, never quite getting round to picking the phone up if you don’t engage them.
Engaging with a prospect
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This doesn’t have to be a phone call. It can be a personal email asking if they want to talk about anything specific. It can be a good old-fashioned bit of direct mail (you are still allowed to put a stamp on an envelope you know!) with an offer about the product you know they are interested in – you could even hand write a message on this too as this personalises the mailing. Or you could even invite them to a company event, webinar or demo of your service.
Any marketing will only get you 90% of the way to a sale. But you still can’t beat picking up the phone and just ‘having a go’ when your digital marketing system is highlighting someone as a person of interest, and you’ll be amazed how many people respond with “Do you know, I was thinking about giving you a call”.
So great, you’ve got a regular email going out and are tracking how people interact with it; you’ve got your Google PPC campaign bringing relevant people to your website and entering their details to download your e-book. You’ve got a constantly-updating list of hot prospects… that means you are 90% of the way there. But what’s your strategy for ‘what happens next’?
Are you going to just sit and let them go off the boil? Or are you going to act while they are hot hot hot?!
Developing an effective sales follow up system helps you control your business growth – if you’re not sure what to do, consider seeking the help and support of a mentor or coach who can guide you with impartial and expert advice.
Blunt advice on following up on sales prospects from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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