Following up on prospects
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on Marketing Planning and Marketing Strategy, kindly written by a real expert in her field – Margaret “Mags” Bradshaw from Red Button Marketing and Training Limited – expert marketing planning software.
Please consider contacting Mags for any aspect of marketing strategy or planning support – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.
This is the secret to unlocking it all – the order of events is, to create a marketing plan, make sure it aligns to the business and commercial purpose and do all the other bits we have talked about – with team buy-in you will achieve more BUT the follow-up process is the bit that completes the marketing cycle!
Yes, the world we are in now gives us amazing scope for sharing our brand, character and incredible range of creative content to entice people to enquire but we still need to have a programme for getting back to people.
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 a good idea of what they are looking to buy too – take a look at our article on Marketing Metrics for more information. However, this person will happily sit in the shadows, never quite getting around to picking the phone up if you don’t engage them.
Engaging with a prospect and following up
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. 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… which means you are 90% of the way there. But what’s your strategy for ‘what happens next’ and how good are you at following up?
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
Have you any questions?
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