Wouldn't it be nice if every time you made a contact with someone you've been marketing too, that person ALWAYS said, "Yes, I'd love to purchase your services/products. When can you start?"
That certainly happens sometimes, especially when it's the prospect who made the initial contact. But when it's you who has been trying to get someone to purchase, the prospect is not always ready to buy at that moment.
The truth is, people buy when THEY want to buy, and that is not always when YOU want them to buy.
Because of this, it is imperative that you keep an organized list of all people who have expressed an interest in your services or products. This way, even if a prospect isn't interested in buying TODAY, you'll have many future opportunities to follow-up with them later.
Some people like to keep a paper list, while others would prefer using their computer. My preference is always to use the computer. You can easily make updates, plus you can print out address labels over and over without having to re-write a single thing.
But, of course, that choice is yours. The important thing is that you always keep prospect names, contact info and any important notes on file.
Here are 4 power ideas to help you out in your follow-up efforts:
1. FOLLOW-UP OFTEN AND USE A CONSISTENT SYSTEM
Don't allow too much time in between prospect contacts, otherwise your prospects will forget about and/or lose interest in your services/products. Every few weeks, or a minimum of once per month, is probably a good rule of thumb.
Only you can determine how many times you should follow-up with each prospect. Some people follow up 12 times, others 8. It really depends on your follow-up skills, the price of your service/product, and if the people you're following up with are TRULY prospects for your business--that means they have a genuine interest in what you're selling and can afford to pay for it.
2. ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOUR PROSPECTS
Calling your prospects and saying nothing more than, "Are you ready to buy yet?" is going just going to annoy them, and probably lose the sale now and for the future.
When you follow up, always OFFER something of interest. Perhaps you might want to alert them to a one-time-only deal, or maybe you want to tell them about a product enhancement, or perhaps you have a new information packet that you would like to send them, etc.
Always contact them with an enticing offer, or useful information that they would be happy to receive.
3. USE VARIOUS FOLLOW-UP METHODS
You don't have to always follow-up on the telephone. Perhaps you might send them an article in the mail. You can even send them an e-mail that directs them to your Web site to see something that would be of interest to them.
Or invite them to a special presentation, and follow-up with them in person.
4. SHOW THEM YOU CARE
Find out when your prospects' birthdays are, so you can send them a greeting card on their special day. Send them holiday cards. You might consider sending them a newsletter that includes helpful tips and ideas.
If you know your prospect enjoys golf, you may send him/her a recent golf article you came across. You do this to build a good relationship, and trust.
When your prospect is ready to buy, you'll be the person who is uppermost in his/her mind.
by Maria Gracia
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