Tapping into the Power of The Follow-up

Tapping into the Power of The Follow-up
Tapping into the Power of The Follow-up In this ChildsPlay Marketing article we will explore a highly cost-effective means of converting more prospects, turning one-of sales into repeat purchases and stopping negative word-of-mouth dead in its tracks! This article is about harnessing "The Follow-up".

Many of us know that we should always be following-up, but for some reason this highly important activity is often neglected. Yet it is one of the most powerful tools in our marketing arsenal.

What is a follow-up? It is simply a phone call, a letter, an email or fax, a meeting after an event or transaction.

Who should we follow-up on?

If you want to have a profound effect on the growth of your business, make it a clockwork process to always follow-up on:

  • Prospects

  • First Time Customers

  • Existing Customers
As following-up on 'existing customers' is covered in the ChildsPlay Marketing Modules, I will focus on the importance of following-up on your Prospects and First Time Customers.

Why should we follow-up?

Prospects



It is essential to follow-up on your prospects for the following reasons:

We all like to feel special and appreciated. When you follow up on someone, and if you are sincere in your follow up, you will reassure the prospect that you are actually interested in them becoming a customer. They will feel appreciated. When it comes to converting more prospects, it comes down to one company doing one small thing extra. If you are the company that has someone feel appreciated, that can make all the difference, and thus have them buy from YOU.

Staying Top of Mind. A prospect can only buy from you if they remember who you are. Often prospects shop around, and can easily forget all the suppliers they contacted. Combine this with our naturally busy lives and unless you remind the prospect you exist, you don't stand much of a chance. Remind them that you are here to support them. Stay top of mind!

Opportunity for further selling. If someone is still a prospect, it means they have not been completely sold on your offering. By following-up, you create for yourself another opportunity to continue the sales process. Here you can further educate your prospects on all the benefits and advantages of going with you. The follow-up becomes an opening for rapport building, for removing concerns, risks and objections, and for being flexible and adapting to your customers' needs. Give yourself a second chance!

Market Research. Even though you follow-up, you still may have lost the prospect. However, by following up you create an opportunity to learn about 'Why' you may have lost this prospect to another supplier. This information is obviously critical and can allow you to avoid losing prospects in the future. It is important to ask your lost prospect to be honest with you, and let you know why they chose not to go with you. This information is invaluable to you and will help you grow your business!!!

First Time Customers



It is essential to follow-up on your First Time Customers because:

Again, we all like to feel special, and appreciated. If you follow-up on your fist time customers, you will have them feel cared for, appreciated, and an important part of your business. If you were in a relationship where a friend or partner was indifferent to spending time with you, and you then met someone who really enjoyed your company and appreciated spending time with you, who would you gravitate towards? The same applies to your customers. They want to feel special too! And when they do, you have just given them a reason to come back to you again and again! Repeat purchases =the great revenue multiplier!

Stopping Negative Word-of-mouth. Researchers tell us that if a customer is happy with your offering they will tell four people. If they are unhappy they will tell 13 people. It's human nature to want to release negativity and get it off our chest. But, can you afford for all your dissatisfied customers to be reverse marketing for you? When you follow-up on a dissatisfied first-time customer you become the outlet for them to dump and complain. Either they complain to you, or to everyone else they know. Don't allow the negative word-of-mouth to leak out past you! Ensure your customers feel heard!

Turning them back. By following-up you are creating an opportunity to convince this customer to return to your business. Had you not followed up, you would never have heard from them again. Even if they are dissatisfied, give them an offer they can't refuse and invite them to give you another opportunity to Wow them. Remember that a major way to achieve growth in your business is to stop or reduce customer losses (customer attrition). If you are increasing customer attraction at 15% per year but are losing 10% per year, you are only growing your customer base by 5%. Plug up the losses! Tackle growth at both ends: gain new customers and reduce losses.

Market Research. This is a perfect time to learn how well you are actually meeting customer needs. Customer satisfaction is the result of you meeting an expectation. However, we are not always aware of what the expectation is, whether we have set it or not. Use this opportunity to see how well you are aligned to your customers' needs. This is invaluable data that can help you convert more prospects, retain more customers and plug up customer attrition.

BONUS! There are actually very few companies who follow-up, so by you following-up there is a high chance your customer or prospect will be very impressed by you. This can generate some serious buzz marketing about your business (positive word-of-mouth).

Can you think of your own experiences where if a supplier had followed-up on you they would have actually won your business? Can you think of experiences you have had where you were put off returning to a supplier because you felt they were indifferent to you? I'm sure you can think of plenty!

So, remember to make it standard practice to follow up on your prospects and first time customers.

Author: Daniel Rechnitzer, founder of ChildsPlay Marketing - Simple Ways To Succeed in Business. See www.ChildsPlayMarketing.com

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