Beeline for Business… Follow-up Techniques that Make Sense.

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Learn how to turn prospects into customers with these techniques from President of Kerry’s Network, Inc., Kerry Heaps.

Follow-up Techniques that Make Sense

If a prospect isn’t ready to become a client, follow-up is crucial. If you meet with a prospect and they decided to go a different direction or went with a different company, ask them if it’s okay to check back in the future but give them a timeline. Find out if it’s okay to call back in three months, a year, etc. If they are trying out a new service sometimes it’s not a good fit and they need to make changes, so it’s crucial to stay on top of that information.    I have listed the top three tips I use to stay in touch with prospective and current clients.

Have a system.  I would recommend keeping your prospects in some type of database to stay organized and each month see who you need to follow-up with, this could be the month they decide to move forward with you.  There are several great programs that can be utilized, or you can do this the old fashioned way.  If you are not in a position to implement new software you can use mini binders or notebooks.  Staple your prospects business card to a page and you can make notes at the bottom for each time you contacted them.  This sounds primitive, but it works, so much so I still use it today.

Setting aside time to follow-up.  Set aside an hour or two each week to reach out to your prospects.  Get into the habit of doing this will ensure no one slips through the cracks.  Pick one day a week that is more down time for you, Friday’s are best.  Spend two hours touching base with current clients and with potential ones.  Keep it under ten minutes, unless they want to talk.  How often do I follow-up?  This is a popular question, how often should you follow-up with each prospect….that is where your system comes into play.  If you are utilizing an online or software component that can keep track and time stamp each time you connect, great.  Most of the work is done for you.  If you don’t have one and need to keep track of it manually then I would suggest using color-coding.  Everyone has highlighters in their office and these are perfect to use.  For example, If you called a prospect and they state that they are holding off right now and may look again at the end of the year.  Find out if its okay to follow-up in November, if they agree, write this in your notes:

3/16/13 spoke with Jeff, stated he is holding off till end of year, cb in November to see where he’s at in the process.

Figure out how you want to use your color coding, if it’s by Month then make November green and highlight the writing in green so when November rolls around you can flip through your book and go to the pages that are green to make follow-up calls.  Sometimes people like to use the color-coding for the type of prospect.  For example, red would be no interest, green would be someone about to buy, orange would be a follow-up in the future, the possibilities are endless and cost effective.

Use the Phone.  When you follow-up I’d recommend a phone call.  Everyone gets a lot of emails and they don’t always read through them.  A phone call is a personal touch, they can hear your voice and you can hear theirs and really get a handle on what they are thinking.  We have all gotten emails before and sometimes we can’t read the tone of the email.  If you pick up the phone and talk to them you won’t have this problem.  Again, document the phone call or email in whatever system you are using.  Keep following-up, it works!

Kerry Heaps is the President of Kerry’s Network, Inc. a marketing firm that helps businesses gain exposure through different marketing outlets.  Kerry is the author of Marketing Ideas that make $en$e.

Recap: “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” — James Humes

Extending a special thank-you to Kerry for contributing to today’s Beeline for Business blog! – Melissa