You know what it’s like when you’re trying your best to put your marketing into action.
You’re calling to book speaking engagements, networking at your local Chamber of Commerce and putting together a webinar with help from a few JV partners.
But haven’t you found, that despite your best efforts to work on these marketing activities, that your results are coming up short?
People simply aren’t responding in the numbers you’d hoped for and you’re not turning as many prospects into paying clients as you’d like.
What’s missing? Is it your message, your website, the promotion itself or perhaps the wrong offer?
It’s the Glue
When I talk to new clients, I discover, even though they’ve invested so much in their marketing, one thing seems to be missing…
It’s Effective Follow Up. And follow-up is the glue that keeps your marketing moving forward. For independent professionals, it’s often the one ingredient that makes the difference between marketing success or failure.
Let’s look at a few common marketing scenarios.
Speaking: You give a talk at a conference and communicate valuable ideas that stimulate your audience. You collect a number of cards at the end from a few people who you think would be ideal clients. But nothing happens.
Networking: You meet someone at that same conference and get a sense that you could help them. You exchange business cards and ask them to take a look at your website and some articles with your core ideas. You never hear back.
Webinar or Teleclass: You manage to get 30 or 40 people to a teleclass promoting your new program. You prepare for hours and do the best presentation. You invite them to sign-up within a day to get your pre-program discount price. Two people sign up.
What is missing here? You seem to be doing all the right things, but oh, yeah, what about the follow-up? Maybe you’ll get to that later. But first you want to get another talk booked.
Why follow-Up is like marketing glue
In all of those scenarios, follow-up via email and phone could have glued those connections into conversations. But nothing stuck because you didn’t apply the glue. Perhaps you were waiting for the prospect to contact you. But it rarely happens. But why?
Why you don’t follow up
Perhaps you’re a little shy, afraid of how your prospect might react. They may not be interested after all. And you wouldn’t want to be an interruption or have them think you’re pushy.
Or you don’t have a system for follow-up. You only have a handful of cards. You don’t know what to say, the best time to call or whether you should leave an email or a voice message.
So you put down your follow-up glue gun and promise yourself that you’ll give it a shot later that week. But you never seem to get around to it.
Connections + Follow-Up = Conversations
The first thing to understand is that all you want to accomplish with follow-up is to have another conversation with your connection. And it’s the simple act of following up that glues these two things together.
One conversation leads to the next conversation and then to a deeper conversation. The next conversation may be a selling conversation, and the last one a confirmation conversation. And before long you’re working with a new client.
But not without the glue of follow-up.
My 7-Step Follow-up System
This is what I tell my clients to do. It works.
1. After you’ve had an initial connection with someone who may be a prospect and deserves follow-up in any number of the scenarios mentioned above, create an intention to follow-up. Don’t hope it will happen, but set very focused goals to make it happen.
2. Ask yourself exactly what you want to get from the follow-up: Is it an introduction? A short meeting by phone? A longer strategy session? Or something else? Whatever it is, it should be the next natural step in connecting with that person. Be clear, even visualize yourself following up successfully.
3. Now script out what you will say on that follow-up call and what you will say in your follow-up email. Just make it conversational, simple and short. Practice it out loud until it feels natural and easy. By the way, I’ll often leave a message first and then follow that up with an email. Short, sweet, simple.
4. Make sure your message includes your Ultimate Outcome. That’s what gets attention. It answers the “What’s in it for me?” question. “I’d like to talk about your needs” won’t be perceived as very valuable. But, “We help our clients be more effective in these five essential areas,” is more likely to get a response.
5. Then screw up your courage and reach out. If they don’t get back to you, what does it mean? It usually means they are crazy busy, so don’t take it personally if they don’t get back to you right away. And try at least three times before moving on.
6. And what’s the worst that can happen? They may not be interested in your Ultimate Outcome or it might not be a good time to talk now, or several other legitimate reasons. So don’t sweat it. Move on – there will be other opportunities.
7. Make follow-up a habit. It’s one of the most important and effective marketing habits you can ever develop. And if you follow this plan, it really won’t be nearly as hard as you think it will be. In fact, believe it or not, it can be fun, especially when your conversations turn into new clients.
Start adding the follow-up glue to your marketing and you can expect your results to increase dramatically. I’ve seen it happen with my clients over and over again.
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