Wow, what an incredible month April has been for my business. The entire Bild & Company team has been out on the road, meeting with clients, attending industry events, speaking and making impact nationally. We might have even bumped into you while on one of our adventures! That being said, while it’s fun to see people and make new connections none of it matters if we don’t follow up on our efforts.
As the founder of Bild & Company, I can tell you that exposure is great for business. We met at least sixty people in the last two weeks who want to do business with our firm. While that is exciting, the bottom line is no one will do business with us if we don’t follow up- those sixty people are going to fade into the sunset and it will be as if we never met them. If we fail to follow up and schedule the next step in the sales process, all the travel, time on the road, and investments made will be a complete loss. In sales, it’s up to us to move people forward, to schedule follow up calls, drill down and find out what it is that got people excited about working with us in the first place.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
How many people did you meet last week or last month that expressed an interest in your products or services? What steps did you take to move those sales forward? Did you give prospects a business card and ask them to call you, hand over a brochure and request they let you know when they are ready or did you take their contact information and follow up within 48 hours with a phone call? If you got voice mail, did you shoot out a follow up email and thank you note with focus on next steps? Here is a rule I live by, “He who follows up gets the sale!” The fact is that so few people do follow up that the person who does has a high probability of closing the sale. And when I say follow up, I don’t mean mailing your prospects items but literally picking up the phone and building the relationship; personally connecting as this is what will drive the sale.
Odds are you spend a good chunk of money on marketing, go to networking events, tradeshows and more. It’s vital that you block out time in your calendar to hit the phones and create excitement about meeting you and schedule time post event to follow up and see what people thought as well as move them to the next step in the sales process. Waiting for people to call you is futile! Rarely if ever will they take that next critical step. As a business owner, a la sales professional (own it!), you must be diligent to follow up and make sure you have a solid action plan to get a return on the time and money invested in growing your business. This means having a plan and working the plan to achieve specific outcomes:
- How many qualified leads do you hope to connect with? What is your goal?
- How many (next step) appointments do you want to set as a result of the event (meeting, trade show, etc.) and those connections?
- What is the plan for those individuals who fail to schedule next steps with you?
- What is the sales goal as a result of your efforts?
- What days and times will you be in follow up mode? Block it out in your calendar!
Every day we see companies spend valuable marketing dollars with no end objective, purpose or outcome other than to “see their ad in print, gain exposure by having a booth, etc.” I challenge you to see these opportunities as lead drivers and sales closing opportunities. Take the time to calculate your return on investment and make sure that you are netting up more than enough revenue to pay for your marketing investments and then some. Sales is a game of inches. You must stay focused on moving leads forward one day, one month at a time until they are closed and moved into the raving fan category. Okay, time to hit the phones!
Written by Traci Bild, Founder Bild & Company