Many business owners indulge in “hope and pray” marketing. Here’s a typical example we see all the time.
You go to a networking function. You meet someone who expresses interest in what you do and exchange cards. They say they’ll call. And you wait. And wait, hoping and praying they were serious about wanting help.
I have news for you. You’re likely to be waiting a long time.
If you want to be successful, there is one rule you must understand. The ball is always in your court. It is up to you to follow up. Send them a note or email and then pick up the phone and call.
Remember, even if the event is free, it costs money and time to network. Say you charge $150 an hour. You take an hour each way to get there and back. You spend another couple at the event. That’s $600 in your time. The money is one thing. You can get it back. The time on the other hand is gone forever.
So following up is vital to making your effort worthwhile. And if at first you don’t succeed, keep following up.
Now, obviously not everyone you meet is going to be a hot prospect. Some may turn out to be great referral sources. But they still need to get to know you, so regular contact where you build up your credibility is essential.
Regularly send them material which would interest them. These could be relevant client case studies and success stories, industry news etc. Intersperse these with occasional phone calls to keep the live connection going.
Your goal is not to “actively sell” but to keep your name in front of them and build a relationship over time. Then when they’re ready, they’ll be predisposed to contact you.
Remember, people buy when they are ready – not when you need to make a sale!
At any time only 3% of your prospects are ready to buy right now if you present an offer to them.
A further 7% are open to the offer and will give it active consideration.
30% aren’t talking about the issue, even if they’re looking for a solution in the back of their minds.
A further 30% think they’re not interested – but over time could become so.
And the final 30% are definitely not interested, no matter what you tell them.
But how will you know who falls into which camp?
The answer is you don’t!
Therefore it is critical you actively follow up with every promotion you do, be it networking, sending promotional letters or advertising in local media.
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen people make the critical mistake of the one shot promotion. They send out a promotion and get minimal or even no response.
If the offer is good and the targeting is correct, there will be people open to buying. But trust me, most will not take action unless you follow up!
Prospects think, “That’s interesting, I should do something about it”. But you know what it’s like. Life comes in the way and they may not get to it anytime soon. Then it gets forgotten.
Follow up with another letter or even better, a live phone call. We’ve seen response rates go up by 30% if a package is followed up with a live call from a competent sales person.
And if they express interest but are not ready to buy, put them on your regular follow up cycle list where you feed them valuable information and present offers over time. Many of these people will convert into valuable clients over time.
If you do not implement such a system I guarantee you’re throwing away good money and missing out on a gold mine of potential business.
If creating such a system seems daunting, we can do it for you. We create complete “done for you” attraction and conversion systems which will attract, keep warm and convert prospects into long term clients.
Call us on (02) 9499-7958 for more information and to get started.