When you read that title, did you find your believability quotient rapidly plummeting? Was your first instinct, “No way! Impossible!” Well, before you run past this blog post, let me ask you a few questions. For example,
- How many companies have followed up with you in the last six months post you purchasing from them?
- How many people to whom you’ve given your business card have followed up with you in the past six months?
- How many of those who followed up with you have contacted you more than six times in those same six months?
Now, before we give those businesses (or organizations) a hard time how are you and your business doing with this?
- How many customers/clients have you followed up with in the past six months post them purchasing from you?
- How many business cards have you collected at various meetings that you haven’t followed up with?
- How many times do you normally follow-up a lead over the first six months?
Pretty revealing isn’t it? Now, to be honest, I’ve never met a business person who didn’t know about the concept of follow-up. However, when I’ve asked them about their specific follow-up process that’s when everything has fallen apart.
And that’s a huge problem. Why? Because the industry average is that 80% of sales are lost because of lack of follow-up. Think about that. Whatever your revenue number is, if you’re like most businesses, that number is 20% of what you could have.
Or to put it another way, if you made a commitment to follow-up 100% of your leads—and you had a systematic process for following up with them multiple times in multiple ways over a long period of time—you could literally quadruple your business (just with this one idea).
Now, before you rush off with this idea (which isn’t new, just rarely executed), let me remind you of two other industry standards.
- On average, it takes seven contacts before someone buys
- Every time you send out a message, your prospects miss your message two out of three times.
In other words, if you want to close the largest number of people possible, you need to create a 21 step follow-up process (or if you’re an eternal optimist, and you think everyone reads everything you send out, at least a 7 step follow-up process).
So, do you have a systematic follow-up process, in place, that you’re consistently using with every lead?
If you don’t, then you’re leaving massive amounts of money on the table. Almost every business leader these days says, “We just can’t seem to drive enough business in this economy?” Yet, those same business leaders haven’t mastered this key marketing process that they “already know about.”
And for those that do have a system, very few are testing their follow-up process to see if they’re getting the optimal result possible. For example,
- Is it better to follow-up with a call, a card, an email, a gift, a visit, a newsletter, a coupon, etc.?
- Should contact two be a call, a card, an email, a gift, a visit, a newsletter, a coupon, etc.?
- Should we change the headline?
- Should we change the offer?
- Should we change the gift?
Until you test, you just don’t know. I remember back in my old pastoral days when the standard assumption was that a call from the senior pastor was the best way to follow-up someone who attended church for the first time. That makes sense, doesn’t it?
However, if you were to test a pastoral call versus a lay person call, guess what you’d find? Believe it or not, a lay person calling after the first visit usually has a greater impact on someone returning to church for a second visit. Why? Because it’s unexpected.
A pastor calling is expected (after all, he’s paid to do this). But a lay person calling isn’t. In fact, a typical visitor will often think something like this, “I can’t believe what just happened. Someone like me, who isn’t paid, just took their own time to call me and see if I had any questions. WOW! That’s pretty impressive.”
In other words, don’t assume you know the best follow-up system. Create one. Then start playing with it. Watch the results and keep tweaking it. And if you will, guess what? Exactly! You just might quadruple your sales.
To your accelerated success!
FYI. As a heads up, I’m getting ready to launch a Facebook Fan Page and when I do, I’m going to give away a free video course on the ten most common marketing mistakes (and how to avoid them). The above, is just one small sliver of what you’ll find in that course. So stay tuned. You’re going to love it!!!
P.S. If you don’t have a 7-21 step follow-up process, why don’t you create one with your team this week and get it in place ASAP. You don’t want to leave any more money on the table, do you?