If the fortune is in the follow-up, then what is the best way to follow-up?
Follow-up is key! Because everyone knows the fortune is in the follow-up. Yet few people have a follow-up plan or system.
- 48% of sales people never follow-up
- 90% of sales people make less than 3 contacts
And here is the catcher:
- 80% of sales and referrals are made between the 5th and 12th contact.
Simply put… if you reach out to your prospects and customers more than 5 times you will be in the top 20 percentile of sales generation.
So what counts as a contact:
- inbox (e-mail or PM)
- social media
- phone call
- direct mail collateral
- greeting cards
- greeting card/ gift combination
- meeting in person
So what are the most impactful types of contacts?
Pretty much without even sharing statistics, you can put yourself in the shoes of the receiver and tell me which is most impactful. Also, when we ask this question at our relationship marketing events around the world, we ask people to put themselves into 2 categories:
- Prospect: someone is seeking to acquire you as a customer
- Customer: someone you do business with is staying-in-touch
Under each of these scenarios, you have already been contacted by someone and they are following up with you or simply staying in touch. (Think of a specific item you had interest in or purchased such as a home, car, insurance, etc.) what kind of contact has the most positive impact on you?
Keep in mind the top 3 answers vary depending on what you are buying and where you are in the decision making process.
Typically including these types of contacts…
- Text or inbox (with personalized message and link to provide more information)
- Greeting Card Thank you
- Phone Call
- Greeting Card and Gift Thank you
- Social Media recognition
- Phone call or text
As a result, this exercise shows that a “thank you greeting card” shows up as a top 3 impactful contact for both a prospect and a customer. Let me be more specific, it’s a “thank you greeting card” for a prospect and a “thank you greeting card with a gift” for a new customer.
Interestingly enough, studies indicate that as high as 90% of salespeople never send a thank you card and almost nobody sends a thank you card to a prospect.
Furthermore, what this implies is that if you simply mastered the activity of thank you cards you would be part of the 10% that uses the most impactful follow-up contact. If you added a real tangible thank you greeting card to your arsenal of prospect contacts, you would put yourself in the top 3%.
Everything starts with the: “Thank You”.
Most of all, this is the single most important impression you can place on a prospect, a customer, or someone in your personal life. When saying “thank you”, an email, text, social post or even a form letter is not enough. In fact, in some cases, they might be worse than doing nothing at all.
Thus the golden test is to simply think of how you feel when a company or individual you have done business with does or doesn’t thank you and stay in touch with you.
How do you feel when you receive:
- An email thank you for your business and asking you for more business
- A thank you email asking you to fill out a survey
- An impersonal form letter thanking you and asking you to do something.
Hence, the majority of this type of attempt is auto triggered from a company’s CRM. It also has a corporate form fill to it and is plastered with company branding. They typically give you the feeling that they want to get more out of you not that they want to give you a genuine message of gratitude.
Here are some examples that we all receive and quickly find a trash button or trash can for…
True Relationship Marketing…
Now, compare that approach to a true Relationship Marketing effort. First of all, a greeting card is 11 times more likely to get opened than any other piece of mail. E-mail has dwindled to an all-time low open rating of around 11%.
First of all, a greeting card that is on high-quality paper, personalized with pictures, personal handwriting, and personal branding, shows that you care enough to go above and beyond. It leaves a lasting impression on those that receive it.
Below is an example of a modern day Thank You Card. It utilizes current day high-tech to deliver the best with a personal touch.
High Tech meets Personal Touch…
Take a look at this pre-set thank you design printed on a high-quality pearl white paper. Notice there is a place on the inside left to place a photo from the convenience of your smartphone. For convenience the right side has a pre-set thank you message that you can override with your personal message. Notice it is signed with a phone number under the signature. In addition, the back of the card has a pre-saved personal branding of the individual sending the card.
As a result, this follow-up example was an actual card that I sent after having an investment opportunity meeting. While I was there, I took a photo of the gentlemen I met with. After the meeting when I reached my car I pulled up an app on my phone. Loaded the picture into the pre-built greeting card, clicked on the pre-written message and typed a new message specific to that meeting and clicked send. Best of all, I was able to do this in about 90 seconds in my car.
Most noteworthy, I share this story because modern day technology allows you to implement the most effective follow-up contact (the thank you card), in a matter of seconds.
By the way, I was able to add a gourmet brownie gift package to that card with one additional click.
In conclusion, if you did nothing more for follow-up than sending the tangible greeting card as part of your prospecting and customer touch campaigns…Most certainly, you would completely set yourself apart from the competition. Thereby, dramatically, increasing your sales and referrals.
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