It’s a new year, and everyone is in the resolution list-making frame of mind. No better time to reflect on your business development processes, and remind ourselves of some best practices when it comes to sales follow-ups.
When we think of motivational speakers, the first visual that comes to mind is usually a slick-suited salesman running around a well-lit stage, arms flailing, encouraging the crowd to experience that transformative moment when their once-mediocre lives will be flung into the world of riches, power and success – courtesy of the revolutionary advice he’s imparting on them for a nominal fee, of course.
Now that you have that visual in your mind, please completely clear it. Jack Daly is anything but. As a widely acclaimed sales speaker and entrepreneur, Jack has developed a reputation as an expert in sales and sales management inspiring audiences to take action in customer loyalty and personal motivation. At his seminars, Jack leaves attendees with a number of key takeaways, however the one that particularly stuck with me was the art of follow-up.
Jack shares his perspective on what you can do to be memorable in your follow-up and why immediate follow-up is so important – prospects are more likely to choose the firm that responded the fastest.
Here are 3 tips from Jack:
1. Email the minute you leave the meeting – Once you’ve left a meeting with a new prospect, vendor, partner – essentially any new contact – send an immediate follow-up email. If you've met multiple contacts at once, send an individual and personally tailored email to each. The more individualized the better, don't simply plug names into a form message.
2. Send a personalized card in the mail – Don’t stop at an email. Take a moment to write (by hand) and mail a personal card. The note should reinforce the sentiment you want to share and include brand signals – e.g. personalized cards, envelopes, a specific type of pen, stamp, etc.
3. Keep in touch even if there isn’t an immediate business opportunity – In sales and marketing (particularly in B2B) a high-touch, personalized approach is most effective. For prospects and past customers, it’s essential to maintain a relationship even if you aren’t actively discussing potential work. This can be as simple as sending a birthday or anniversary card. The key is to make it personal, something that prospects or past customer wouldn’t expect you to remember.
We live in an increasingly competitive marketplace; the more we can differentiate ourselves the better. In addition to having a well-defined competitive advantage, we should conduct ourselves in a manner that sets us apart.
For further tips for improving your business development, sales and marketing plan for 2014, please see Julia Stowell’s recent blog post.
Looking for more help to make marketing work in your B2B company? Get proven tips in PROFITGUIDE’s Special Report on The Radical Sales Shift.