Are you one of the 40% of sales people that do NOT follow-up with a prospect? If yes, stay tuned for a future blog. However, if you are one of those that do follow-up, how do you
keep in contact with those you have networked with or met? How do you set yourself apart from others?
The best advice I could share would be to stay in touch and with this staying in touch efforts, make sure you are giving to give… and not necessarily gain business immediately.
The referrals and business are the goal, but with kindness and appreciation you will achieve that success. You will quickly learn that appreciation will “win” over self-promotion every time.
The first idea someone has to stay in touch is using e-mails. While it is convenient to send
emails, you need to make these attempts personal. Write and send a personal e-mails asking how the customer/client is and and briefly share a couple sentences what you have been doing. This isn’t a sales solicitation. And yes, the phone still works… pick it up, dial and say “Hello!”
The goal is to try to stay in touch with your customers, clients and prospects on a regular basis. Eighty percent of sales are made between the 5th– 12th contact or interaction. A hand-written note is a great way to show you care and stand out from the crowd. Send the card to your customer/client on special occasions and send them “just because” for fun & a positive contact with your recipient. Send out seasonal cards – I have a client who swears by sending Thanksgiving cards for his business. It is his moment to express his gratitude for their relationship and business. By sending Thanksgiving cards, he believes he is standing out among the traditional holiday card.
While holidays are a great time to send out cards, you can get pretty creative when to send other cards to have an opportunity to make those customer/client contacts. Try sending recipe postcards or themed cards: “Spring Ahead – Set Your Clocks Forward” or notes of appreciation: “Thanks for your business or Thanks for the Referral” with a gift card to a coffee shop or such. Send notes about career changes, marriage, new houses, babies and sympathy cards. The gesture goes a long way. These handwritten notes carry a great return on the networking you began. You may look at your contacts in business or with other businesses and think how will I be able to write all those cards? There again, is another blog entry or you can contact me for the how-tos.
The underlying key no matter what form you use to stay in touch is to build the relationship. Keep connected and nuture the friendships so they don’t disappear. These relationships are with people who you support and will support you. The first step is up to you.
Written by Danielle Mohr with Send out Cards.
To contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org