Eventually all your drip drip drip marketing creates a real “lead”! And then, the real work begins.
No one is immune from the “dis-ease” we feel knowing we need to follow up to get a sale. Following up is really hard to do. We all wish sales would just happen.
Following up is hard for a sales professional in a giant company who has only one job: sales. It’s even harder for the small business owner who is in charge of it all and who is not just a “cog in the wheel”. We are the “face” of the company. It’s pretty personal when someone says, “no thanks”.
Furthermore, we don’t want to be put in that position or put someone else in that position. We want a more “passive” message. We want to simply send out a notice, an email, a post in Social Media, or even an advertisement in a local newspaper and have the phone ring off the hook or lines form at the door.
Oddly, we do a lot of “networking” to be in front of the public. We nurture leads whenever possible, meeting prospects at various gathering or through online channels. We get people interested in our product, service, or our artful endeavors. Next thing you know, we are “marketing” to them.
We want them to go to our online or offline stores and buy from us after we have reached out a few times. It’s can be a very long process, but in the end, we keep avoiding the elephant in the room: asking for the sale. We know they would love to have our service or products and we want to provide good experiences for them, but we just can’t follow-up like we know we should.
Why we don’t follow up
- We don’t want to seem pushy
- We don’t want to look like we are “needy” or need a sale
- We don’t want to “bother” them: “If they want my “stuff” they will buy it when they are ready.”
- We don’t have the right tools to easily and seamlessly take the money (Get a shopping cart! Here’s a free one!)
- There’s always tomorrow.
- We are just too busy for crying out loud!
Oh, I am sure you can add to this list! I know at least a dozen more reasons/excuses that I use. But here’s the deal: if you have put time, energy, and marketing strategies in place to get people to do business with you, you owe it to them to ask for the sale at some point.
By “ask for the sale”, I mean make sure they have whatever they need to learn about you and what you sell and to say yes to you without hesitation. You need to make sure you are “calling them to take action” in consistent and repetitive marketing efforts.
By “without hesitation”, I mean you keep it simple. How to keep it simple is summed up in my blog about the “Golden Triangle of Sales” and if you haven’t read that yet, you need to go there next.
A Visual Aid
Think of your marketing efforts like the forming of a drop of water. It is essentially the “Buyer’s Journey” in marketing terms. As the water begins to funnel into shape, this is Awareness Stage. As a drop begins to take fuller form, this becomes the Consideration Stage. The most critical stage is the “Decision Stage”: Do I want to buy this or not? Should I buy this now or later? Can I buy this right now or not?
You have watched them open your emails. You have seen them repeatedly click through and visit your website or even your shopping site. You know they are interested. They are forming into a perfectly shaped drop and ready to buy from you. It can be days, weeks, or months before your potential buyer will gather up the level of interest again needed to reach the Decision Stage.
Don’t let them fall to the ground or through the cracks
You have someone right now that you know you should contact. Go through your client lists.
Go through your email reports and statistics. Review your marketing results. Then, go create an email or prepare some talking points and get on the phone. (Yes, the phone is still a sales tool!)
You need to feel the urgency: today is the day, because as that drop gains enough weight, it falls to the ground splattering in a million pieces.
You can make a sale today. You can help someone enjoy whatever it is that you have to offer them. Bring your value to them. They will say yes or no, but you will know that you did your best to help them in their decision process.
What is keeping you from following up? Or what do you do to stay on top of your prospective clients? Please share in the comments!
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