Step 5: Follow-up Unit They Buy or Die

This is step 5 in the free sales course. The title is: Follow-up Until They Buy of Die.

Step Five: Follow-up Until They Buy Or Die

Now we’ve moved onto step number five: Follow up until they buy or die. That’s an expression that I love because it really communicates the impact that follow up can have. This is where all the money is going to be in your sales process. This is where you’re really going to create the short cut that will get you to the sixty second sale when you sit across from someone and they’re ready to do business with you.

You’ve given your speech, you’ve written your article, you’ve been to your networking event, and now, you have these folks in your database and your just waiting for them to jump out and say that they want to connect with you, they want to meet with you, they want to hear how they can get more value from a relationship with you. The follow up process is what converts the prospects into those potential clients who are sitting across the table from you. Let’s detail a number of different ways you can follow up and really connect with your prospects and convert them into clients.

The first way is through a weekly email newsletter. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, I get hundreds of emails every week that I delete, I can’t stand them, I get on these lists somehow, and I just delete them. Nobody reads those things. That’s not true. You don’t need everyone to read your weekly email newsletter. You only need your ideal client to read your weekly email newsletter.

Let’s say you’ve given a speech. You’ve offered your honeypot at the end of the speech in return for the contact information from the people who are in the room. You then put those people in your database. They receive your honeypot and of course they love it. Some of the people don’t call you right away.

What you do is you simply subscribe them to your weekly email newsletter, where you continue the education process. The way you write your email newsletter is, you create topics that are of importance to the people who’ve requested this honeypot, requested the free report. You deliver it in a conversational tone, you write it in a way that you’re naturally speaking with people. The timing is on a weekly basis because that the frequency with which we want to connect with people.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking that you get too many of these and, I get it, we don’t need everyone to read your weekly email newsletter. I’m fine with people unsubscribing, or deleting them, or only reading them occasionally, because, the people who read it on a regular basis are people who want a relationship with you.

When it comes to timing of these things, I want you to think about your most cherished relationships. I want you to think about the relationships in your life that are most important to you. Think about your partner, your spouse, your significant other. How frequently do you communicate with these folks. If you communicated with your partner, with your spouse, only once a month, would your relationship get stronger or weaker? Think about that for a moment because, if your relationship would get stronger with less communication, your relationship is probably not in a good place. The ideal frequency of communications would be as often as both of you want to communicate. With the case of someone with whom you’re going to do business, weekly may not even be enough frequency, but it’s manageable. A weekly email newsletter, is the ideal communication form to follow up with someone who’s asked for educational information from you.

The topics you cover. It depends on your industry and how you want to educate your particular prospect base to convert them into clients. For example, if you’re a person who has a lot of information that is valuable, if you were a real estate agent and you had a database of people who are interested in buying property. You could communicate every single week with topics that related to the purchase of property. The reason this would be valuable is because the people are in that mindset. They’re purchasing property. They want as much information to be successful in purchasing property as they can get their hands on. If you were, on the other hand, a divorce lawyer, and you were going to communicate with your database, you wouldn’t want to talk about divorce every single week. People don’t want to be reminded of the adverse circumstances in which they met you. It would just anger them to hear about that over and over again. In the case of the adverse circumstance, like the divorce lawyer, you should create an informative and entertaining email newsletter, that will help people get through their day and deliver, perhaps, some valuable information.

You may even want to create a multi week rotation. In week one, we talk about things that are going on in the community. In week two, you talk about things that are in the news. In week three, you talk about movies or I have people who do book reviews all the time, and that content really resonates with people. In week number four, you can blatantly promote your services and then you go back to the first week in the rotation again. This works really well for adverse circumstance driven business, where people only come to you where they have severe problems, you don’t want to keep reminding them of their problem.

You can also use it as an alternative, if you’re in an educational setting and you want to take a break from the weekly educational information. Weekly email newsletter is a great way to engage your database to convert the people who are prospects into clients. That is action number one. Put together a weekly email newsletter and send it out religiously, each and every single week.

Action number two, is doing an educational and informative print newsletter and sending that out on a monthly basis.

You may be thinking to yourself, hey, listen, I’m a sales guy, I’m out there selling copiers. I’m a sales guy, I’m out there selling jets to fleet managers, and they’re not going to want to get a weekly email newsletter and a monthly print newsletter from me on jets. They just bought a jet, they’re not going to buy a jet for five more years. That’s not necessarily the case. When you think of your monthly written newsletter that goes out in the mail, or your weekly email newsletter that’s delivered via email. I want you to think about it as a device that you’re using to deepen a relationship. When you’re sending these things out, you’re not sending them out with eye towards selling something that you’ve already sold them. You’re sending them out to deepen the relationship so that maybe you can connect with them down the road and sell them something different or maybe you can continue the relationship so they can connect you with someone else, who may be able to purchase something from you, just like they did. You’re best clients know other people who are just like them.

These follow up devices are designed to develop relationships. Your monthly print newsletter could contain the same information that you put in your weekly email newsletter. You can compile it in a format that is easily folded up, put it in envelope, and sent out.

Why do both print newsletter and email? The reason is, the audiences are different. The people who read the print newsletter are a different segment of the population, they’re different than the people who will read the email newsletter. These folks, may actually pass your newsletter on to someone else. Maybe someone in their company or organization or someone outside of their company, who could use your help. Print newsletter is just as valuable and needs to be done on a monthly basis. And that’s action number two.

Action number three, in the follow up step, is the monthly greeting card. This is the thing you’re probably going to think is the hokiest, it is the most effective. I’ll tell you why and I’ll illustrate it in a story.

Each month there is a holiday you’re going to make up, if you have to, and you’re going to send out a greeting card during that holiday. For example, in February, you’re going to send out a greeting card for Valentine’s Day. You’re going to tell the folks, in the greeting card, that you love having a relationship with them, and you wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day, regardless of who they are. You’re going to just put name at the bottom and you’re going to remind them to call you if they have any need that you can help them with.

The greeting cards are going out every single month: February’s Valentine’s Day; March, you’re going to highlight the luck of the Irish, cause St. Patrick’s Day is in march; April, you’re going to highlight April Showers, showers of money, showers of happiness, and send them out a greeting card highlighting that; May, you’re going to highlight the start of the summer coming up and you’re going to highlight how everything is reborn in spring; June, you’re going to highlight the fact that summer is upon us and it’s time to kick back and relax; July, people are going to declare their independence. You get the idea.

You’re sending out these monthly greeting cards to celebrate certain holidays, each month. The reason you’re sending out the cards is to make an emotional connection with people and stay top-of-mind with them. The reason I said, you might think this is hokey, is because, particularly in a business to business setting, people don’t normally do this sort of thing. I’ll tell you, this is, probably the most impactful of all the follow up steps. It puts a smile on people’s face and it reminds them that you care about them, and that you’re grateful that they engaged you as a prospect.

The story I tell that really illustrates this, is a grizzled lawyer, who is a litigator, who became the managing shareholder of a large law firm that I worked with. This person was tough and he was always focused on business, always focused on getting to the point, and was not the most likable person in his firm. The people who worked in the firm had actually dubbed him Darth Vader, because he was so impersonal as a leader. I began working with him and I put him on my list and he got my monthly greeting cards. I really debated whether I should put him on the list or not. I said to my assistant, just go ahead and put him on the list and if he doesn’t want them, he’ll just throw them in the trash, and if I get yelled at, I get yelled at.

One day, I stopped by his office to see him for our regularly scheduled appointment. He wasn’t there. His assistant said, he’ll be back in just about five minutes, why don’t you sit down, I want to show you something. She sat me in the chair across from this gentleman’s desk. She went behind his desk to the credenza, where she opened up the credenza, and there, lined up on the credenza, just like you would line up cards on a mantle, were my last three months’ cards. She said, can you believe he saves these things that you send him every month? I guess I had an incredulous look on my face. I was shocked. She closed the credenza and she said, he saves them because you’re one of the only people who actually cares about him.

To me, that encapsulated everything that this action time in the follow up process is all about. You may think it’s goofy. You may not want to do it. It works. Take some time, go out now and buy follow up cards for the entire year. Sign them if you want to. Have them ready to go on the first of the month, every month, and send them out.

There are even some automated services you can use. You can just go online and search for automated services for sending out greeting cards, that will allow you to upload the names and addresses of everyone, and send out these cards automatically every month. You don’t even have to do the work. It works. You should do it. And that’s action item number five.

Action item number six, in the follow up step, is the anniversary card. Keep track of when you start doing business with your clients. Keep track of when your prospects first come into your database. Send them an anniversary card every year.

The anniversary card is something very simple. It could just say, I’m grateful we connected back on this date in nineteen ninety-six. Thanks for being a friend. Thanks for being a subscriber. Thanks for being a part of my business. I look forward to speaking with you soon. Send it out. Anniversary card, once a year. It’s that nice touch, that emotional connection, that really resonates with people.

Action time number seven. This is what I call Christmas in August. I grew up in New York. Every August, there was an electronics store called, Crazy Eddie, that would have their Christmas sale in August. The reason they did this, is because everybody buys electronics at Christmas time. They didn’t think it made sense to have a Christmas sale at Christmas time. Why put stuff on sale when people are just going to buy it anyway. August, people weren’t buying electronics, so they put stuff on sale in August. There was a guy on TV who dress like Santa and screamed and yelled, and said that he was having a Christmas sale in August. I want you to do the same thing. I want you to go out and get Christmas cards and put them in your drawer and send them out to everyone in your database in August. I want you to highlight the fact that you’re celebrating your relationship with them, in the middle of the summer, when there’s nothing else going on.

The reason we do this, is because everybody gets a Christmas card at Christmas time. Nobody gets a Christmas card in August. It’ll make you different. Your phone will ring off the hook with people who are appreciative of the card and who are really appreciative of the ingenuity you had, to send out the Christmas card in August.

Those are the seven action steps in the follow up sequence. Remember all the money is in the follow up. If you choose not to do all seven of them, pick the two or three you like the most and start doing them today. These action steps will ensure that people will hear from you on a regular basis, you’ll be top-of-mind, and they will connect with you and you’ll convert prospects into clients.