Is the massive drop off in retail sales really due to the recession?

Post by Rob Minton
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Within the last week, my wife and I have been amazed at how bad most businesses are in getting new customers or clients. I'm now convinced that most businesses are struggling because they simply do not follow up with their prospects and customers. I'll give you a few different real life examples:

Example One:
A week or so ago, my wife called a local cooking school. Our 9 year old daughter likes to cook and has a birthday coming up in two months. My wife wanted to invite a few of her friends to a special birthday party at the cooking school. She talked with someone at the school who said they did cooking parties for kids. They said they would have someone else call her back to work out all of the details and book her party. A week has passed and she has yet to receive a phone call from the school.

Example Two:
After 3 or 4 days passed without hearing from the first cooking school, my wife called a different cooking school. She was excited to hear that this school offered cooking parties for kids, too! This school took her information and also promised to have someone call her back to finalize the party. This school has yet to return her call.

Example Three:
My 6 year old car was making some weird noises. I finally found time to get my car to the repair shop. The repair was $1,800. I picked up the car and things were great for about a day. A new noise started and I took the car back to the repair shop. They found two more problems. The second quote was around $1,000 to fix these two new items. This second repair prompted me to start thinking that maybe it was time for me to consider a new "used" car.

I called the brand new BMW dealership in town and asked to talk to a salesperson. I was transferred to a very nice sales person. I asked her about the used BMW cars they had in stock. She highlighted a few of the cars for me over the phone and suggested that I come in for test drive. I gave her my name and my phone number. Guess what happened? This sales person didn't bother to call me back.

After my call to the BMW dealership, I called a Jeep dealership about used Wranglers. I've always wanted a Wrangler and I thought maybe I would buy one. I talked to a salesperson and she suggested that I come up and test drive a few of the cars they had on the lot. I gave her my name and number. This person hasn't bothered to call me back either.

I've since decided to keep my car. However, I probably could have been persuaded to buy something had one of the sales people followed up with me. I was looking for a bargain. They never called. I never bought. 

All of these real life examples happened within 7 days.

To be successful in business, any business, you must consistently follow up with prospects and customers. You have to be a follow up machine. Are you? Be honest with yourself. If not, you must change this immediately. I spend a lot of time, energy and money following up with prospects. I've actually been told that I'm relentless with my follow up. I take this as a compliment. 

Return every call. Send newsletters. Send emails. Write blog posts. Send special gifts. Be relentless with your follow up. Do not let your prospects forget about you!

3 Comments

  • Ernest O'Dell

    Reply Reply January 6, 2010

    Rob,

    It’s been almost a year now, and will be in just a few short weeks.

    I’ve been wondering if you’ve had time to read the last sentence of my last reply.

    Ernest O’Dell
    Guerrilla Real Estate Marketing

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply January 6, 2010

      Ernest,

      I apologize for not replying to your email last year. To be honest, I don’t think I ever received it. I couldn’t possibly reply to every email I receive because I wouldn’t get any work finished! If you have a support related question, please email: support@renegademillionairestrategies.com and a support ticket will be created and your request will handled. If you have something you’d like me to see, please send it via fax to 440-975-1608.

      Best,

      Rob

  • Ernest ODell

    Reply Reply February 1, 2009

    Rob,
    I just downloaded your book last night and read it all the way through. (I’m a fast reader.)
    I also just read your blog post about follow up calls. I have so many subscribers in my lists that I’m consistently following up with them, and I know they’re reading the emails because I see the traffic coming from the newsletters.
    I’ve had similar conversations with real estate agents and brokers who complain about not making sales, and I ask them the same question: “Are you following up with your leads? And, if not, do you have a ‘system’ in place that will remind you to follow them up?” Most of them answer no.
    Sadly, most agents don’t know that a good many of these tools are either free, or downright cheap. Myself, I still use the old paper system in my DayTimer. I’ve been using it for over 20 years now. And that “personal” touch has made me the “Go-To Guy” for my customers and has made me a very wealthy man… not only in money, but also in relationships.
    I have an automated software system on my computer that “wakes up” at 0300 every morning and “reminds” me of the notes I’ve put into it. Many of the reminders I have running concurrent each day. Others are specific to the day. Yeah, it’s sort of like an appointment calendar on my computer but it’s a lot more. I never turn it off, and it “hounds” me until I get the task done. I couldn’t live without it. It’s made me a lot of money.
    Some of these cooking schools you spoke about, and the BMW dealership, could use a little help in getting their act together. I used to sell cars, and I had people coming into the dealership asking for me by name. I had several dozen people waiting on me because I had “prospected” them on the phone to begin with. I don’t do that anymore, but I also followed up with my customers and made a mint off of the referrals they gave me.
    In short, it’s just like you said in your book: you have to take massive action and do that “extra” each day – that your competitors won’t do – to eliminate your competition. I still get “hate mail” from some of the competitors I’ve put out of business! LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love your book. You have a great blog, too!
    I will be following you on my RSS feed from now on.
    Oh, BTW, I sent you an email. When are YOU going to follow up?
    Thanks,
    Ernest O’Dell
    Guerrilla Real Estate Marketing

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