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:
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.
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.
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!