It’s always a pleasant surprise when someone contacts you months or even a year after you have sent them a direct mail piece. With a consistent follow up program, you’ll have fewer surprises – pleasant as they are – and a lot more sales.
The marketing mantra is that people buy (or in this case, sell) somewhere between the 4th and 10th time they are exposed to your business. It’s pretty easy to send out your direct mail piece to the same list of people every month. But what about the people who actually contact you? What do you do with them if they are not yet high on the motivation scale? Do you have a system to keep in touch with them?
In the old days, salespeople had “tickler files” that were simply index cards arranged in a box by month and date. (You can still buy index card dividers and boxes at office supply stores. Low tech might not be fancy but it still works for a lot of people.) After speaking with someone who was not yet ready to take action, an index card with their name, number and any pertinent information would be filed behind the divider for the date of the next phone call. Every day, salespeople would go through their cards for that date, calling people back to see if they were ready to play.
The index card system has been replaced by more sophisticated contact management programs such as ACT, Salesforce, and Pipedrive to name a few, but the concept is still the same. It’s a reminder system organized to keep potential deals from falling through the cracks.
The “trick” to any follow up system is that it must be easy for you to use. A system with a difficult or lengthy learning curve, or a complicated operating process will be abandoned quickly. A system is no good if you don’t use it.
The fortune is in the follow up. Following up allows you to establish better and deeper rapport with prospective sellers, gives you credibility as a business person and reinforces the fact that you are a person who will follow through. Following up is a vital part of your marketing process. If you don’t have a system in place, you are losing deals.