The most valuable thing you have in your business is your potential and existing customer list. These are the people who’ve already done business with you and those that have raised their hand indicating that they want to find out more about you and your business. I find it interesting that it’s extremely common for me to find businesses that don’t seem to really value their list. Many don’t actually keep track of it, and those that do keep the list updated, frequently don’t really do anything with it.
How are you nurturing your prospects?
Business owners often tell me that their biggest challenge in their business is getting new leads. Then I ask them what they did with the leads they generated last month. The typical response is “I followed up, we met, but they’re not ready to buy.” That probably describes 90% of your encounters with a prospect — only about 10% ever buy during that initial meeting. That doesn’t, however, mean that the remaining 90% will never buy, it just means that they aren’t ready right now. There’s an open door to nurture that relationship, to continue to touch base and provide information that educates and adds value. And that’s where most businesses fail. They fail to keep in touch.
Your list of prospects and your existing customers are the most valuable thing in your business. We all know the cost to generate new leads far exceeds the cost of nurturing someone who already knows you. Sources indicate it costs 5 to 10 times as much to generate new leads.
There are several ways a business can keep itself top of mind to keep the door open for future business. Plan how and when you will keep in touch with prospects and existing customers. This is really about building a follow-up process and that will require a multi-pronged approach to ensure that authenticity is maintained.
The following is a list of options you can use to create a follow-up system or process within your business to ensure that you never get forgotten.
- Monthly electronic newsletter
- Telephone call
- Hand-written note cards
- Invitation to a Networking Event
- Video message
- Sending an article of interest
- Direct Mail
- Invitations to a Speaking Event
- Social Network Connections
- Special Offers
Can you think of some other items that should be part of your follow-up system?