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On Getting More Business by guest author, Caryn Kopp

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On Getting More Business by guest author, Caryn Kopp

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How often do you follow up with a prospect?

How often do you follow up with a prospect?

Constant, Continuous Contact. Your prospect may not be ready to buy when you make the initial contact. Someone I know spent $5,000 to attend an industry retreat; $2,500 on the attendance fee and $2,500 on airfare/hotel/rental car/expenses. While there she met a decision maker for a company who was 3 months away from beginning a project needing the services she had to offer. They exchanged cards.

The person I know returned to her office and called to follow up. The call was well received and they discussed timing for the project. At the appropriate time she called and was told by the decision maker that the project had been placed on hold. The following year, the same person I know spent another $5,000 to attend the same function. She ran into the same person. The decision maker said to her, “It’s great to see you! You know, I looked all over for your card a few months back. The project finally came off hold and we did it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find your contact information and we hired another firm to do the work. We spent $3MM on the project. Sorry.” A structured system of follow up will ensure that no opportunity will ever fall through the cracks. Stay in touch, stay top of mind. So when the prospect is ready to lay the money on the table, you will be there to collect.

Request = Next Step. Asking for a next step (at every step) will shorten the sales cycle and keep the process moving forward. When the prospect initially requests information, samples, a proposal, etc. ask for a date and time on his/her calendar to meet or have a conference call to discuss next steps. It is at that moment, the moment of the request, when connecting with you is MOST important to your prospect. At that moment, securing a next step is easy. Trying to get someone on the phone to discuss it later can be time-consuming.

Implementing these strategies can lead to a huge payoff. Can you really afford to forego this opportunity to develop new business? Blocking time for post-trade show follow up, structured continuous contact and requesting next steps every step of the way will help you maximize sales results and keep you from having a “lost sales story”.

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