How many times is enough?

Fuel Marketing blog imagePrompted by a recent networking discussion, I wanted to discuss the importance of follow up when it comes to new business leads. According to a recent survey many business owners never manage to capitalise on all their hard work whilst attending all those networking meetings, events, and exhibitions because they simply don’t follow up on new business leads in an effective and timely manner.

According to a recent survey, 79% of companies don’t follow-up new business leads which equals wasted time, opportunity, money, low morale and a damaged reputation. So ask yourself honestly, are you guilty of not following up, or of following up once and what do you think is the right number of times to keep reminding someone of your business’s existence?

As a marketer, I know that for a cold lead to even notice you exist it can take up to 12 points of contact, these could be an advert, an email, a direct mail letter, a telephone call and/or a meeting. And if you want them to do more than just notice you, then there are even more stages for you to undertake in order to move them from cold to warm. It’s not surprising that most of us give up after a couple of stages and that’s really sad as good follow up is all about timing, consistency, perseverance, flexibility and of course regularity and/or repetition.

But when a business has just started or is beginning to grow, many owners simply don’t have the time, people or resources to follow up each and every new business lead. This is in addition to managing any news that may result, as well as everything else they need to do with dealing with their current client work load and meeting their expectations.

So for successful follow up in your business, you need four things: 

  1. Time - Set aside some time every week for following up new business leads. Remember it doesn’t always have to be by phone, emailing and direct mail can work just as well and it’s not a one off contact, it needs to be done many times in order to increase your chances of success.
  2. Relevant information - It’s worth remembering to have someone you can send them that you think they would enjoy, so make time to build up a library of information including articles, books, white papers, blogs, podcasts, videos etc that you can share with them
  3. People - If you hate following up, give it to someone who doesn’t mind it and can do it on a regular and organised basis. Whilst not an advocate of scripts, sometimes it can help to have a few notes jotted down to keep the conversation moving along and to make sure that you cover all the bases.
  4. Systems - You need a system to help you with your follow up. A CRM system will record status, history and handle multiple channel campaigns, whilst effectively synching data with Outlook and other software packages and producing management reports to help you monitor and evaluate activity.

Remember when it comes to following up leads – faster is better and when it comes to leads whose purchase needs are slightly longer term, you need to be persistent and commit to staying in touch with them until they are sales ready. It is important to nurture them with consistent communications that describe how you can help solve their business challenges. So when they are ready to buy, they will think of you.

For help and support in new business lead follow up and other ways that good marketing practices can help you to increase your profitability contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email vicky@fuelmarketing.co.uk