Article courtesy of Joe Gracia with www.givetogetmarketing.com
Jack came to me with frustration in his voice.
'No matter what I do, I just can't seem to get my business off the ground. I'm getting calls from my ads. The callers seem very interested in what I offer, but few of them ever follow-through and actually buy. If this keeps up, I'm afraid I'll have to close my doors within a few months.
'What am I doing wrong?' he asked.
I had heard this story many times before.
A good marketer is like a good detective. You need to dig to uncover the facts before you can come to any solid conclusions.
It didn't take too much digging to discover that Jack was causing his own frustration.
He actually had a great business. People wanted what he offered, and his prices were very reasonable in relation to the perceived value of his offers.
So what was wrong?
This One, Simple Mistake Was Costing Jack a Fortune
Jack was making an age-old mistake...and it was a big one.
He thought he could just run a few ads in his local newspaper and customers would come running with money in their hands. That's not what was happening.
Sure, he was getting prospects to call to learn more about his offer, and a few of them purchased immediately, but no where near enough to keep Jack in business.
Jack's mistake was that after his prospects contacted him, he never followed up with them. They never heard from Jack again.
Jack expected people to just buy...immediately. If they didn't, Jack crossed them off his mental list.
'Those people aren't serious about buying. They're just wasting my time,' Jack would often say.
Jack couldn't be more wrong, and his misguided beliefs were costing him a fortune.
People Seek Information During the First Step
He didn't realize that in the early stages of the buying process, people are seeking information about their problem, about possible solutions, about prices and about possible vendors who offer those solutions.
They're often not ready to buy just yet.
That's just their first step. After that they have to review their options and then make a decision. In the meantime, other priorities may pop up to divert their attention.
Before you know it, many of Jack's prospects have put his information as well as the info they received from Jack's competitors on the back burner.
Even Procrastinators Can Be Sold
Let's face it. People are procrastinators. They want something. They've found it, and then they put off making the decision. They're also easily distracted.
Now, some of those people are never going to buy. That's just the price of doing business.
But a good percentage of them are going to buy--and they are most likely going to buy from the company that has kept their name, features and benefits uppermost in their minds.
Those are the businesses that have kept in touch with them through consistent follow-ups.
Even if a person has been distracted or has been procrastinating, if you follow-up with them repeatedly, you will remind them of your business and your offer. Your follow-up will bring back all the reasons they were interested in the first place. It is at that moment that you have your best opportunity of making the sale.
If You Don't Bring Your Offer to the Top of Your Prospects' Minds -- They Won't Buy
Did you catch that?
People can only focus their attention and buying intention on one thing at a time. If your offer is at the bottom of their list, they aren't even thinking about it. That means they can't make a decision to buy.
Somehow your offer must be brought to the top of their long list of 'things to consider.' You do that by following up with them.
Jack was a pretty smart business owner and once he understood what was happening, it didn't take him long to change his beliefs and his results. Before he knew it his conversions began to multiply and his business began to take off.
I had confidence that it would. It just took a different perspective and improving a few of his marketing systems.
Successful business owners know that if they want to maximize their success, they must have an effective way to follow up with their prospects and customers.
Follow-up is vital for marketing success
Repeat that over and over until it becomes your mental marketing mantra.
Incredibly, I have met many small business owners who never follow up with their prospects or customers. They expect their prospects to buy on the first contact or they write them off as time wasters.
They also expect their past customers to remind themselves to come back to their businesses to buy again. Sometimes that happens, very often it doesn't. Out of sight, out of mind.
These business owners make little or no effort to keep their businesses uppermost in their prospects and customers minds.
They mistakenly believe that marketing is about putting up a sign and placing a few ads in their local newspaper.
If they simply made a few adjustments to their thinking, and applied better marketing systems, their results would improve...instantly.
What Follow-up Can Do for Your Business
Here are just a few of the things effective follow-ups can do for you and your business:
-- generate leads
-- introduce a new product or service
-- generate first-time sales
-- generate repeat sales
-- offer a discount coupon or certificate
-- generate traffic for your web site, or place of business
-- generate referrals
-- provide helpful information
-- build awareness
-- build credibility and trust
-- send an invitation
-- educate your prospects and customers about your company/products/services
Actually, the list of benefits that follow-ups can provide is unlimited. And you can combine a number of the items to make for even more effective follow-up.