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The Fortune Is in the Follow-Up

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Your mother was right: Writing a thank you note can, indeed, make your sales business.

A thank you goes a long way—thanks for a referral, thanks for new business, thanks for the meeting.

When clients ask if they should send a note, make a call, or send an email as a thank you for a referral, I answer “yes.” You can never thank someone enough. What letters do you open first, the hand-written note or the gas and electric bill? Regardless of whether you have good handwriting, write the note. Show your appreciation. Follow up.

Your Referral Source Wants to Know

Your Referral Source wants to know he made a perfect referral. Once he knows what you need, more referrals will follow. Follow up.

Your Clients Want to Know

Thank your new clients for their business and show your appreciation. They are your premier source of referrals to others just like themselves. Follow up.

Your Prospects Want to Know

Even if you don’t write business with a prospect now, they want to know you value their relationship, will continue to stay in touch, and connect them with your referral network. You become a trusted resource. Who knows? They may not be ready now, but they can become your best Referral Source. Follow up.

Thank You Notes Are Not Passé

Writing thank you notes is not old fashioned, or fuddy-duddy, or Luddite. Writing a thank you note shows that you actually care enough to take the time and energy and focus to thank someone for their time. Our world is fast paced. It’s connected, electronic, wireless, character-limited, and immediate. And it’s made person-to-person communication easy. But with that ease—the off-the-cuff email or text—comes a casualness that doesn’t communicate, “You are worth my real time.” Take the time. Follow up. Write a note.

Stay In Touch

  • Mine your database. There’s no excuse today for not following up. Use your database to record relevant contact information and provide a tickler for your next conversation.
  • Engage in social media. If you’re not active in social media, you’re not in business. Pose questions. Answer questions. Social media is not a place to sell, but it is a place to communicate valuable information—not only from you—but also from other credible sources. Join groups or start your own group on LinkedIn.
  • Write a blog. Keep your posts short and post at least weekly. I’m sure you’re not at a loss for something to say or information to share.  Link your blog directly to LinkedIn, and your connections see your blog when you post it.
  • Send articles. Write your own articles or get an author’s permission to use their articles (with attribution) to stay in touch by sending relevant, interesting content to your network.
  • Write newsletters. Stay in touch at least quarterly with a “newsy” newsletter.
    • Include news people can use. The newsletter is not about you—it’s about your readers. What insights can you share? Lessons learned?
    • Profile a client you helped. Craft it like this: Describe the situation or problem the client had, tell what you did, and then articulate the results your client received. Quantify the results as much as possible by describing how much money they saved, the newfound security of their investments, or the risk you diminished for them. We all love and listen to good stories.
    • Incorporate photos of you and your team. People do business with people, not with technology, so make it personal. It’s Not 140 Characters, It’s You.

Timing Is Everything

You never know when people are ready or how something you say resonates at just the right time. So stay touch. The fortune is in your follow up!

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8 Responses to The Fortune Is in the Follow-Up

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