Thursday, August 27, 2009

Do You Follow Up With Your Customers?

Do You Follow Up With Your Customers?
Do You Even Know Who Your Customers Are?

There is not a business alive that can succeed without sales. That is how revenue is driven. I don't care what your business is. You have a product, or service, and your success is driven by how well you deliver that product or service to your clients or prospects. Do you know who your customers are? How do you follow up with them?

It doesn't matter if you are in a traditional sales oriented business like car or insurance sales, a retail shop like a Beauty Salon or Book Store, a professional like a CPA or Attorney, a Realtor or Mortgage Broker, you cannot exist without customers. How do you follow up with your customers?

You also cannot exist without the assistance of other, third party companies. There are others who provide essential services to you as you do your job. Some of these are essential to your success, others provide services upon which you rely upon. Do you know who your key partners are? How do you follow up with these key people?

Even within a large corporation or government entity, there are people without whom your job would not exist. The payroll department is reliant upon every other employee. Without them their job would not be necessary. The Insurance claims analyst has an external client (the policy holder), and many internal customers (all of the other employees whom he or she works with on the policy or claim). Do you know who your customers are? How do you follow up with them?

My point is that every one of our jobs is reliant upon the assistance of others. Whether it's the end customer who uses our product or service and pays the bill, or the various co-workers or vendors who help us do our job in order to satisfy the end customer. Our success is tied to how we respond to others and how they respond to us.

I'm a mortgage broker as well as a referral marketing coach. I have an end customer, the homeowner who is looking to purchase or refinance. But in order to do my job, I am reliant upon a variety or internal co-workers, a wholesale lender with who knows how many people influencing my loan, an appraiser, possibly a Realtor, inspector, Title & Escrow company, and possibly verification of income, rent, assets and who knows what else...

While it's easy to say I have 1 customer, there are a lot of people reliant on me and that I am reliant on to get the deal done.

Here is how I followup with my customers and key partners.

I have found that it is always better to be proactive and nice in order to get new clients and loans through the system. This takes more time, but the payoff is worth it. It also helps to have a system to spread that honey.

I use a combination of high tech and low tech services to bring in new business and facilitate the work flow on existing business.

Here are a few:

  • In Person: Usually best for cementing relationships, but most time consuming. You also need to be concerned about your appearance and that of your meeting place.
  • Telephone: Also very good as long as you are a good listener and can convey your thoughts. I use my office phone, iPhone and RingCentral for fax and 800#.
  • Internet: Great for attracting new clients and transferring information easily and effortlessly. I have several websites that allow prospects to find me, easily leave information for me to get back in touch with them. I use facebook, ActiveRain and twitter, as well as others sites to attract new clients and make my work easier. In fact, my mortgage and Referral Marketing businesses could not exist without the Internet.
  • Email: I have a love hate relationship with email. I need it, but about 50% of what I get is SPAM. Chalk it up to my success on google... I have also found limited success using email to draw in new clients. It is to easy to leave a bogus email address or for a well intended email to end up in the SPAM folder. Trust me, it happens.
  • E-Newsletters: I send out several e-newsletters and know that they work, but they also can easily end up in the SPAM folder or wear out their welcome.
  • Personal Greeting Cards: Everybody loves a personal greeting card. We are bombarded with email, junk mail, bills... But when we get a personal letter or greeting card, we get excited. I use SendOutCards to easily, and cost effectively send personal greeting cards. It takes a couple of minutes to create the card, push send and it's printed at our factory, delivered to the Post Office and within a few days delivered to the mail box. I can even send a gift.
How do you followup with your clients? Do you know who your clients and key partners are?

What I suggest is to take a good look at your business or job.

  • Identify where your revenue comes from. Who are your clients who bring you money or what were you hired to do?
  • Identify the different steps involved in providing that service or attracting new revenue sources.
  • Identify who else is involved in the process of assisting you in meeting the needs of that revenue source.
  • Identify the steps where communication is best served and the method best for the situation. This should involve a variety of resources including personal visits, telephone, Internet, e-newsletters and personal Greeting Cards.
  • Setup a plan and put it into action. It doesn't have to be complicated. Just intentional.
If you would like assistance in this, please give me a call.


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