Engaged and Personalized Follow Up Techniques
Let's talk about some follow up techniques. And like I said earlier, this is usually the place where everybody is like, what, Where things really go downhill. Especially, even if you have an awesome proposal and everybody's like, yeah, this is amazing. Even if your proposal is the most exciting thing in the universe, you still will probably have to follow up. I'm just giving you that FYI, because a common thing I hear is, well I worked so hard and they didn't even call me. And then you're just all pissed off. No, people are busy, it's usually not personal. Lots of times there are multiple decision makers when we're using proposals, it's not always a one person show. So, don't stress out if you have to be the one to follow up. It doesn't personally mean that your proposal sucks. It could just mean that they suck, no I'm kidding. It could mean, (laughing) that they're busy, so, let's talk about a couple of these tips and tricks for following up. Don't treat your prospective client like a...
number. Personalize your follow up. This commonly happens where we're in business, we're stressed, we need to make a certain amount of money. To survive and profit and pay our employees and that's normal, well all feel that way, we all feel pressure around that. But we don't want to extend that pressure onto our customers it's not their job to deal with our stress and pressure in our business. So always personalize your follow up. Don't just have this system of I'm gonna send this email exactly this way three days after the proposal and then seven days, and then this, don't do that. Cause those won't really work well for you. It's okay to mark in your calendar, need to follow up, that's completely doable and fine. It's just the method of following up can be customized for your clients, so it doesn't feel like the standard three days later, hey did you get my proposal, hey seven days later, hey, still haven't heard from you. No one wants to hear that. So follow up idea number one, I love doing this, I do this all the time, and it always gets people to respond, and many times say yes. Switch the format. So instead of emailing, which is what everybody expects, everyone expects that you're gonna send this follow up email that probably says follow up, and then it's like hey did you get my proposal, what do you think can we set a call next week? You know, and that's kinda normal. So do something different and surprise them. So don't send them that email. Instead, send them a video, just go on your webcam, and be like, hi Mary, just wanted to see how things are going, shot over my proposal to you, harken back to something in the conversation that you had, use that conversation, open your notebook, pick something out and be like I know you said this and you were eager to get going so just wanted to check in with you. So again it's just a matter of, it matters less what you say and more about that you're showing up in different medium. And people think that's so cool. So you could do a quick video, again, could be webcam, it doesn't have to be a fancy edited video unless you wanna do that, or you can do audio. Some people record an audio note. There's this cool website called vocaroo, V-O-C-A-R-O-O, like kangaroo but vocaroo, and it's so easy you go on there and you hit record and it records it, or you could do it on your phone. And then you just put it right in an email, and be like hey, I have this quick message for you, and that can be fun. Again it doesn't really matter what you say necessarily it's just that it's shaking it up. I've had a client before who was really good with visuals do a visual follow up, where they made a picture of them, and they were pouting I think, and this was just their personality, and they were like, haven't heard back, and it was just funny, she was comedian and just was good at that. So again, do whatever works for you, don't feel pressured to go all out and do that. But this can be a really fun follow up idea, just shaking up the format in some way. Follow up without asking for the sale. I do this all the time. Usually my first follow up after a proposal is not to say, did you read my proposal, are you ready to go because that's what they're expecting. So again this is all about shaking up the expectations and making things more fun, so if you can think back to your original conversation, this is why small talk is so freaking important, and you can send them something that is based on their interests. So my wine lady, the lady that was really into wine, right, I was able to send her something, I don't remember what it was, but it was something about wine, it was a new wine that came out or it was a funny joke about wine I don't know, but something that related to that. You could say, hey we talked about this in our conversation I actually remembered that I read this book last year that was really great, and it might help you, here's the link, anything that just feels a little bit personal, let's them show, or shows them, that they've been heard, and it also is surprising, cause they're expecting you to be like did you read the proposal, let's go. And so you're not saying that. So you could even do this three days after you send the initial proposal, so it's not too long after. You're kind of expecting they probably haven't dug into it yet, nor have they presented it to the other decision makers so this is a great buffer email to send in between. Alright, and then also follow them on social networks and engage in discussion there, begin to build relationships. So, it's, this one seems no brainer, but at the same time, I feel like very few people actually do it, and it's such an important step. I have, I have closed a lot of deals, and I've even sold a script, a TV show in fact, off of this one thing, because I went and followed them, and I retweeted something or something like that, and then they were so excited, that I re-shared their stuff, and so that can be really powerful. It seems so freaking simple, and it should be simple for all of us, because all of us use at least one social network most likely, and so go and do that, you also get a lot of insight there, because they'll talk about things on social. So like on their Instagram or whatever that also gives you fodder for following up, so if they post this amazing vacation photo, you could be like, oh my god, your vacation photo, swoon, looks amazing, I hope you're having such a beautiful time, so again, it's just more juice for all of your follow up messages that you may need to send. And they like it. Everybody wants another follower. Everybody wants another like and a share. That's pretty universal, so if you're contributing to them getting more exposure and attention, all the better. Why not. And then also creating a ticking clock, by adding a challenge which adds stakes and a reward. So let's say, and I've done this in the past too, where I'll create something around a month. So when I was in PR I would create this one month of press coverage where it wasn't about, getting press coverage, because that's out of your control, you can't say Oprah's gonna book me, you can't do that, but you can control the number of people that you reach out to or the number of stories that you pitch, so, just make sure it's a realistic competition. And what I did was I said, okay, so of all the clients that sign on this month, we're all gonna be in this competition of how many stories can we put out there, how many people can we pitch, this was when I was doing coaching, so they were actually doing their own pitching. So then it was like this little mini competition but only for the people that signed a contract that month. And then whoever won, they got an unlimited month of coffee at their favorite coffee shop. So I would just buy a gift certificate for them for a coffee a day, and it was really fun. People love that. They're like ooo I get a little bonus and I'm working for something. So sometimes that can be fun. It won't work for all of our businesses. Cause we're all so very different. But if you have a business that maybe you could imagine some kind of challenge around, this could be a really fun way to have a ticking clock and get people off the fence.