The money IS in the follow-up
You must have an unreasonable attitude with follow up. Most people don’t quite get what I mean when I say “unreasonable.”
Unreasonable means without reason. Keep pushing because you believe in your product, in your company and your service.
I’ll be unreasonable even if you don’t like me calling you on a Thursday afternoon after I’ve already called you 10 times, texted you four times and sent two handwritten letters.
I’m going to be unreasonable. I get this all the time, “Grant, don’t call me again.” I say “OK, you got it, it won’t happen again.” but the next day I’m going to find a reason to follow them up.
You think this is crazy? It’s because you are reasonable.
If you are not unreasonable, you are sold not to do your job. My job is to take care of my family, my business and myself.
That requires me to be unreasonable. If someone attacked you with a gun, would you be unreasonable or would you make sense of that gun?
If a bomb went off in your building, you would be unreasonable and do whatever it takes to protect yourself, your business and your family?
Figure out a creative way to follow up.
Creativity follows commitment.
Your commitment must be so unreasonable that you keep popping up with ideas on how to follow up even long after a client has said not to call again.
I called a guy 15 times in three days, 5 five times each day. He didn’t call me back once.
The definition of follow-up is seeing something through—all the way through.
Should I call 15 times and quit? That’s what you do. The average salesperson calls back twice and bails. Don’t be that guy. Follow up until one of you dies.
Before we dated, it took me 13 months to get my future wife to go out with me. I told her later it’s not stalking if it works.
You need to become an all-star at following up with your customers.
Here are some advanced follow-up strategies you can employ
#1 I saw this and thought of you
I love this follow-up. It could be a piece of mail, a text, an email or even a mention in a tweet.
This is a great one when reading an interesting article, blog or post. The only reason I read the news is to use that information to follow up my customers.
I tune into Business Insider, CNN, CNBC, Fox, any station, in order to follow people up. If I go to an exhibition or trade show, I’m collecting data there. I want to follow people up with links and ideas, and a great way to do that is, “I saw this car” or “I saw this product” or “I saw this book” and I “thought of you”.
I ask, “Do you like to read? If you do, I’d like to send it to you.”
Notice that I didn’t send the person the book, I took a picture of the book. I didn’t invest in the book yet. If he says yes, he likes books, then I can send it. It’s simple, easy and effective.
#2 Personalized singing email
This is the client you’ve been following up for six, seven, maybe eighteen months. You need to pull out all the stops here. If you don’t think it’s professional, let me tell you what’s not professional—not doing whatever it takes to earn their business. Pull out all the stops, be memorable and stay at the front of their mind.
#3 Lottery ticket
The next time you are at the gas station or grocery store pick up some lottery tickets for your clients. Say, “I’m pulling for you when you win the $400 million that I just invested for you, I don’t ask you to give me any of it, just do business with me.”
#4 Chocolate feet
Try ordering a big chocolate foot for your client if you can’t get your foot in the door. If you just can’t get in front of him, send this with a note asking to get a foot in the door because you know you can earn his business.
#5 Show them on a magazine
Everyone wants to be on the front of a magazine, so Photoshop their image on GQ, Fortune—any major recognized name—with them on the cover. It’s a smart way to get back in front of a client. If you don’t have the technical skills to do it yourself, you can easily google search and pay a small price for someone to do it for you.
I really was in this magazine, no photoshop!
#6 Giant cookie
A guy I knew used to do this all the time. “I want to take a bite out of your business.” Send your client a giant cookie with a note like that. It could be a thank you for a new client you just got, it’s just a creative way to stay in front of someone. You don’t have to do the cookie, but the point is to do something creative.
I’m going retro, bringing back the 30’s to the 21st century. Before you discount this like everyone has around me, people use telegrams every day. You can have a telegram sent to your client and it will be the first telegram they’ve ever received.
The only time they’ve seen it is when they have watched black-and-white movies from World War II. Try the telegram.
When using all of these strategies on a client, you can also add this phrase: “Obviously, John, you can see how hard I am working to get your business and I’m going to continue to do so. Just think about how hard I will work to keep your business.”
Here are 3 specific ways to improve your follow-up today:
#1 Gatekeeper Skills
The inability to get past gatekeepers is a big problem for many people. I’ve been asked for 30 years how to get past these filters. You have to be creative.
You have to love gatekeepers—not hate them. If you hate on a gatekeeper, you’ll always be on the outside. You need to think like they think. They were given a task to protect their boss from people getting to them.
You want to treat the gatekeeper like a million bucks.
Most people treat the gatekeeper like they don’t exist, but the more the gatekeeper likes you the better off you’ll be. They have the keys to the deal. Send gifts. Tell them you appreciate them—pour it on. They have the keys to the gate!
#2 Regular Newsletter
Use a newsletter or blog. They are great ways for you to stay in touch, establish, justify, and bring credibility to your brand.
What do you do in a newsletter? It’s not about selling your product, even though you can do a little bit of that, the purpose of a newsletter or blog is to be first in your buyer’s mind.
That means you have to give data.
I want to remind people who I am, what I do and give data. Keep dripping and keep paying attention to them. Newsletters should be filled with helpful information.
#3 Five “No” Calls and Flip
Whether in person or on the phone, on the first day start thinking about how you can move an individual to a no. “Hey, could you agree to move up this order date?” They’ll respond, “What do you mean I said I’m not doing this?” You respond with, “I know, the reason I’m calling is I just want to see if there’s any possibility, any chance of you moving up the order date”.
They’ll say “No”. Boom, you got no #1.
The thing to remember here is that you are in conversation and communication.
“Would you agree to take out the time in your decision making, assuming I can handle all other issues that you’ve mentioned?” Here I’m asking for the second no.
“For your budget considerations of your next quarter, could we move up the schedule, if I could figure out how to delay the payment schedule?” Again I’m looking for a third no.
Your question might be put another way—these are just examples.
“Look, I really know how much your company is going to benefit from this product, this service, and that’s why I continue to persist with you. Can we do this? Can I get you to change your mind on this?” I’m looking for a fourth no.
“You’ve told me how you can’t do this, let me ask you how could you make it work?” This is the fifth no. Now the next call is where the flip is, where management makes a call for you to find out from this customer why they have not bought.
“My name’s Grant, I’m the manager, I have a request. First of all, I have two questions for you, number one, do you have 25 seconds?” They say “yes”. Number two, “I want to know why you have not bought our product yet?”
At that point just listen, the manager should not try and close, although a close may present itself.