I sipped coffee as I admired a couple of dozens of business card holders in Mercy’s office. I have never seen any other person with so many business cards before. They presented a perfect picture of business card collector rather than a marketer that Mercy is.
Do you maintain contact with all those people? I asked out of curiosity.
“Frankly speaking I cannot even remember their faces or what most of them does,” she said with an awkward smile.
One of the common mistakes people do is to get business contacts and leads and never follow up.
Following up your contacts, prospects and customers is the most important part of any of your marketing strategies. Unfortunately, most marketers ignore and entire investment is wasted.
Business is about relationships and follow-ups are the blocks that build relationships.
Strong relationships are formed over time across multiple interactions. You cannot build a relationship through a single meeting or exchanging business cards. Most marketers and sales people invest a lot of time and energy in going out to the field, attending events, meeting new people, then fail to build meaningful relationships due to inadequate follow-up.
Success does not depend on how many people you meet or events you attend. It entirely depends on the relationship you build and nurture as a result. It yields more to reduce on activities such as going out and meeting new people and invest more on follow-up and relationship building with the ones you meet.
For your follow-up to be effective you need to do certain things that enhance relationships and avoid what might spoils them.
Follow-up is not chasing sales or trying to persuade a prospect to make a purchasing decision. Follow-up is about adding value to the interaction which you already had with the person.
If what the person remembers after the call is your request for a sale or pushing them to make a decision, soon they will avoid your calls, delete your emails and classify you as nagging.
In order to make your follow-up calls and emails appealing, do send them useful information that they will find useful, inviting them for events, connecting them with people who could be of use and so on.
In order to win people, one of the guiding principles is to find out how you can be of use to them. Find out how you can positively impact on their lives before they impact on yours. You must sow before you reap.
This effectively means most your follow-up communications should be designed to genuinely find out how they are doing and possibly how you can help; sharing valuable information; connecting them with people who they will find useful; inviting them to an event or sharing some samples of your product with no obligation.
Your success in building relationships entirely depends on how helpful you are to people; not how helpful they are to you. It is by being resourceful that you can attract people to you.