Does anyone actually like doing follow-up calls? I don't think I've met anyone who actually enjoys this process, mainly due to good old "fear of rejection". (see Tip 86 Sales Beliefs) I believe that the energy you generate when you are pitching your business or following up your prospects has a huge influence on your results. Being focused and upbeat with good positive energy will bring you far more clients than if you are anxious and worried about making the call. Your prospect will sense it a mile away. We want to be around positive and upbeat people and are naturally drawn to them.
I think it's very easy to hide behind email, and while I don't think it's the always the best option for generating sales (unless you are running a specific add-value drip campaign / funnel), it does have its uses.
Here are my 14 top tips for using email to generate business and keep in touch with prospects.
Keep it simple. Write in a way that a teenager will understand. No jargon or fancy words!
Keep it friendly. Write as if you were writing to a friend. Be authentic. Keep your subject line to less than 6 or 7 words. That's the number you can see on most mobile phones.
If you are going to take the time to promote yourself on social media, please, please, please get into the habit of checking your message request box daily. If someone is not on your friends list. they will NOT show up in your main messenger inbox. I have emailed a few businesses recently and can see a week later that they have still not seen the message. You could be losing loads of business!
Here's how to check your filtered messages on FB messenger...
While this seems like common sense, I've come to realise that sense is not always that common :-) (Members of The Bristol Small Business Network excepted of course!) One of the first rules of marketing is knowing your customers. Inside-out and back-to-front. When I ask most people who their target market is, they usually say something along the lines of "anyone with a pulse?". No, no, no!
The more specific you are about your avatars (just a posh word for perfect customers!), the better. Yes, you can have more than one avatar, but you will need to do this exercise for each of them. The more you know, the more you’ll understand how best to market to them.
"Sack clients?" I hear you yell. "What the hell? I need all the clients I can get!"
Sometimes it is easy for us to think we have to be everything to everyone. Whoever invented the quote that the 'customer is always right' obviously didn't have to deal with customers who are never on time, late paying or rude to you or your team. Whilst there is an element of truth in this statement in some circumstance (see Tip 176), you really don't need to put up with crappy clients.
Often the crappy ones take up the most of your time for the smallest reward. They usually try to haggle for a discount and seem to have never heard of the concept of "win-win" in business.
When I was about 10 years old, I was lucky enough to have a hand-shaking lesson. I kid you not! I have no idea why, but I can remember my Dad, who was self-employed, showing me how to greet someone correctly, something I have been very grateful for many, many times since.
It's a fact that most people do not know how to shake hands properly. It's either the alpha male (or female) bone-crushing handshake or what is typically called the limp fish handshake. The latter is far more common than the former, believe me - I have experienced a LOT of limp fish handshakes over the last 40 years, and I have to say, like many, rightly or wrongly, I do make an instant judgement about that person.
I am often surprised at how people show up for business meetings and opportunities to quote, especially from trades like builders, plumbers and decorators.
I appreciate that you may be swinging by after a day’s work, but for goodness’ sake keep some clean clothes in your van. Ideally with your logo on them. Have a notebook and clipboard. Look professional. It does make a difference. Be different from your competitors.
I helped one builder client increase his conversion rates by 22% just by wearing a smart logoed shirt and carrying a clipboard with a set of questions on it.
Oh no, I hear you cry. I can't do that. I'll lose all my clients. I don't want to rock the boat. No-one will buy from me. My business will fail. I will be penniless and homeless. No, I can't do possibly do that!
Sound familiar? Most of us are worried about putting our prices up because we are scared of rejection: that our clients and customers won't think we are worth it. That they will use it as an excuse to stop buying from us.
Well, if you are not giving a great service, then that may well be the case, but we'll assume that you are giving an exceptional service, so it's unlikely to have a negative impact on your profit. Please check out this quick blog on the actual impact of putting up your prices. (Hint: if your present profit margin is 25% and you increased your prices by 10%, you could lose 29% of your sales and still be making the same amount of profit.)
So, if you are too busy with clients, now is the time to raise your prices!