Create a Prospect Contact Follow-Up Plan for Long-Term Results

Research has shown that it can often take seven or more contacts before a prospective customer will buy from your small business.

Are you doing enough to convert each contact into a buyer?

Sometimes you meet a prospect when it’s the         wrong time for them.  You give them a business card, or a link to a website, and hope for the best.  But they never call, they never respond.  But eventually, they will be in the place where they need or want the service your small business provides. That’s why it is so important for every small business to have a prospect contact follow-up plan in place.

Let’s use a financial planner as an example.  Everyone needs a financial planner in their corner.  They need that extra set of eyes looking at their financial situation, helping them make good financial decisions.  But many people do not.  There are many reasons:  some people say that financial planners are too expensive, or they don’t have enough money to make it worth their while, or financial planners only want to sell them insurance – they’re not really interested in doing what’s best for the consumer.

For whatever the reasons, the market for financial planners can be resistant to hiring a new planner.  But then the prospect loses his job and now has to make a decision about his IRA.  Or the prospect receives an inheritance and doesn’t know how to invest it.  Or the prospect has a new baby and wants to set up a college fund.  He vaguely remembers meeting a financial planner a couple months ago, but doesn’t remember much about him.  He turns to an internet search or asks his brother-in-law at church and that financial planner never gets the call.

So what’s the smart financial planner to do so that he does get the call instead of his competitor?

Create a prospect contact follow-up plan.

For most service-related small businesses, every prospect you come in contact with should receive at least three contacts from you within the first month of the initial contact.  This reinforces the initial information on what your services are and what sorts of situations you can help with.  It could be two letters and a telephone call.  It could be two telephone calls and one letter.  It could be two emails and a telephone call.  It could be a letter, an email, and a telephone call.  You decide what works best for you.

After the initial month, you need to decide whether you want to keep in touch with these potential clients monthly or quarterly.  Do not go more than four months without contacting them again.  Work out a plan.

For instance, your follow-up contact plan may be something like this:

Initial Contact – Day 0

Follow-up Letter with a Free Report on why Retirement Planning is more complicated today than ever before – Day 3

Follow-up Telephone Call, did you read the report, can I answer any questions? – Day 10

Follow-Up Letter, Touching Base – Day 30

Letter or email, Financial Topic of Interest – Day 60

Postcard, Special Offer – Day 90

Telephone Call – Checking in, Can I assist you in any way? – Day 120

Letter or email, Financial Topic of Interest – Day 150

Survey (print or online) – Day 180

Postcard, Special Offer – Day 270

Unexpected Greeting Card – Day 360

Your ongoing contacts should not be overbearing or needy.  They need to be warm and friendly.  They need to be informative.  All you are trying to do is stay top-of-mind with these people so that when they or someone they have frequent contact with needs your services, they will think of hiring you first.

There are several tools on the market that can help you make your prospect contact follow-up plan easier to manage.  I personally use iContact for email marketing.  They provide great templates for newsletters, they have a decent autoresponder system, their survey platform is easy, and they are affordable.  Plus, they offer a 15-day trial to start, so there’s no reason not to try them.  Check them out.

For real reach-out-and-touch someone relationship-building, I personally use SendOutCards.  Check out a great video on how their service can really boost your business at http://NewReferralGrowth.com You can send out 3 customized greeting cards for free on me.  I highly recommend it to anyone in personal or professional service industries where competition is high and relationships mean the difference between success and struggling, especially realtors, financial planners, insurance agents, accountants, attorneys, day spas, hair salons, and the like.  It’s also terrific for everyone in direct sales and even companies like Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, and other similar programs.  Plus, it’s great to never miss a family or friend’s birthday or anniversary again.

There is no “right” way to stay in touch and there is no secret formula that will guarantee success.  But set up a follow-up contact plan, follow it consistently with every prospect you meet, and in time you’ll reap the rewards.

If you need assistance in creating a prospect follow-up contact plan, or other marketing ideas, please let me know.  I would love to help.  Email me at SuccessPointConsulting@hotmail.com.

P.S.  If you are in need of a financial planner in the Columbus, Ohio, area, give Augustus, aka A.W., Abel a call at 614-389-2075.  Check out his website at awabelfinancial.com.  I’m working on some changes for him so check him out now, and then again in a couple weeks!

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1 comment

  1. Keeley Kossak

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