This is the first edition of a new e-zine called Effective Strategies. It is devoted to sharing ideas that can improve your performance personally as well as professionally.
Leads for Potential Clients. What is your plan for following up when someone gives you a lead for a potential new client? If you donít have one, you should. Follow-up is a key component of extraordinary customer service and you must have a sense of urgency. If someone gives you a lead, follow up within 24 hours. My role model for sense of urgency in follow-up is Kerry Jensen with the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce. He contacts the lead immediately and then follows up with the person who gave him the lead to give them an update.
If you are giving a lead to someone and you donít hear anything, follow-up on that lead. Even though it isnít your responsibility to baby-sit your leads that you pass along, your reputation as a reliable source of contacts could be on the line.
After Meeting Someone New. You have many opportunities to meet new people and the activity of daily lives can cloud their memory. Giving new acquaintances a call, sending them an e-mail, or dropping them a hand-written note is a perfect way to help them remember who you are and gives you another chance to remind them about your business and who a good potential client is. Make sure you asked enough questions to build your knowledge about that new contact so you can find many creative reasons to follow up later.
After a Sales Presentation or a Job Interview. The follow-up thank-you note never goes out of style. In the case of a sales presentation or job interview, you were probably one in a sea of people that were interviewed. Todayís competitive economy offers many quality options. Good follow-up is an indicator of the kind of customer service and attention you will provide. It could be the deciding factor.
Updates on a Project. While you are working on your clientís job, it is important to keep them updated on the progress. A good rule of thumb is to provide periodic updates as soon as you start billing hours to their account. Anne Shea with Harris McHaney Realtors calls her clients every few days during the finance and closing process on a home just to keep both the buyers and sellers up to date. This level of communication in the real estate industry is extraordinary.
Post-Business Transaction. Make a point to follow up with your customers after you finish their job. This is a great opportunity to find out how they liked your product or service, learn how you can improve, ask for referrals, and thank them for their business. Errors in the business transaction happen to us all from time to time, and this is a great way to repair a customer service or product problem that you might not have discovered any other way. Following-up allows you to ensure that your company exceeded your customerís expectations. Make it even more memorable ó follow up personally. Customers are impressed when the owner of the company takes the time to call.
Be Unique When Periodically Checking In With Potential Clients. Levinson, Frishman, and Lublin in Guerrilla Publicity comment, ďKeep in touch. Periodically call, e-mail, and send information to remind your contacts that youíre still alive, kicking, and available to them as a resource. Since everyone sends holiday cards, distinguish yourself by sending something they donít expect such as funny postcards on odd, little known occasions.Ē Need some more ideas? Send them articles that they would find interesting ó especially those that include them. Call to wish them happy birthday. Send out postcards with new services you offer. Invite them to local networking functions that they may not know about.
Your feedback is needed. What is your most effective use of marketing and promotion for your company? Is it yellow pages advertising, networking, radio advertising, or something else? Tell us why via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have specific questions and topic ideas, please submit them. I would be glad to address them in upcoming issues. For more articles, click here.
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Carrie Perrien Smith
President, Soar With Eagles
Release Your Potential
Soar with Eagles equips individuals and organizations with the tools they need to improve their performance by creating powerful strategies, improving communication, and strengthening employee commitment.
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