I love doing follow-up after an event because I know that’s where the money is. One thing that does fascinate me in this process is the human behavior. I might be talking to you in this article so keep reading, ok?
One of the reasons I love to do follow up is because it gives me an opportunity to talk to people, one-on-one. In this day and age of technology, that doesn’t happen much anymore. So my phone calls position me as unique in the market place – and I like that. I really like that. Using the telephone makes me money!
As an entrepreneur, we are in the business of making money. It goes along with having great products and services for the people who want what we have.
I love to make money – I love to serve people – and I recognize there are other factors involved when it comes to being successful as an entrepreneur. And that is my reputation and character. I don’t believe many people give that any thought and I say that because of my recent experiences.
Let me elaborate. Here are a few things that I have experienced and there are lessons in each one.
#1 – YOU GAVE ME PERMISSION.
I only ever do follow up with people who have given me permission to do so – by way of signing a form, or opting in to a free gift, or just by handing over your business card. That is permission based marketing and follow-up in my world. And I take this seriously. When you interact with me, I AM going to follow up with you – and I’ll follow up till you either buy or tell me to get lost.
Lesson: If you don’t want people to follow up with you, then don’t give them permission in any way, shape, or form to do so! Period. Take responsibility for this.
#2 –ANSWER YOUR PHONE/EMAILS.
It blows my mind when I make phone calls and:
- People do not have appropriate ‘business’ messages on their voicemail. No, I don’t think it’s cute to hear your child’s voice when I am calling a business phone number.
- Clear your voicemail box so I am able to leave a message – you’re in business!
- Return my call or email. Have the courtesy, when people make an effort to follow up with you because YOU gave them permission to do so, to respond. Don’t be ‘that’ jerk. A simple, polite response is all I’m after. This is YOUR reputation at stake – not mine. I’m doing my job.
Lesson: Guard your reputation. Make it a habit to respond to phone calls and emails at least within 48 hours of receiving them. Business is about relationships – you will never know if/when the shoe will be on the other foot at some time in the future. Develop good habits of communication now.
#3 –DON’T GIVE ME A STORY.
I wasn’t born yesterday – I’ve heard every story under the sun. When you give permission for follow-up, you are expressing an interest in that person’s product or service. When you get the follow-up call or email, then be honest and respond accordingly. I don’t need to hear your life’s story – and I certainly don’t want to hear all about your money fears. Business is business and it involves the transfer of money. Do you think, when we are on a call, that I give my products and services away for free? You might be in the habit of doing that –which is exactly why you DO need my services, LOL!
Lesson: To grow in business, you must invest in yourself. Stop being the person who is always asking for discounts, or special payment options, or telling stories about why you can’t do this right now. There’s always a way to make things happen – there’s always money to be found when you are clear on what you want and need.
BONUS LESSON: If what I have to offer truly doesn’t meet your needs and I give you a referral to one of my trusted colleagues – then be sure to communicate with them! Especially if/when they have gone out of their way to be of service – close the loop – respond – be professional – it’s YOUR reputation at stake in this situation. Guard it. Honor it.
Taking personal responsibility for your actions is a success factor in business. How do you rate?