I believe wholeheartedly in following up with customers. Many times, follow ups are the best way to create repeat business. It’s also a great way to check in on how you are doing and see if there’s anything you can improve upon. I’ve recently read some articles about about exactly this. Different people have different ideas on how much is “too much checking in,” although I’m sure some of it has to do with the industry. A nonprofit will probably follow up with donors far more often than a mechanic will follow up on an oil change! But there are few points I have found that I feel like are applicable to almost any industry.
- Meet at regular intervals. Plenty of salespeople will set aside time regularly throughout the year for a sales meeting. Many will schedule quarterly meetings but, depending on your client, maybe once a year will suffice. Face-to-face meetings, depending on the industry, can really make a difference in whether or not you make the sale. Being able to know that you’ll get that face time with your client gives you a chance to prepare and know what you your check in needs to look like.
- Schedule phone/email check ins. Each week, I send out follow up emails to check in with customers on the products and service that we provided for them. Many people suggest blocking off a specific set of time (thirty minutes? two hours?) that you know you will solely focus on follow ups. Personally, I have too much going on to know exactly what time I’ll be checking in. But I know that, on a certain day each week, it will get done. That weekly assignment is the best way for me to know that following up will definitely happen.
- Cover all of your bases. When you walk into a meeting, do you know what you’ll be talking about? Most people would say a very confident YES. You’ve probably gone over specifics with your client/prospect regarding an upcoming project, a previous service, or an idea of what they are needing. But what about getting a feel for what else they need? When your company provides several products or services, focusing only on what the client is currently looking for can be limiting. A great way to get a feel for what your client needs is by reminding him of everything you offer and see whether or not something more would be beneficial.