WHAT IS EFFECTIVE FOLLOW-UP?
By Matt Golimowski
We have heard it before, “I’ll place an order later.” Our customers, particularly our National Account Managers, are extremely busy and don’t always follow through on their commitments. The next thing you know, days or weeks goes by without the order. What are we to do? Follow up.
Follow-up plays a crucial role in sales and account management. Proper follow-up can lead to significant incremental sales. It is a simple courtesy and shows the customer we care. But what really constitutes good, effective follow-up?
It all starts with attention to detail during the visit. We must listen with intent and take notes while working with our clients. If you’re like me, if it doesn’t get written down, it may not happen, or I miss the details. As most of you have seen, I am constantly taking notes on my phone, and I let my customers know that I’m taking notes so that I can serve them best. It also lets them know I’m not texting or reading messages. I find that they respond well to it and even appreciate it.
Next, gather all contact information—the more, the merrier. Collect emails & phone #s from multiple managers if possible. Ask them how they like to be contacted. Ask them if it’s okay to text them. I have found that it gets the quickest response, particularly in rental. And they usually prefer it.
Give recaps of your visits to your clients. This usually works well with email and can even work through text. Nothing long. Simply say, “Hey _____, it was great to see you today. I’ll get those replacement Cyclones sent out today. Don’t forget to place your order through Coupa. I would hate to see you run out of treatments. I’ll check in with you next (day, week, month, date).
At the end of each visit, discuss walk-away commitments with your clients. These are things you agreed to. “Hey ____, I’ll send you a recap of our visit and get those Cyclones sent to you. I’ll be back Thursday at noon to train your new guy. I’ll send you a calendar invite as a reminder. And don’t forget to place that order!” Be sure to follow through on your commitments. Never say you’re going to do something and not do it. This is where note-taking comes into play.
Finally, keep in mind that a simple nudge through email or text can pay huge dividends. I remember a time when Rafa sent an email blast to several customers in our California market, where we have no franchisee. It simply reminded them how to place an order and included an email address and a phone # to call if they needed help. That day, we received over $10,000 in orders, all from a 2-minute email! IT WORKS!!!
So to Recap:
- Take notes
- Gather all contact information and ask how they would like to be contacted
- Give your clients a recap of your visit
- Discuss walk-away commitments
- Give nudges
- Make more money!