I remember listening to a business tape many years ago entitled “Follow up is 50% of your business” and it really is. I am constantly amazed at the number of businesses who communicate with a client or a potential new client and do not follow up. Why? I guarantee if you do follow up, it will generate more business – if it doesn’t then you are doing something wrong, so contact me.
Follow up is not just about chasing the next piece of business. It is integral to the whole communication process. I have heard so many situations where business owners do a presentation or a quote after a potential customer has asked to see you, and they don’t follow up. They either really do not care or they expect the client to come back to them. Follow up shows you care and it is the next stage in the process. I had a situation recently where I asked a builder – who we have used before and we know pretty well – for a quote, and he never even gave me the quote. Why would he take the time to come and see me and then not even bother to come back to me. Tradespeople generally are pretty poor at communication. If business owners learned how to follow up properly, it would generate them more business and help them build better relationships with their customers.
I think a big part of following up is just keeping in touch with a customer, showing you care about them and their business. Just to call and check all is ok with them and if there is anything you can do for them to make things easier for them on future business will really impact your business in a positive way.
So what does happen if you don’t follow up or keep in touch? Well, another business owner may come along and contact one of your customers and offer a similar product or service to you and they keep in touch and build a relationship with “your customer”. Then you lose the business and they become “their customer”. We all have to remember we have no divine right to a customer. We have to constantly and consistently work on that relationship. When times are hard as they are at the moment, it is even more important to keep in touch.
NEVER ignore difficult conversations with a customer. There may have been something that has gone wrong and you feel guilty to such an extent that you go quiet and ignore it. DON’T! If you sort out the problem quickly and to the customers satisfaction, your relationship will probably be stronger that it was before.
Work at building strong relationships with all your customers – old and new – and keep in touch regularly. You may court a potential customer for years and they may turn out to be your best customer – you just never know. If you fail to follow up, you know what the answer will be.
This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 29/03/2021