January 7, 2014 | Posted by Yvette Alexander Slate
I was working with a client and they shared with me how frustrated they were that some of their prospects weren’t calling them back. First, I asked “when was the last time you made contact with the business?” And then my second question was going to be “what value did you give them when you called?” One can’t expect people to want to do business with you if you don’t follow-up with them and let them know that you want to EARN their business.
Earning the business is a process of rapport and relationship building. Building a business relationship is like dating. A person meets another and you speak and exchange business cards. One agrees to follow-up with the other. By the way, you must be the one to always follow-up. Never assume or wait for anyone to have a positive or negative impact on the potential of a new client. You control your destiny when you do the work that is needed to earn the business. I recommend, follow-up with a card within three days after the initial interaction. The card should mention when you would like to get together or connect face to face. You must follow-up on the day that you mention in the card. When you meet, allow them to share their goals, roles and responsibilities with you. If they are a good business person, the conversation will be reciprocated and you’ll have the opportunity to share as well.
Now you both must think about the potential of a business relationship. A business relationship isn’t always about earning the business financially. It could mean that you may have a client that could use their services and vice versa. It could also mean “not now” but there may be opportunities in the future. Following up isn’t always about asking if they are ready to do business with you. But, follow up with them and give them something that they will appreciate and use. That’s how people remember you and want to do business with you if they see that you sincerely care about their propositional value statement and mission. What do you think are some reasons that prospects are not returning your calls? What value are you giving them? Do you care about their business? I’d love to hear back from you.
Happy Relationship Selling!