January 7, 2010
I recently came across these statistics about how frequently sales professionals follow up with their prospects. When I read this, I was shocked:
• 48% of sales people never follow-up with their prospects.
• 25% of sales people make a second contact with their prospect and then they stop.
• 12% of sales people make three contacts with their prospect and then they stop.
• Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts with their prospects.
• 2% of sales are made on the first contact with a prospect.
• 3% of sales are made on the second contact with a prospect.
• 5% of sales are made on the third contact with a prospect.
• 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact with a prospect.
• 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact with a prospect.
If you are a part of that 90%+ who are not adequately staying in touch with prospects you probably have a myriad of reasons why you are unable to do so. And those reasons are probably not because you don’t know that you should. You’re probably not following up with prospects because:
1. You don’t have the time.
2. You don’t have a system.
I was totally shocked at the first one - 48% NEVER follow-up with prospects? Whatever were they thinking? Perhaps that people were sitting around waiting to be contacted and then jumping at whatever was offered to them? Without knowing the person, without developing a relationship? Oh my, that's so hard to believe!
Sounds to me like 2010 should be the time for a change if you don't have a system in place! If you need help in developing a system, contact me. As a Netweaving/Networking Coach this is one of the first areas we explore as we are developing our plan of action. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask!
Your comments and thoughts on this subject are welcome. Please post your comment(s) below!
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Coaching Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 8,300 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,000 “friends” on FaceBook and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116
December 17, 2009
Today, when I checked my emails, I found a very important message from one of my LinkedIn connections. I wanted to share her message and my response because I feel there is a very valuable lesson to be learned.
Here is the message I received:
Hoping and praying all is well. As I was sending out messages to my connections to see how they were doing, I received back a message that one of my connections, Jeff Regan had passed away on August 2. This was a shock to me as I just assumed everyone is alive and well.
Jeff was a really kind man who always sent his connections update messages on what was going on in his life and how he may assist with his business.
I know we network here mainly for business purposes, but take time out to see how your connections are doing personally.
My response, while reminding myself that I need to do a lot more of this was:
We all pride ourselves on our networking abilities, but for some reason, seem to get bogged down in all other business activities, with the mindset that I'll do it later. Later just keeps getting pushed back further and further and then we don't do it. Pretty soon, it is lodged so far back in our memory that we just move on to other things. All of a sudden, it's too late.
The connections you worked so hard to make, the relationships you were beginning to establish, and the ones that were already established could be completely demolished in a heartbeat! Who wants to be known as a networker who does not have the energy, the compassion, the drive to keep in touch. Do we only want to contact our network when we need something? No, and I do mean, NO!
Keeping in touch is so critical to our network. Not only in having the opportunity to share good things with one another, but in the times when necessary, share some sad information that could prove to be beneficial in the support of the family members when something traumatic happens to one of our connections. Take the example above, about Jeff Regan. I feel so bad in the fact that although I didn't know Jeff well at all, if I had kept in touch, I might have known he was not feeling well, been involved in an accident, or whatever it was that caused his death. I could have sent thoughts, prayers, general condolences to his family members during their time of grief. I could have shown them I am a thoughtful, kind, compassionate person. Isn't that what we want our network to think about us? More on Are You Keeping in Touch with YOUR Network?
November 11, 2009
Turning to your current and/or past clients for their referral business is not only a smart and practical way to build your business, it's EASY! We all know it costs more to obtain new clients than to maintain current or past clients. Make a commitment to keep in touch with them often - tell them what's happening with your business and ASK for their help. People love to be needed!
1. Look at your clients not as a one-time sale, but as a budding friendship.
Friends help friends. Share your stories with each other - develop those important relationships.
2. Ask for them!
I know, that's an obvious statement, but so many people are afraid to simply ask. Why not try this ? Contact one of your clients/customers today and simply ask - "Of all the people in your office (or of all of your closest friends) which person do you think would be the most interested in the product/service I offer?" What's the worst that can happen - you certainly cannot be killed for asking!
3. Begin at the beginning.
Instead of waiting later in a client/customer relationship to ASK for referral support….(which for some can be uncomfortable) begin TELLING your prospects/new clients at the very beginning that receiving referral support from your clients is HOW you do business. Always tell your prospects what they can expect from you during your relationship, and in turn, what you will expect from them.
4. Practice makes perfect!
The more you do, the better you become at what you do or know, the more confident you naturally come off to others. Creating more confidence for THEM to easily refer you to the people in their life as "The only ONE to go to."
5. Shift the burden.
Many business owners are afraid that asking for referrals from their customers/clients puts an unwanted burden on them. (They feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for 'help.') So, shift your belief or understanding. When you ask your clients to refer their friends or colleagues to you, YOU (once again) are HELPING MORE PEOPLE. (The burden stays on you and off of them!) People LOVE to help others (generally) so why not make them feel special, and ASK for their help?
6. Create an exclusive experience!
Create an experience for your customers/clients that feels (and is) exclusively just for them. How you do business should definitely stand out (and apart) from your competition. It doesn't have to be a lot. Keep it simple - yet clearly beneficial to your clients/customers.
7. Clearly express yourself!
Let your clients know ALL that you do. Most will think the only thing you do or offer is what they get from you. Explain through stories, examples, and other offers the FULL RANGE of what you are able to offer. Don't drown them in details, it's better to explain all the products and services you offer, one at a time.
8. Think Long-Term Relationship - not just WIIFM!
Let your clients/customers know you are interested in serving them for the long haul. Sometimes it won't occur to a client/customer to return to you for your product or service. Let them know you would like to serve them as long as they need the product or service you are exchanging with them.
9 . K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Specific
People love easy and simple (isn't that why you are reading this top ten?). Whatever your product or service, make the experience of working with you as easy and simple for your customer/client as possible. Be specific in what you are offering or in what you are looking for!
10. Tell your clients just how important their referral support is to your success.
People love to know when they are doing good and when they have been a key player in something successful. Be sure to thank them, thank them often, keep in touch with them, find out what's important to them and to their business and see if you can offer a solution to them!
What other ways are you using to increase the number of referrals you receive? Tell me about them in the comment section below!
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 6,700 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on FaceBook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: Deckert1116